What is a General Development Plan?

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Rudolphe ABEN

 What is a General Development Plan?

The general development plan is elaborated by the municipality, with a preparatory study, not regulatory, it becomes regulatory once, it goes through an adaptation procedure with a public inquiry.

It is compulsory and covers the whole territory of a municipality, it defines the use of the ground and it is composed of a set of graphic and written criteria.

What are the objectives of a general development plan?

The purpose of the general development plan is the harmonious implementation and installation of human activities on the communal territory and to guarantee a sustainable development for the commune.

Only the council of mayors and aldermen can take the decision to modify or revise the general development plan.

What is the content of the general development plan?

The general development plan divides the municipal territory into

  • urbanized areas or areas intended to be urbanized
  • zones intended to remain free green zone

The general development plan therefore makes a clear distinction between buildable and non-buildable areas, and defines for each area the mode of land use, provides information on the function allowed to be located on the part of the territory of the commune.

Are there degrees of land use?

The degree of land use makes it possible to measure the buildable density.

It is expressed by 4 coefficients for the zone subject to a particular development plan (new district)

  • Density of housing
  • Land use coefficient
  • Land use coefficients
  • Soil Sealing Coefficient

These coefficients are represented in a table called (schematic representation of the degree of land use) accompanying the area subject to the development of a specific development plan (new neighborhood) on the graphic part of the general development plan.

The development zones differ:

  • area that is temporarily off limits to construction
  • land reserve

The following types of zones are distinguished:

  • Base zones that define the building mode functions.
  • Overlay zones assign easements to the basic zones in order to guide or refine urban development.
  • Zones or spaces defined in execution of specific legal and regulatory provisions. They indicate the presence of regulatory provisions from other legislation that have an impact on urban development. These zones, they only indicate the developer by a thick discontinuous line of color

What are the effects of the General Development Plan?

1. Prohibitions that may affect the immovable during the preparation of a general development plan (Optional servitude)
During studies or works planned to establish or modify a general development plan, only the communal council can decide, under the authorization of the minister, that all or part of the buildings affected by the plan concerned be affected by an easement of prohibition of modification. The duration is 1 year, and an extension is possible, maximum 2x of 1 year, anticipated interruption on the motivated decision of the communal council.

The decision of the municipal council and the minister is published in the memorial at the municipal house by means of posters, also on the website of the municipality, as well as on the 4 daily newspapers printed in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

There is a possibility to appeal to the administrative court. During this period, only maintenance and repair works are allowed.

2. A provisional easement during the plan adoption process from the time the Common Council decides to initiate the General Development Plan approval process.

  • Any alteration of the boundaries of a property for the purpose of construction.
  • Any additional construction or repair.
  • Any work of any kind that is contrary to the provisions of the draft general development plan.

To summarize, in order to obtain building approval for a construction project during the General Plan adoption process, the planned work must be consistent with the current General Plan and the Draft General Plan process. It is important to ensure that all necessary information is obtained before developing a construction project based on a 1937 General Development Plan. in relation to when the municipality intends to introduce its amendment to the General Development Plan in the adoption procedure (easements become final when the General Development Plan comes into force)

3. Compensation

The right to make a claim for compensation due to easements arising from a general development plan is set at 5 years after the entry into force of the general development plan that created them.

Compensation may be granted if these easements result in an infringement of acquired rights or a material modification of the previous state of the premises determining a direct, material and certain damage.