Find the answers to many of your expat questions here

View Latest Posts

You're missing out...

As a member you can enjoy exclusive info and offers.


Neighbor taking photos of our barn

Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - Created: 3 years ago
0 0
Sorry no image available

10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

Sorry no image available
Posted by ingetje - 3 years ago

its onlaways been up to 170 square meters no architect needed but anything over you need one. let say your house is 140m and you want an extension for 40m total comes to 180 so you would need an architect for the 40m extension! and wait to long and they will change it to 140m in the future (talking about it already).

It might be 800meters for an agriculture building but that would mean that you keep is as that, for animals and not for housing! And this might only be for farmers by the way, but not sure.

if you plan to do change a window to door and a change of use then first you will have to simply apply for the change of use, with pictures from before and after, how many rooms, square meters etc (dont forget electrics and fosse etc). then when you have the change of use approved then do a declaration prealable for the window to door change. thats how we did it with no problems a couple years ago, but things have changed since and its not that easy any more!

good luck!


Sorry no image available
Posted by geegee42 - 3 years ago

Everybody probably has had different experiences,the main problem in France is each commune seems to have its own way of interpreting various laws,although regulations seem to be national ,it seems a lot of mairies either choose to or not to adhere to them.I am in the slow process of turning a barn into habitable building and have spoken with the mairie about one or two changes and been told basically to get on with it,yet when I wanted to change the entrance to my house ,the mayor had to come and have a look ,when I wanted to change the entrance to my barn a chap from the planning department had to come and look.A lot of French continuessly moan about variations in planning regs from commune to commune and quite a few go to court over it.

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

All change! If you were confused before, prepare to be even more confused.

After talking to the Mairie. consulting the official websites and taking advice from others apparently "in the know" I was convinced as per my post of yesterday, but after one final consultation with the Cideral this morning, things are not so simple.

Primarily it would appear that it depends on the appropriate zone classification whether any renovation, development, etc is possible, and a Certificate D'Urbanism would indicate the possibility of renovation or similar, but the different parcels of my land have different classifications. For instance, I can renovate the barn to habitable use, but I cannot alter, add to, repair or touch the hangar in any way, neither internally nor externally, not even for agricultural use. It is as good as a Protection Order on it. I did not ask about when it eventually falls down. Whereas on other pieces of land I can build new upto 40 square metres with a simple Declaration, and on other parts even larger buildings.

The information on the offical website is either incorrect or the Cideral have their own interpetation. If I wish to renovate to habitable use, I must submit a Permis de Construire and use an architect for anything more than 170 square metres, even though I am not considering altering the facade. Any previous renovation is also taken into account in that calculation of 170 square metres. For instance, if I renovate part of a building, say 100 square metres, for habitable use, I can then only renovate a further 70 square metres, with a declaration and no architect, otherwise a permis and an architect is required.

Furthermore, if I wish to repair only, I must submit a Declaration Prealable de Travaux, which is again contrary to the official website.

Moreover, on the barn, I can alter the facade for continued agricultural use with a simple Declaration.

Finally, one other point, on which I would appreciate the benefit of others' experience, I calculate the Taxe d'amenagement to be as much as 60 euros per square metre. From here:  https://www.service-public.fr/professionnels-entreprises/vosdroits/F23263

Does anyone have any different calculations or experience?


Sorry no image available
Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

Oops, one other small comment to my last point, re submitting home-made plans for Permis de Construire, the limit for habitation use is 170 square metres, but for agricultural use the limit is 800 square metres.

So if one was considering a Permis de Construire for a barn, as long as it was less than 800 square metres, you could do your own plans! That's a big barn!

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

Having done a fair bit of research and consultation on this subject over the last few weeks, I'm now confident that we can renovate the barn to a habitable condition with a simple Declaration Prealable de Travaux, even though there is well over 170 square metres involved, as long as we do not alter the external facade of the building, or the "bearing structures". Although it would appear that a conversion of a window to a door would be allowed. I'm still awaiting advice on recovering a curent corrugated small part of the roof with slate, and facing an exisitng small block wall with stone.(the rest of the building is slate and stone)

My information is from this official website:


and the appropriate bit from this page:

"Une déclaration préalable est demandée dans le cas d'un changement de destination d'un local (par exemple, transformation d'un local commercial en local d'habitation) sans modification des structures porteuses ou de la façade du bâtiment."

Moreover, I could simply repair without even a Delaration Prealable de Travaux. Fom the same page:

"À l'inverse, les travaux consistant à restaurer l'état initial du bâtiment ne nécessitent pas de déclaration préalable."

If we were changing the use em>and altering the facade of the building, then a Permis de Construire would be required: 


Un permis est également exigé si les travaux :

ont pour effet de modifier les structures porteuses ou la façade du bâtiment, lorsque ces travaux s'accompagnent d'un changement de destination (par exemple, transformation d'un local commercial en local d'habitation),"

For those that require a tanslation you can turn on the google translate facility.

On another but similar point: it is possible to submit your own plan for a Permis de Construire for a proposal up to 170 square metres, as long as the proposal is for your own buildings:

"En dessous de ces seuils, le recours à un architecte est facultatif uniquement si le particulier construit pour lui-même."


Sorry no image available
Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

We had a visit from the Marie this afternoon and he took further photos.

He also explained that a change of use would be considered favourable in the future for the other two buildings, and the garage!

He specifically said that the application could be a long way into the future, even from a future generation.

It may be the stone construction of the buildings that could sway the decision because he specifically mentoined the stone construction.

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

That link is excellent, Noblesse, thank you.

I still haven't talked to the Marie. i will do in the next week or so.

It could be that by complying with the survey and being polite might win me some favour if I so wish to approach the Marie, about any possible PDC in the future.

My intepretation of that link is that potential "conversions" might be granted a PDC in the future, if an interest is expressed now, even no fomal application is submitted now. Does anyone disagree with my interpetation?

Sorry no image available
Posted by geegee42 - 3 years ago

Sorry didn't notice the link but have now read it so understand thanks,have not seen anyone round our way taking photos but I hope the usual French common sense attitude will apply,my experience here has been that the local authorities always apply common sense over whatever regulations that are supposed to apply.

Sorry no image available
Posted by noblesse-404553 - 3 years ago

As I said in my post above, THIS is what they are doing


In a small commune, 'someone from the Mairie' WILL be a neighbour, so I suppose that's why the person taking the photos introduced themselves this way. Perhaps, although a neighbour, they had never been introduced to the OP and took advantage of the opportunity to say hello.

As the OP appears to want to keep the barn a barn, they will probably not be affected by the new policy, but anyone who has outbuildings they plan to develop in the future would be well-advised to find out if their property is involved.  

Telling the people taking the inventory to "Get off my land!" will do no good, and may even harm relations with the Mairie in future!


Sorry no image available
Posted by geegee42 - 3 years ago

Could you please go to the mairie and ask why he was taking photos as we are all intrigued.