This page focuses on PoWalCo, the Walloon platform that collects the information about civil works, events and disruptions in the Walloon public domain and through which also the permit to carry out construction work has to be applied for.
What is PoWalCo?
PoWalCo (Portail Wallon de Coordination des chantiers) is used in Wallonia to coordinate civil works and offers parties the possibility to exchange data and information regarding the coordination and work carried out under, on or above roads and waterways.
The use of this platform has been obligatory since 2017.
The basic provisions are laid down in the décret du 30 avril 2009 relatif à l’information, la coordination et l’organisation des chantiers sous, sur et au-dessous des voiries et des cours d’eau (also called the décret “Powalco” or décret “impétrants”). More information and a list of all relevant legislation is described extensively in the Gestion des impétrants brochure, published by the Walloon public service Mobilité.
More publications about the decree and the use of PoWalCo can be found on the PoWalCo website.
Users of the platform pay an annual fee of maximum € 450 (VAT excluded) per municipality situated in the “impact zone”(zone d’influence). The impact zone is the geographical area where an organisation is active and possibly carries out operations.
The actions and requests in themselves are free of charge on the platform.
The Gestion des impétrants brochure lists in more detail all obligations before, during and after the operations. Below you will find the most important ones.
All waterway administrators, road authorities and cable and pipeline operators have the obligation to register on the platform and to notify any building sites. Depending on the kind of building site an autorisation d’exécution de chantiers (permit to carry out construction work) has to be applied for. Exceptions are possible for, among other things, urgent work or specific types (of limited extent for instance). For such operations only a notification is obligatory, before or after the operations, depending on the type.
At least once a year the planned building sites have to be announced (“programmation”). Notification has to be given at least 6 months before the start of the operations (an exception of 4 months can be allowed within the framework of “une activité libéralisée”). Some types of construction work are exempted from this obligation, such as works of limited extent.
All building sites are coordinated (apart from a few exceptions) and the party who starts the building site also has to start the coordination, at least 4 months before the planned start of the operations. Next, the call for coordination is sent to the parties who have also registered for that area.
The permit to carry out construction work (“autorisation d’exécution des chantiers”) is applied for (and treated) by way of the platform. If a coordinated project is involved the so-called “coordinateur-pilote” submits a common application.
At least 7 days before the start of the operations the administrator has to be informed. This also applies to operations exempted from the permit to carry out construction work. This notification is done by means of PoWalCo.
There are other obligations, such as payment of caution money, the duty to inform the citizens involved, repair of the road surface to its original state, etc.
At least 4 months before the planned start of the building site a call for coordination should be launched (if applicable). Interested parties then have 15 days following the receipt to react by way of PoWalCo.
No later than fifteen days after this time has expired the applicant organises a coordination meeting, with the parties that have given a positive reaction to the call and with the administrators concerned. During that meeting the “coordinateur-pilote” who will lead the coordination, is also designated.
The coordination applicant sends within 7 days following that meeting the minutes to the meeting attendees. Within 7 days following the receipt of the minutes the attendees send their approval, observations or explanations asked.
Within 30 days (unless otherwise agreed) following his designation the “coordinateur-pilote” sends to all other interested parties the common file for application of the permit to carry out construction work. Comments should then be communicated within 7 days. After that time has expired the “coordinateur-pilote” has 7 days to submit the application.
After the submission of the application for the permit to carry out construction work, the applicant receives within 7 days a confirmation of receipt (or request for additional documents) from the competent administrator, who may also ask other administrators involved for advice. After that the applicant receives no later than thirty days the decision to approve or modify.
The decision is valid for 12 months, even though this can be extended by a maximum of 6 months upon request.
Planned vectorisation of the data
At the end of the operations all cable or pipeline operators have to draw up a plan of their installations and pass it on by way of the platform (plan de récolement). Starting from 2028 the plans of cables and pipelines will have to be vectorised: this means that all plans of installations in the Walloon public domain will be drawn up using the same cartographic method.