Exemption from environmental permit: for which works?

Exemption from environmental permit: not all works require an environmental permit. In addition, in certain cases, a simple notification is sufficient. This article gives you more information on situations where you do not need to apply for a permit.

Which acts are exempt?

For example, the following acts, among others, are generally exempt from authorisation:

  • Maintenance work such as replacing damaged plaster or broken roof tiles, replacing broken windows with identical ones, painting or whitewashing facades, replacing interior or exterior doors,...
  • A renovation without volume expansion and without stability works. The latter includes not touching load-bearing internal walls. This includes, for example, installing a new bathroom or kitchen and providing bedrooms in the attic.

Which works should I report?

The following actions, among others, usually require you to file a notification:

  • An interior renovation involving touching load-bearing interior walls.
  • Installing roof plane windows where the load-bearing structure of the roof is changed.
  • Installing an extension of less than 40 square metres.
  • The creation of a care home.

Special conditions for exemption or notification

Special conditions usually apply to the application of the exemption or notification. For example, you may not apply them to change the function of a property. Nor may the exemptions or notifications be used to create multiple residential units in an existing property.

Nor may the acts conflict with a spatial implementation plan, a subdivision permit or the conditions of a previously granted permit. Finally, the acts must not affect protected monuments, among others.

In the above cases, you should always apply for a permit.

Note: the municipality can impose increasingly strict conditions on these acts. For instance, it can stipulate that for certain exempted acts, a notification must still be made. The municipality can also impose that for certain acts that require notification, a permit is still required.

Read more about how to apply for an environmental permit.

Exemption from environmental permit: decision

Because the municipality may impose stricter conditions, you should not simply assume that an act is exempt. We recommend that you always contact the municipality before carrying out any works.

Do you have questions about applying for an environmental permit? Do not hesitate to contact contact our environmental law lawyer.

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