When rolling out their fibre networks operators have to apply for the necessary permits or authorisations. The exact requirements and provisions may differ depending on the location or region. Below a short overview is given with regard to the Walloon Region. The overview is by no means intended to be exhaustive, certainly not as far as local legislation is concerned. Therefore, an operator who wants to roll out fibre in a specific municipality or city, should first contact the town or city council, the urban development department of the municipality or city, and so on.
Anyone who is planning excavation work near pipelines (gas pipes and such) of FETRAPI members (the Federation of Pipeline Transporters) has to ask for plans in order to avoid damage to existing pipelines and cables. Even in the absence of pipelines of FETRAPI members, the use of KLIM-CICC is strongly recommended with regard to the cables and piping of other operators. In addition, in order to ensure that all active cable and pipeline operators in the Walloon territory are questioned, the plan applicants must ask the municipal authorities and then question the cable and pipeline operators communicated by the authorities. More information about the KLIM-CICC platform used for this purpose (and to which both FETRAPI members and other pipeline operators are connected) can be found on this page of the website.
Operations in the public domain for the roll-out of telecommunications networks are exempted from a permis d’urbanisme (urban development permit) according to the Code du Développement Territorial (Territorial Development Code) (Article R.IV.1-1. – W3).
In principle this is required for work on private property, even though exemptions may also apply in this case, namely:
- in case of replacement of existing infrastructure (Article R.IV.1-1. – Y1),
- when laying cables or pipelines and associated sockets on façades or aboveground (Article R.IV.1-1. – Y18).
For operations for which a building permit is required, the following provisions apply:
- Applications for a building permit should be made to the Fonctionnaire délégué of the appropriate direction extérieure (Walloon-Brabant, Hainaut I and II, Liège I and II, Luxembourg and Namur). A map of the directions extérieures and their contact details can be found on this page of the website of the SPW Aménagement du Territoire.
- Applicants have to use the form for annex 8 (travaux techniques) of the CoDT (Territorial Development Code). The form is available on this page of the SPW Aménagement du Territoire, under "Formulaires de demande et de recours directement auprès du Fonctionnaire délégué et du Gouvernement wallon". This has to be sent by registered letter to the Fonctionnaire délégué concerned.
- The applicable terms are described in Article D.IV.48 of the Code du Développement Territorial, and depending on the case they range from 60 to 130 days following the the confirmation of receipt of the file.
- There are no charges to pay.
Please note that for certain operations requiring a building and operating permit a permis unique is needed, or a permis intégré when a commercial establishment is also involved. More information is available at the SPW Agriculture, Ressources naturelles et Environnement and/or the SPW Economie, Emploi, Recherche.
Autorisation d’occupation des voiries
If part of the public domain is occupied prior approval from the road maintenance authorities is required: the so-called autorisation d'occupation des voiries. A distinction is made between local roads and regional roads. This authorisation is applied for in writing.
For regional roads the application should be made to the SPW Mobilité Infrastructure at least 60 days before the start of the work. All information is available by way of this link.
As for local roads this depends on local regulation.
Autorisation d’exécution des chantiers and PoWalCo
A so-called autorisation d’exécution des chantiers (construction site permit) is mandatory for all operations (apart from a few exceptions, such as urgent operations) in, along and above waterways or roads. The provisions are laid down in the décret “Impétrants” of 30 April 2009 and require registration in PoWalCo, indication of the building sites and coordination with other parties. The use of PoWalCo has been obligatory since 2017. More information can be found on the page about PoWalCo.
Also minor operations and other work for which the exemption of the autorisation d’exécution des chantiers applies, are required to be entered into PoWalCo, even in case of a mere notification.
Operations on façades and aboveground operations also fall under the decree and depending on the size of the building site, the coordination obligation may apply. Nevertheless, if their size is limited and the street is not broken up, such operations may come within the exemptions decision of 16 July 2015. In that case only a notification is required.
Périodes de gel (freeze periods)
Following the execution of operations subject to coordination, a period is set in which no new work is allowed to be undertaken. The standard period is 2 years, except for work carried out according to the specifications of Qualiroutes: in that case a 5 year period applies.
For the temporary use of public roads authorisation also has to be asked from the police. Police authorisations are required for the approval of traffic sign plans, traffic diversions and such, in order to guarantee the safety of all road users.
The application and granting procedure, including the specific provisions, depend on the competent police district. Usually this will have been laid down in the Règlement général de police (general police regulations), specifically for each police district. Therefore you should contact the police in the area where you want to carry out work.