Moving a Chemin Rural with Public Access


(Sue Etherton) #1

Does anyone know of, or have experience of, a chemin rural (with public access) being moved? If the road is moved should it be the commune who employs the contrator and supervises the work?


Protentially (although we are still protesting) our neighbours are going to swap land with the commune (so that they can make a garden directly next to their house) and move the chemin. They are going to employ the contractor and then the road will get handed back to the commune. Nothing is written down about a qualified contractor doing the job. So essentially they could DIY it! It is important this is done right as it is our only access to our property and we run a B&B/Gite and have done for 10 years.


An enquiry has been held. The Commissaire made no references to our concerns or points in his report. He is favourable, but based on what? ........He is a friend of the Father of the guy who will potentially get the work!!


Have written a registered letter to the Maire outlining again our original concerns and points. The Counseil Municpal meets 17th Nov to decide. I intend to be there. What can we do to be heard? If this is not done with guarantees; outside of our season, properly so that access is the same as now and supervised by the commune, we could be totally up **** creek without a paddle..................


Any help appreciated.


Can attach files if anyone is interested or thinks they can help.


(Sue Etherton) #2

Thanks Guillaume.

I can find no case precendent for a situation like ours. The public enquiry has happened Commissaire Enqueteur say he is "favorable" but did not detail anything. Conseil Municipal has voted in favour of the "modification de assiette".

So essentially the land between our neighbours and the Commune will be swopped by acte de administration. Our neighbours then contract someone privately to build a new chemin.

I was told by our local councillor that they can not compel them to use an entreprise competant in public works. Despite the fact that the commune will be the owners of the road at the end of it.

What happens if it all goes badly wrong??

We are meeting with the neighbours today to ask them to make a written agreement with their chosen contracter that the work must start and be finished between x date and y date, and that if this does not happen he must compensate us for lost business. Are we going in the right direction here? It seems are only defence. Appreciate any help.

p.s could only attend conseil meeting, was not allowed to speak!


(Guillaume Barlet-Batada) #3

Dear Sue,

The decision to create a chemin rural must be made by the conseil municipal after a public enquiry.

The fact that the deed of exchange is carried out as an administrative deed has no bearing on the rules applying to the chemin rural and is an equivalent of the notarial deed (only much cheaper).

Your registered letter should, by law, be given an answer within 2 months. The Mairie cannot refuse to provide any information in writing regarding this matter as it affects the public community.

Please keep us posted.

I hope this helps.


(Sue Etherton) #4

Thank you for replying.

The chemin is a one with public access.

Further information I have received via our local councillor is that the chemin is being "exchange" between the commune and the neighbour and the process is being done under Acte de Aministration. So it will not be done through a notaire.Just through an agreed exchange process. The Mairie taking possession of the new chemin after it has been signed off.

I have been told that there is nothing law to compel our neighbours to:

Use a qualified contracter in public works.

Agree that the work will be carried out during the off tourist season (Nov - March).

So there you have it having lived here for 10 years, paid all the proper taxes etc etc we have no rights in this instance!!


(Guillaume Barlet-Batada) #5

Dear Sue,

It seems that your issue must be considered from two different angles: rules relating to the chemin rural and rules relating to access to locked plot of land.

Although this would need to be validly justified, the chemin rural can only be sold by the commune if it ceases to be intended for public usage and the sale must follow a very strict procedure in which you should be included or at least be formally notified.

If, as it seems to be the case, you have no issues about the sale itself but more about the renewal of the path, the rules relating to chemin rural, if complied with, should ensure that the limits of the land are correctly set (you should also be included in this procedure).

The rules relating to chemin rural are silent as regards to the way a chemin rural can be (re)settled. However, as your land must, by law, have an access to a public thoroughfare and be useable as such, the Mairie (or the person dealing with the works on the Mairie’s behalf) should comply with you requirements to access the land (e.g. being useable by car).

The first step would be to confirm that the path is officially a chemin rural as it will determine the procedure and rules applied.

I hope this helps.


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #6

We had experience of closing of a chemin that ran around our house next to the exterior wall, which would have prevented us from extending the original house.

The Maire was very supportive and offered to sell it to us, and we agreed a price of 300 euros.

Its existence had been created as previously several people owned parcels of land at the back of the house, and as we had purchased the various pieces from them, we then remained the only people who needed access, so the path was no longer needed, hence the Maire's decision to let us allow us to buy it.

Access is viewed as a fundamental right, so I would go along to see your Notaire to advise you.

Best of luck