Yes, you heard it from us; new commercial buildings will all have to include green or solar roofs or a combination of the two.

Do not worry though, this is the latest initiative finally passed by the French Government.  The French Biodiversity Law was finally enacted at the beginning of the Autumn 2016…and of course it does not apply to us.

A translation of the French green roof and renewable energy statement says;

‘“Bringing nature back to the City” and an ‘obligation for every new commercial development to integrate green roofs or solar panels.’

The rules [not unexpectedly] are somewhat confusing, including;

On all or part of their roofs and not exclusively either renewable energy generation systems or a greening system ensuring a high level of thermal efficiency and insulation and promoting the preservation and restoration of biodiversity or other systems that will have the same result.

……and you all thought our legal planning statutory instruments were complicated.  We do not think we have seen many statements of planning law containing quite so many ‘Eithers’ and ‘Or’s.  Ping us an email if you know otherwise.

The original law before the French Senate offered the developer no choice between solar and green roof tops, but typically a melange has emerged that may deliver neither.

We understand our development colleagues from across the ‘La Manche’ consider this to be yet another splendid example of ambiguous French property law adding even more complexity, bureaucracy and costs to development initiatives.

We think it is extremely unlikely HMG will also consider such a proposal.  Indeed, it may be that Westminster will be so tied up with Brexit and the PM’s focus on delivering a ‘one nation government’ that we will not see any more renewable UK Government initiatives in the foreseeable future.

So, all you commercial developers over here in the UK, we feel confident in suggesting you can all rest easy on this interesting but confusing green proposal from our Gaelic friends.

Bonsoir mes aimes


John Foddy, Managing Director