Déclaration d'utilité publique

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A déclaration d'utilité publique, or declaration of public utility, is a formal recognition in French law that a proposed project has public benefits.[1] It must be obtained for many large construction projects in France, especially those for infrastructure, before work can begin.[2]


The first part of a déclaration d'utilité publique is a public inquiry, usually started by a prefect, to collect the views of all affected parties. Responses from affected parties are considered by a commissioner, who assesses whether the proposal has an overall benefit for the public.

If the finding is favourable, the déclaration d'utilité publique is granted by decree.

Legal basis[edit]

The déclaration d'utilité publique was initially required by article 545 of the Civil Code, which stipulates that property cannot be confiscated except for public purposes and with fair compensation.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Section 1 : Déclaration d'utilité publique. du Code de ... - LEGISCTA000006159476". Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  2. ^ "Lexique". Le Monde. 2007-12-20. 
  3. ^ "Article 545". Retrieved 2011-02-14.