How to react to official notice of adjacent land being sold

Received a registered letter from the Departement (46) today.

It’s the formal notice of a parcel of land being sold next to my property, and the opportunity to declare an interest in purchasing all or part.

It’s fully agricultural right now, but I suspect at a point nearer than I thought in the future, has the potential for a more commercial use combined with 2 properties adjacent on the other side, and possibly mine as well.

It’s an odd shaped parcel that seems to have been left when land was requisitioned to make a major road. Acquiring this parcel, or the part of it between me and the main road (the opporunity to purchase ‘all or part’ is an option in the official letter), would connect me to the main road at the back, as well as the very minor road at the front where our main entrance is. (Though permission might never be given to access the main road at that point. But I bet it would, for a commercial development.)

I am speculating this could be an innocent local sale with farming continuing, or the farmer buying back the ‘leftover’ land that was requisitioned for the main road around 15-18 years ago, but not used for the road. However a farmer does make a load of hay on it each year. So if the Dept themselves still own it (looks like they do, on the plan) he must have had.some sort of licence to use it meanwhile.
Not sure why he’d want to buy it back now though which, defensively, is what worries me .

I don’t want any more land unless for defensive reasons. (Not sure I could find the dosh either, but will try, if needs must.)

Other than enquiring at the mairie, what are the best steps to take to find out what’s going on and, in case necessary, protect my position from being cut off from the main road in future, with that corner of the parcel being sold with perhaps vehicles going in and out all day in future, entering a much bigger joined-up commercial development of that and the 2 or 3 parcels joined up on the other side of the land, potentially arising next door at some point in the future?

I am happy not to ruffle local feathers if it looks like a normal agricultural sale, more worried about if it morphs into something else.

I will also ask my former neighbour from nearby if he knows anything. Could the notaire that sold us the property add anything if contacted?

As I understand it, part of the process involved in selling any land of this kind is to inform the adjoining land owners, so that they can express an interest, or lack thereof, in acquiring the land.
Depending on who currently owns the land (presumably the commune ?), and given that it appears to have been agricultural at the offset, then this would probably be administered via the SAFER. Generally, the SAFER will fix a minimum price for the sale of the land, and after that its a bidding war between those who want to buy it, potentially with preference going to those who are “in” with the current mayor or conseil municipal. Not exactly democratic, but happens seemingly fairly often, especially when different bids are close to each other.

This is my understanding of the buying process - if you want to avoid future development without your say-so, then you should probably consider buying it.

One upshot of having a non-agricultural private buyer interested is that they are often prepared to go higher in the bidding than most farmers. Obviously, you would need to be aware of local sensitivities, as things can take an acrimonious turn even if everything is done by the book.

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It’s on Departement letterhead with underneath, “Direction des Infrastructures de Mobilité” [surely that means " Roads" ?]. And then in small print “Service Affaires foncières, administratives et comptables”.

So not looking like SAFER? or is the new name of SAFER, SAFFAC (which appears as a contact in the text) which again worries me.

Personally… I would go and speak with folk at my Mairie… but, I notice you discount that route, so I’ll leave you to it.

No, expecting to do this even though it will involve a very long trek on foot

Might be an idea to phone/contact beforehand, just to ensure that you can see someone who will be able to talk this through with you.

Just thinking aloud.

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