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Neighbour objecting to Permis de Construire


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Does anyone have experience of the process that an objection to a permis to constuire follows ?

Our Cert d'Urbanisme was granted before our sale over a year ago. A condition of sale, and clearly written on the C d' U, was that we could convert a barn with cottage attached (at present they are not internally connected).

We have since been granted a Permis de Construie for this work.

A Panneau de chantier has been up since Oct ' 06, 

We now have a neighbour stating that our barn with attached cottage is only 46m from his barn housing cattle.He states that it should be 50m. His letter of objection arrived in Feb 07 and he has apparently complained to the Chambre d' Agriculture.

The Marie has said he is happy with our application but has sent the whole thing back to ???? even though the only person to measure the disputed distance is the farmer! (We are in England unable to go out to France until April)

We now have to wait for another decision.

Has someone not done their job properly at sale? Notaire - EstateAgent?

We have been advised to contact an advocate which is proving very difficult because they never reply to calls or mails.

Glad to hear of anyones experiences / advice.

David and Sarah

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I know there has to be a regulatory distance between cattle and housing. I don't know what that distance is.

As far as I know, the only way to obtain a certified measure is to ask a géomètre to do it. His work is certified and his word is final.

If there is a dispute about boundaries, you can also try to share his fee with the other party.

More details about géomètres here: http://www.geometre-expert.fr/

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Regardless of the rights or wrongs (you will have to fact the fact that, if you want to sort it, you will need to be here, or pay someone an awful lot of money!) - I reckon that your neighbour is out of time. My reading of the rules suggests that he has 2 months from the time the board went up.

As far as fault is concerned - yours, I'd guess, I'm afraid. There are no "searches" (in the UK sense) performed by the Notaire and I doubt if the Agent measured the distance (which I think is 20M minimum) - for him to do so would mean that he knew!

I'd contact the DDE first (this is to whom the objection would have been passed). But, you are wasting your time trying to telephone/faxor email and functionary - only visits in person really work. Then the Notaire, who dealt with the sale. An avocat will a) cost a fortune & b) take years to resolve anything!

Bonne chance!


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I am not sure if they are out of time. If the agricole people get involved then they may have the last say. It is after all a hygiene thing, and he DDASS may get involved too.

Get the geometre to do their stuff, it will cost, but if it shows a 50 distance then there is no problem. IF there is less than a 50 metre distance, then you need to get checking up as to how to get around it, if you can.

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It is true that new buildings, or extensions to existing buildings, that will be used as dwellings must be a minimum distance from existing buildings used to house livestock.  The actual distances involved differ according to the type of animal, but for cattle it seems as if the minimum distance could be as low as 25 metres  http://www.bas-rhin.chambagri.fr/pdf/  although I don't know if the distances differ by department.  You could try googling for "reglement sanitaires departemental distances minimales animaux" for your department.

This is governed by article L.111-3 of the Code Rural.  In some cases it is possible to negotiate the distances involved, but to do this the application has to go to the Chambre d'Agriculture and sometimes a public enquiry for consideration (see below).

Article L111-3

(Loi nº 99-574 du 9 juillet 1999 art. 105 Journal Officiel du 10 juillet 1999)


(Loi nº 2000-1208 du 13 décembre 2000 art. 204 Journal Officiel du 14 décembre 2000)


(Loi nº 2005-157 du 23 février 2005 art. 79 Journal Officiel du 24 février 2005 en vigueur le 1er janvier 2006)


(Loi nº 2006-11 du 5 janvier 2006 art. 19 Journal Officiel du 6 janvier 2006)

   Lorsque des dispositions législatives ou réglementaires soumettent à des conditions de distance l'implantation ou l'extension de bâtiments agricoles vis-à-vis des habitations et immeubles habituellement occupés par des tiers, la même exigence d'éloignement doit être imposée à ces derniers à toute nouvelle construction et à tout changement de destination précités à usage non agricole nécessitant un permis de construire, à l'exception des extensions de constructions existantes.
   Dans les parties actuellement urbanisées des communes, des règles d'éloignement différentes de celles qui résultent du premier alinéa peuvent être fixées pour tenir compte de l'existence de constructions agricoles antérieurement implantées. Ces règles sont fixées par le plan local d'urbanisme ou, dans les communes non dotées d'un plan local d'urbanisme, par délibération du conseil municipal, prise après avis de la chambre d'agriculture et enquête publique.
   Dans les secteurs où des règles spécifiques ont été fixées en application de l'alinéa précédent, l'extension limitée et les travaux rendus nécessaires par des mises aux normes des exploitations agricoles existantes sont autorisés, nonobstant la proximité de bâtiments d'habitations.
   Par dérogation aux dispositions du premier alinéa, une distance d'éloignement inférieure peut être autorisée par l'autorité qui délivre le permis de construire, après avis de la chambre d'agriculture, pour tenir compte des spécificités locales. Une telle dérogation n'est pas possible dans les secteurs où des règles spécifiques ont été fixées en application du deuxième alinéa.
   Il peut être dérogé aux règles du premier alinéa, sous réserve de l'accord des parties concernées, par la création d'une servitude grevant les immeubles concernés par la dérogation, dès lors qu'ils font l'objet d'un changement de destination ou de l'extension d'un bâtiment agricole existant dans les cas prévus par l'alinéa précédent.

(source http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/ )

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I've found the minimum distances for the Vienne, which is the area the OP is referring to.

For less than 10 cows, the minimum distance is 25 metres, for between 10 and 39 cows it's 50 metres, for more than that it looks like it's 100 metres. 

There's a nifty little diagram explaining it all on page 2 here http://www.vienne.chambagri.fr/infospratiques/FAQ/juridique/VR79.pdf

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Thank you one and all for all the information, a little worrying but we now have some leads. Still can't understand how you can have a Cert d' Urbanisme with written approval of the barn extension  on it ! We waited many months for this and it was a condition of sale, yet by all accounts it may be worthless?! We always understood that the fact that there is a house adjoining the barn helps your cause.

Cathy your article is very helpful, the nasty farmer is bound to bring in an extra cow to bring his number up to 11. We actually live in the Haute Vienne (87) I wonder if the rules are the same in this area.

Village gossip suggests the farmer does not have permission the keep cattle in the barn, only hay and machinery. The barn is 20 plus or so years pld andoin the centre of the village. Can anyone throw any light on the date the legislation was passed re human habitation and livestock.

Re measurements, would they be from the closest points of the respective buildings or (I'm hoping) centre to centre? Wishful thinking...?


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Sarah,  If your new neighbour is being this petty now, do you think he will be OK to live alongside over the longer term ? 

I'm not saying 'give in' but I am saying he may be like my dearly departed grandfather who was always deeply dissappointed when he went to the bank and didn't get into an argument with one of the tellers [:D]  I loved old grandpa dearly, but I wouldn't have wanted to live next door to him.

This farmer may have a chip on his shoulder and take pleasure in doing whatever he can to erode your quality of life. Something that won't be lessened if you stitch him up on the off chance that he shouldn't have cattle. Then again, a guarded comment about his situation may change his attitude. But which way?[:)]


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