The Coastline Act is a French law enacted in 1986 with the objective of controlling the development of the coastline in order to protect and promote remarkable spaces.
The Coastline Act on town planning
With regard to town planning, the act requires that remarkable natural spaces, economic activities (aquaculture, agricultural or forestry) as well as public access be preserved. Town planning documents must consequently be compatible with these requirements, as well as prevent the development of continuous urbanisation along the coastline.
Furthermore, a strip at least 100 metres wide from the level of the highest tide must remain free from buildings, except for certain installations that are essential to public services and sea based economic activities (port, fishing, aquaculture...).
The Coastline Act on coastal areas
In the context of coastline protection, the Coastline Act requires the preservation of sensitive zones and areas which are remarkable for their heritage, cultural or ecological characteristics. These spaces may be dunes, cliffs, bodies of water or even coastal forests.
Light development, however, may be permitted in the context of providing public access to these spaces, promoting, operating, or managing them.
The coastal path, visible on the right, is a creation of the Coastline Act used to promote and facilitate public access to the coast. © Bernard CC by-nc-nd 3.0