I am in America working on a transition to move to France. I can't help with practical solutions, but I empathize with your situation because I know what you are going through. I have lived with a similar situation for 2/12 years. My village in upstate New York is the only one of several villages in the area that has no ordinances. Federal EPA guidelines mean little. I often feel trapped because noisy neighbors make it difficult to sell my house. There are vulnerable times when the drain of psychic energy seems unbearable, particularly since I work from my home. I dislike the feelings of anger that arise.
In the bigger picture, I noticed the other day that a neighbor up the road who has been particularly sensitive to my situation now has the same situation as his neighbors have set up a business with several trucks coming and going.
My rural area is in the throes of the fracking issue. Painfully, it has come down to neighbor against neighbor. Some, particularly those with more acreage, want money from their land. A neighbor, who, without words, once helped me with snow removal, now ignores me because he knows instinctively that I am against fracking.
I was told by the landowner next door to go back where I came from because I have not lived here 50 years and my family has not lived here for over 100 years. I was told I know nothing about "rednecks.” Of course, the landowner does not know me. She simply cannot accept the idea of change. Change happened and, at least in my case, I brought life into the community. It is now equally my house and my community because I made it so.
What I see is a clash of cultures and different values related to rural existence. The gap widens as people struggle to survive harsher economic times. This is happening everywhere - in France, America, and elsewhere.
I could move anywhere and find the same situation. Rural life is what it is these days unless one has the money to build barricades. Alternatively, I continue to believe that somewhere buried in the problem there is community dialogue and networking potential to help individual differences – a shared reason why we are all living in the same location. I found that building a unique network of support and in general face-to-face contacts with local officials and neighbors, aside from letter writing, has been a good start in this situation. At the least I feel more empowered and I have raised some awareness.
On another note, in reading some of the posts I am struggling to understand the difference between being "French" and being "English.” I wonder what being an American will mean in a new context or will I find commonalities in cultural terms?
Leisure for me is creating something or preparing something. The plight of the small farmer and the future of sustainable agriculture are an important to me. Commodification over production often worries me.
As an aside, I found reviewing information for arguable benchmarks such as the following helpful with information gathering on noise abatement: http://www.lhsfna.org/files/bpguide.pdf