Déclaration d'utilité publique

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] For many large construction projects in France, especially relating to infrastructure, it must be obtained before work can begin.[2]


The first part of a déclaration d'utilité publique is a public enquiry, 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

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


  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.
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