The temporary occupancy permit (TOP) of the Villa Octopussy renewed again

What is a TOP?

For specific reasons and on a temporary basis, a private individual is entitled to occupy the public domain only according to the rules in force and only after obtaining a Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP).

In this case, at the seaside, they concern the maritime public domain and are the responsibility of the State. Granted for a defined period of up to several years, they are issued by prefects.

Usually, the seaside must be accessible to the public; this is where the problem arises with the Villa Octopussy and the renewal of its TOP.

Despite the regulations, the former Von Opel property, which has been at sea level since 1956, has always been granted a temporary occupation permit for the maritime domain.

In view of the regulations in force on the protection and management of the environment as well as public access, the renewal of the TOP for the Villa Octopussy in Les Canoubiers is a matter of debate.

Originally, in 1956, there was talk of the construction of a small dock, built by Baron Von Opel. In the end, it was not to be, as several floors were added above the quay. In spite of many protests, the former villa "Tour et Voiles", owned by the SARL Financière du Sud, still stands.

Villa Octopussy

Against regulations

At the time, the occupation of the public maritime domain and the shoreline by private individuals was much less controlled. Today, the rules are no longer the same, as is their application.

Of course, the durability of the Villa Octopussy on the seashore surprises most people; nevertheless, other surrounding buildings are also concerned by the subject.

Even though the originally existing small covered harbour has been filled in, since a circular from the Ministry of the Environment of January 2012, the villa should no longer receive a temporary occupation permit. In addition, the offshore rockfill serving as a protective dyke is still there.

Today, the services of the Var prefecture have just renewed this TOP for 5 years. With an end date of 31 December last year, the last authorisation was granted in 2016.

What are the reasons that exclude this villa from the regulations in force?

According to the departmental administration, only boathouses, quays and platforms, floating pontoons and protective rockfill are prohibited. The residential tower is not affected by these regulations in any way. For good reason, the Villa Octopussy has an original configuration, the only one of its kind in the Gulf.

It is essential to specify that the commune has no room for manoeuvre in terms of TOP on the State domain. Indeed, the commune can only interfere in building permit applications.

Thus, the Villa Octopussy will not cease to be part of the scenery any time soon.