Building on land


My mother and her sister were given some land from their father (533m²), a resident of Bretagné before I was born. They made enquiries many years ago and were told the area couldn’t be built upon.
My grandfather passed away several years ago and the family have never revisited the prospect of putting the land to use but I yearn to do something with it to maintain my connection to our family in France.

I was hoping I could potentially arrange to clear the land (overgrown with brambles etc. and maybe put a temporary dwelling like a shepherds but on it if we still cannot build on it.

I have included an excerpt from the certificat d’urbanisme below:



réglement national d’urbanisme.


  2. Zone.

  3. Secteur

  4. Restrictions ou interdictions de construire (zone non æ dificandi, espace boisé protégé, etc.) : Toute construction dans ce secteur serait de nature à favoriser une urbanisation dispersée et à compromettre les activités agricoles (article R 111-14-1 du code de l’urbanisme).

  5. Emplacements réservés pour voirie, ouvrages et installations d’intérét général, espaces verts, etc. :

  • Decret № 79-716 du 25 Aoút 1979 approuvant la directive d’aménagement national relative à la protection et à l’aménagement du littoral.


  1. Le Terrain est situé dans un périmetre sensible.


A. URBAN PLANNING PROVISIONS. 1. NATURE OF THE URBAN PLANNING PROVISIONS. NATIONAL URBAN PLANNING REGULATIONS. national urban planning regulations. 2. SITUATION OF THE FIELD WITH REGARD TO THE ABOVE PROVISIONS. 1. Zone. 2. Sector 3. Building restrictions or prohibitions (non æ dificandi zone, protected wooded area, etc.): Any construction in this sector would be likely to favor dispersed urbanization and to compromise agricultural activities (article R 111-14-1 of the code of town planning). 4. Spaces reserved for roads, works and installations of general interest, green spaces, etc. : - Decree No. 79-716 of 25 August 1979 approving the national planning directive relating to the protection and development of the coast. B. ADMINISTRATIVE LIMITATIONS ON THE RIGHT OF OWNERSHIP 2. The Land is located in a sensitive area.

Any help / advice would be massively appreciated as I don’t know where to start.

Thanks in advance.


Sometimes it can switch status of the land has happened here in some places that before was non building land


You start by talking to the local Marie to see if there is any possibility of a change of use, or whether they would accept something like a shepherds hut on it for holiday use.


(because even sheep need a holiday sometimes!)


Hi Lee and Welcome to the forum.

I do know of instances where “sympathetic” constructions have been allowed in “sensitive areas”.

Your Mairie will be the ones to guide you (and to “get on your side”) , even if they are not the ones who will make the final decision on what you can and cannot do.

In my experience, it is best to go in gently, gently. Once they realize you care about the area, you might find them keen to assist you in your endeavours.

I think it is a lovely idea, to maintain the French Connection… :wink:
and wish you well in this venture…


I recall several years ago there was a guy, in Brittany, who had erected a yurt in his own wooded area for his own habitation. The yurt didn’t have any proper sanitation or running water. He was allowed to keep the yurt on the land for eight months of the year then it had to be removed. There was a petition going around to 'Save J…‘s Yurt’ but this failed and the yurt had to be removed. I have a lot of woodland around me and would be very concerned if suddenly a lot of ‘temporary’ constructions started to appear.

The original enquiries were made nearly 40 years ago, so I’m hopeful any new application would be more successful; there are other dwellings nearby🤞

My primary objective is to keep ties with relatives and the area in which my grandfather grew up and many of his neices and nephews still live; it would be great for my children to get to know this part of their heritage. The type of dwelling would be very much a secondary concern and I would be very keen to respect traditional Bréton culture (the land is in Finistere for those of you who are interested) and keep in line with the general appearance of the area; I would hate to have the impact which Joyce describes on an area which is so dear to me.

I will contact the Marie to introduce myself and make tentative enquiries; i’m really hopeful of achieving something as I know my grandfather regretted not using the land while he was in better health.

Thanks for all the advice so far everyone.


Non aedificandi = not for building (two Latin words) as if you didn’t know already :innocent:

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If you apply for agriculture and have a couple of sheep, you will get a chance to even build on N classification. Otherwise you can try camping, but that is about it!

You have to actually be an agriculteur, which is a bit more complicated than having two sheep.