Land border issue

The walls of my house are in my French neighbour’s field. It is agriculteral land. He has deceided to build a hangar to house his tractor. He began without telling us. Does he

A. Have the right to remove our drainpipe without permission

B. Raise the level of the ground by a good 30 centimetres.

I haven’t seen his plans but it may block light to our windows.

He has permission to build the hangar.

I have spoken to the mayor, who is supportive but hasn’t approached him about the drainpipe.



Nick, the plot thickens slightly. The son of the farmer met me in the street and we had a friendly chat. I know he's not keen on his father. My wife then met a distant relative of the farmer. She told my wife that the mayor has tried to stop the building of the hangar, but isn't able to do so. The feeling is that the farmer knows someone in the planning department. The guy who lives across the road from the hangar when it is built is furious. So angry that he has resigned from a committee in our village that he has been part of for twenty+ years. The feeling really is against the farmer. So, at the very least he's lost his friends.


Thanks for all your help Nick. I'm not holding my breath. But if I can be a pain in the ass. All the French who live across the way and will face the new hangar are up in arms. So at least its not an anti Brit thing. We have been here for twenty+ years. My wife and children are fluent in French. So, we behave in the correct way.

thanks again.

Best wishes


Plan local d'Urbanisme - Local urban plan

Plan d'Occupation du Sol - Ground occupation plan

and yes, they will be fully au fait with these terms.

You want to be asking if there is any "Distance reglementaire entre constructions existantes et neuves à respecter." - Is there any regulation distance to be respected in which ever of the two documents they are currently working to.

What is the French for PLU and POS? Or will the mairie understand the initials?

Another thing to really check is: has he really got permission or has he simply applied for it? The dates on the planning submissions, the third party objection rights period and date of commencement of the works are all important.
While you are at the Mairie, ask to see the Permis de construire. Translated as the building permit and any conditions therein.
We may be clutching at straws as he may have done everything by the book.
Let me know how you get on.

Hope it all turns out for the best.

That makes a lot of sense as to what he’s done. Will check with the mairie.
Thanks Nick. You’ve been very helpful.
Best wishes

I’ll try. He can build on the boundary.
But if he chooses to build not on the boundary line then he must build the building at a minimum of 3m away.
That is the law. There is a further part to it. Your local commune will either have a PLU (a local urban plan) or a POS (Ground occupation coefficient).
Within that there may be local regulations governing distances between properties and these supersede the law.
It would be worth asking at the Mairie if they have a PLU or a POS and whether there are any specified distances.

Thanks Nick, can you put it in layman’s terms?


I put the last response up without reading through to the end of the article, so apologies for that. The law (Code de l'Urbanisme R.111-18&19) that if the new construction is offset from the boundary, then the closest point to the boundary must be offset by 3m and this increases to 5m if the construction is 10m high. However there is a proviso that the new construction can be built right up to and on the boundary.

Unless someone else does it before me I will try and check out the law on right to light, but can't do it straight away.


1. The pipe isn't underground.

2. The field is agricultural land. A notaire tells is as long as the hangar is one centimetre away we can't complain.

3. How is it in the farmers field? That was the way the house was built in the 1850's. It was a labourers cottage for the farmer.


Hi, is the drainpipe an underground drainpipe. If it is underground you will normally have a servitude in your favour.

Your right of light issue may well be valid however it depends on the proximity of the building.

Can I ask out of curiosity how the walls of your house are in your neighbour's field?