Saturday, 2 April 2016

Renovation Project - Planning permission in France

Renovation Project - Planning permission in France

We have decided we are definitely taking down the garage so this means that I have apply for planning permission to demolish it. I am not looking forward to this, but it has to be done,

I make an appointment at the Mairie and visit the planning officer, I take plenty of photographs with me to show him what it looks like and explain what we want to do, the planning officer would be happy if we took it down tomorrow, he is a big advocate of traditional buildings, but he cannot give the permission we have to apply to central agency.

It is a myth that the French Mairie is in charge of everything, because we live in a national park all changes have to go through a full planning process and be agreed. Even when you want to take down a monstrosity and expose a traditional Breton house!

But he is really good and tells me what to write.

The process for applying for permission for building or demolishing is as follows:
  • Take a photograph of what building looks like now
  • Using tracing paper, draw over the photograph, to show what it will look like when you have made the changes
  • Complete the forms, these are often quite extensive, do not be put off, they are standard forms so you will not need to fill in every section, (ask at the Mairie and somebody should be willing to go through them with you, my planning officer highlighted each section that required completing)
  • You will need a copy of your cadastral (if you cannot get this yourself, again ask for assistance from the Mairie)
  • You will need four copies of everything. Staple the tracing drawing to the photograph, this means that the officer can see what it is like now and what it will look like when completed. Then put all the papers in separate pockets.
  • When complete ask the planning officer to check through them.
  • Ensure you get a stamped copy of your permis de demolis (this is the one we need for demolition) you will also need a copy for any planning permissions. This is your proof that you have applied and the dossier has been sent off (sometimes things do go missing in the system!)

Once everything has been completed it is just a case of waiting for your reply with either consent or permissions declined.

Keep your fingers crossed for us


  1. This is so helpful! We will eventually be putting two velux into the roof of our French house, and will need planning permission. Now I understand the process, so it should go more smoothly.

    1. Hi Kiwi, glad you found it useful, the process is very similar for changing or building the Mairie will give you the correct forms and good luck :)

    2. Hi Jenny, I have blog-hopped over here from Frugal Queen's blog and I already love your blog. Am starting at the beginning but better go to bed now as I have to work tomorrow!! I left England at age 21 (am 57 now) as I hated the weather. For the last 27 years I have lived in Haute Savoie (between Geneva and Annecy) and spent another 6 years living in Switzerland before that. I love France and having travelled a lot I can think of nowhere I would rather be. I am going to enjoy reading your blog (and while I admire you so much I have to say I think you are totally mad - but in the nicest possible way!). Anna

    3. thank you so much, and so nice to have you on board :) we holidayed in Switzerland a few years ago, and camped on the shore of Lake Geneva, it was absolutely stunning (just a pity we didn't notice the snow capped mountains with all our summer camping gear!)