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Advice please re Cert. d'Urbanisme


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Help Please !
We are buying a property near Gueret comprising a detached house with barn attached, and opposite another barn with what looks like a cottage attached. In fact the 'cottage' is just an agricultural store. Immediately adjoining this is a neighbours barn (the whole hamlet is a working farm) with young calves in it for the winter.We intend to restore both properties for habitation.
We made an offer for the property with Cert.d'urbanism passed for the 'cottage' & barn opposite which was accepted. However it was then discovered the Cert. had expired in Oct 03. This has been applied for again (dec) but we have been told it will not be issued until March.
A clause suspensive has been entered in the coprimis subject to this being granted.
We are using our own as well as the vendor's notaire
But !!
Is there a Law forbidding new applications for occupancy of a house within a certain distance of a farm building with animals housed within ?
Once the Cert.d'urb. is issued are we assured we can proceed providing we submit detailed plans?
Our Notaire's view was that as it appears from photos the 'cottage' was always intended to be a house there should be no problem.
Any one help with this ?
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Programme on Channel 4 tonight featured exactly this issue. The couple concerned had had their retirement plans ruined when they found that the barn they hoped to convert to a gite could not be used for occupation because it was within 25 metres of a building used to house livestock on the adjacent working farm. Don't know how much was telly drama, but they seemed genuinely to be stuck.

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Like most things in France the interpretation of the law varies between departments. You have done the best thing, including a clause suspensive in the Compromis, and if the CU is renewed than you will be able to convert your buildings - it is effectively outline planning permission. We were told by our Maire that only barns with power and water were being granted CUs, and he never mentioned the proximity to livestock.It took us six weeks to receive our CU and the sale completed on time.

John and Angie Moore (17)
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Good that you put that clause in; just be sure when you get it (since you say you've got two renovations to do) that if you're not immediately getting both done perhaps you get going on renovating the more problematic one first, lest the CU for it expire beforehand. You never know when the local authorities may have a change of heart... and after expiration of the new CU you won't have your clause to protect you. I seem to recall the CU is good for a year, but I can't be sure (I was offered a clause to obtain the CU but since I had no plans to immediately convert (if ever) some outbuildings, I passed as I was told by my agent that while it would be illustrative of the current local attitude of the authorities it would not guarantee I could get a CU 5 years later. I had no reason to disbelieve that premise, and my agent wasn't pushing me in either direction, I simply made that choice on my own). In any event, you will find out soon enough how much time you'll have. So just remember to be mindful of the expiration date unless you're feeling lucky.

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Thank you all for your help - yes it was the channel 4 prog which caused me to post the question.
Camille - thanks for the very good advice.
Any one else out there with experience of this ?
Does any one know the Mayor of Le Grand Bourg near la Souterraine ?
Teamedup - what is the DDE ?
- Bernard (Bassfish)
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  • 2 years later...

Hi,  Have just read with interest your 2004 entry and I hope you are now happily  living next door to the calves!We seem to be in a similar situation but have all our permission..We have purchased a barn with a cottage attached, but not with access to the barn,and a second building consisting of a cottage with pigsty attached with a connecting internal corridor. A neighbouring farmer has a barn housing cattle and machinary.We have also purchased a barn that we  were told from the beginning could not be converted for domestic use due to its proximity to the cattle and the fact that it had only ever been a barn

.We always understood La Porcherie( cottage with pigsty) could be converted as it has an internal corridor although this is  only 30m from neighbours barn and were not advised  not ness. to  obtain a cert de Urbanisme for this.

We have a CU  and PdeC for barn with cottage,origional project.CU stating conditions 

1.  convert barn to dwelling

2. room for sewage system.

Last week we received a letter from neighbour farmer saying that he was opposing our permis de construire as  the distance from his barn is 46m. I understand law is 50m but assumed(perhaps stupidly) that all measurements needed would have been carried out by the relevant professional. The panneau de chantier has been displayed since October '06.

We have been advised to contact an independant advocate,  which we are attempting to do, but are becoming increasingly frustrated as getting anything moving in france takes so long.The Marie have sent the CU etc back to the relevant body.

Would be interested if through your experiences you  could advise/reassure in any way?

Many thanks, Sarah.



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