Meeting our Urbanism department
"Developing a PAP involves ongoing dialogue with the local authority".
Meet our Urbanism Department, which plays a key role in the development of our property projects.
What is the role and mission of our town planning department?
First, we analyse all the plots of land submitted for sale. Using a wide range of tools - such as Géoportail, aerial photographs, the PAG and all the documents made available by the local authorities - we assess the risks, constraints, feasibility and constructability.
Using the PAG (general development plan), we estimate what type of construction - houses, residences, offices - and how many square metres we could build, whether we can build right away or whether the land is located in a deferred zone (which means that nothing can be done on it for a certain period of time). Our Assets department then decides on a possible purchase proposal and draws up a business plan.
Our primary mission is to support the development of the PAP (special development plan), to coordinate all the parties involved - architects, town planners, environmentalists, the State, local authorities and other owners, if any - to define the concept and ensure that it runs smoothly until it is adopted.
What is a PAG and a PAP ?
The PAG is a set of regulatory graphic and written prescriptions that cover the entire municipal territory, dividing it into zones and defining land use.
The aim of a PAP is more specific, and is to propose a concrete development plan for a given zone. This plan, which is specific to each developer, is the result of a long dialogue with the municipality.
How does the development of a PAP proceed?
For each zone, the PAG indicates the density, number and type of buildings. So our aim is to make the most of the available surface area while offering properties that meet the needs of the market.
As soon as we have a first draft, we meet with the local authority to present our intention and start working with the various departments, starting with the town planning department to find out what its vision is for the area. Early in the process, we consult the Traffic Department, which will tell us how traffic is envisaged, and whether there are plans to put a bus stop there, for example.
Developing a PAP involves ongoing dialogue with the local authority. So it's essential to have a good understanding of the PAG and a good relationship with our contacts in order to propose a relevant project that meets all the regulations and expectations.
How long does it take to develop a PAP?
In the past, it could take two or three years. Today, the time scale is much longer. Firstly, because the scale of the projects is greater. The Parc de Cessange, for example, on which we've been working for six years, is 13 hectares in size, with 1,000 housing units. The Rives de l'Alzette Park is 20 hectares in size, with 800 housing units. These are whole neighbourhoods. The regulatory timescales are also fairly long, running into dozens of months. There are many obstacles. There are political deadlines and timetables, changing stakeholders who may bring a different point of view, and the additional studies that need to be carried out.
What happens once the PAP has been adopted?
The next step is to draw up the execution project, which deals with the infrastructure works in minute detail, such as the width of the roads, the height of the pavements, the materials used, and so on.
It's a meticulous task, and we have to consult all the municipal departments and many other parties involved: roads, traffic, sanitation, drinking water, networks, parks, fire brigade, etc. This culminates in the signing of the agreement governing the handover of the infrastructure to the municipality.
What role does the environment play in the development of a PAP?
The ecological dimension is central to the development of our projects. From the outset, we identify existing biotopes in order to conserve them as much as possible, while proposing concrete measures. This enables us to comply with regulations, anticipate additional studies and therefore optimise the process.
Can you explain the ecological concept proposed for the Parc de Cessange PAP?
The Parc de Cessange PAG encompasses various zones, each dedicated either to a park, housing or mixed-use developments including shops/services or offices. Our approach is based on the harmonious integration of the natural elements of the site. For example, we decided to maintain a large hedge to encourage the natural management of rainwater, directing it towards the stream. There is also a large tree that we wanted to preserve. There is a strong notion of shared spaces, notably with the development of market gardens. A significant portion of the roofs will also be planted with vegetation and equipped with photovoltaic panels, while the park, which occupies a third of the PAP's surface area, will be completely renovated with the planting of trees, the creation of new paths and pontoons, and the installation of nesting boxes.
We're proud of this concept and can't wait to make it a reality!