Permits and regulations

Permits and regulations to create a company in Wallonia

Which permits do you need?

Depending on the nature of the planned work, you need to apply for a Planning Permit, an Environmental Permit or both. In this last case, the submission of a Single Permit will help you kill two birds with one stone.

Planning permit

Are you building, converting… ?

It is designed to keep the peace between neighbours and between various activities (shops, services, large and small industries, traffic, public amenities, etc.), to make living conditions as pleasant as possible for all.

Certain planning acts are subject to the granting of a permit to:

  • build or convert a building or a road,
  • carry out landscaping work,
  • set up premises (warehouses, chains, etc.),
  • etc.

The local authority will tell you when a permit is necessary and inform you of the procedures.

Depending on the impact of the project, the decision-making deadline to obtain the permit ranges from 30 to 115 days.
The legislation that lays down exactly what requires a permit, the issuing procedure and the instruments that govern the decision (plans, regulations) is known as the Cwatup (Code wallon de l’Aménagement du Territoire, de l’Urbanisme et du Patrimoine). A more streamlined procedure has been introduced for certain acts: the prior planning declaration.

Environmental permit

Can your activities have an environmental impact?

It sets out to control the consequences of economic activites on the natural environment (water, air, noise, etc.). Depending on their impact (machines, vats, hazardous products, emissions, etc.), the law makes a distinction between class 1, 2 or 3 establishments.

  • Class 1 establishments are those whose activities have the highest potential impact. That is why they are all subject to an environmental impact study before being granted a permit. Once the study has been completed, the decision is given within a deadline of no more than 170 days.
  • The class 2 establishments (most projects), with a lesser impact, require a permit and, to a certain extent, an impact study (maximum deadline of 120 days).
  • Finally, the class 3 establishments, whose environmental impacts are known and can meet so-called “integral” conditions are only subject to a declaration (deadline of 15 or 30 days). The legislation in this matter is enshrined in the Walloon Environment Code.

Single permit

Planning permit + Environmental permit = Single permit

When a project requires a planning permit and an environmental permit, the legislation has provided for a single permit that pools together the two procedures.
The two applications are therefore concentrated to secure more coherence and clarity in the submission, processing and follow through of the applications on the whole. Furthermore, strict deadlines are imposed on the granting of permits.

In brief, the single permit simplifies and clarifies the situation while it also saves time and a great deal of trouble for the company!


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