Illegal construction

Back in 2017 my neighbour dug massive excavations in his garden and used the material to the raise the level if his garden by 2.5 meters. in one hole he built a shed, above the rest he built a wooden terrace.

Everything he builds is an ugly and a structural nightmare using scraps of wood and odds and ends I’m sure he salvages here and there. He also built it using my boundary wall for support.

His house is within 50m of a 14th century chapel.

After my countless complaints in 2018 the Mairie instructed him to restore the garden to its originals state (i.e. demolish the lot) . He ignored that.

The Mairie passed on its report to the High Court in Brest. I’ve never heard any more.

There is no possible way the building could be deemed safe let alone anything else. I’m a Civil & Structural Engineer, and former Building inspector I should know.

In 2020 he sought and was given approval to build a veranda on top of the illegal structure. This is in spite of a huge portfolio of documents with the Mairie condemning this dangerous eyesore.

This amounts to criminal negligence by whoever approved the new construction.

Since the High Cout has presumably done nothing, The Mairie has compounded the problem, where else does one go to? Is there anyone in Government that effectively follows through with condemnation orders?

Sounds appalling, maybe one hot summerevening, having plent y of water ready on your side, toss a lighted cigarette over the fence and see what happens (but avoid leaving DNA traces).

Can’t believe I just wrote that, yet on the other hand sometimes needs must …

However, you are no doubt an adult of sound mind and so I hereby disclaim any responsibility for the above suggestion!

We’re currently trying to deal with a neighbour who has been friendly for years, but didn’t tell us that he owned the land on the other side of a high mediaeval party wall in our garden that last year he told us was in danger of falling. We found out from the mairie that he was the owner of the plot on the other side of the wall and when we told him that we knew, there was just silence (not even an embarrassed silence, just silence). The mairie recommended a local artisan (who of course didn’t get back to us). Unfortunately our boundary wall doesn’t seem to be covered by insurance, but one might be tempted to let it collapse anyway as it would land on our neighbour’s carpentry workshop - he’s semi-retired and presumably it’s insured.

We can afford to get the wall made safe, but we can’t find anyone who wants to do it!

I have a similar lunatic neighbour, but luckily quite a distance away and out of sight of our house.

Is there anyway you can examine the planning permissions online?

Does he spend a lot of time in his carpentry workshop? If so, letting nature take its course maybe the best solution :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

If nothing else, “stories” like this make me think I was right to build my own house on a spot of land that was legally proper for such constructions.

So far, pas de probleme

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I wonder whether he’s paid any property improvement tax (hint)!


I suggest you write to your Deputy, setting out the abuse of the regulations, issues of voisinage etc etc and ask him or her to uphold the court condemnation order.

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How appalling for you and how disturbing that those in authority seem to do little to uphold it.
this is one instance where our lack of voting power leaves us at a disadvantage.

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The “Mairie” (city hall) is involved to the extent that they also authorized the building to be done. See a lawyer about bringing the Mairie to trial and include the fact that you are living next to a “dépotoir” (dump). You may or may not win but you just might get the town’s mayor to do something!
By the way, how close is your house to anything your neighbor has built? You could get him on the fact that what is right next to your property is also a fire-hazard. Maybe. You must see a lawyer who has some practice in such matters. So, ask around …

Thank for that. I like that word ‘Dépotoir.’
I also like your fire hazard angle. His abomination is only 2m away from my new (approved) conservatory. In fact it’s just as likely his abomination will collapse onto my new conservatory rather than set fire to it.