Planning - changes to specification

We are converting a barn in 47. We obtained our Permis in Feb 2018 and started work last year. The plans were produced for a “grand design” in the hope that the barn would become a forever home, but with all the hurdles we now face, it will be just used for holidays.
As a result, we can no longer justify such a massive expensive conversion and want to re- arrange the interior, which in simple terms means no longer building a first floor and placing everything on the ground floor.
There was also permission for a wrap around terrace and a garage which we will no longer build.
Externally, the building will not change at all from it’s original appearance on one side. On the opposite side the permitted ground floor windows will be installed as per the plan but others to the first floor left out. The whole building will be less rather than more. eg only one of 6 velux’s required
As our P de C is no longer “valid” (Feb21) will we need full planning reapplied for? Are interior layout changes ok? A visit to the Mairie in the first instance when I’m able to get there? We live in a small rural commune with no near neighbours.

It’s a shame you didn’t apply to have it extended before it expired. I don’t think you can apply for an extension after it has expired. Although, since the project has changed it is probably better to start afresh and submit a new application in any case.

What the planning lady at our mairie told us this year was that we needed a permis de construire for any changes that extended the human livable part of the building by more than 20 sq m and also for anything that altered the external appearance (different roof covering, bigger windows etc.)

Works that were bigger than that needed full planning permission as they had to be signed off by an architect. (Not quite right - see note below)

HOWEVER, it is entirely down the the mairie concerned exactly how the rules are implemented so your idea @Tony_Denton that you should go and talk to them at the mairie is absolutely spot on :smiley:

Correction to the above - first paragraph is correct, second one is not. What I should have said is that a Permit de Construire needs to be signed off by an architect but if you have smaller works than the 20sqm addition, you can use an Attestation Prealable, which you can do yourself and defaults to being accepted if the Mairie doesn’t object within a month of submission,

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So @AngelaR , did you need permission from the Maire for your wonderful new external decking ? We are having an extension built to existing external decking (attached to the house) of about 11 m2. We got 3 separate devis and all three people said no permissions were necessary. I’m not so sure.

Yes @hairbear , the decking required permission but only because it was more than a metre off the ground. If it had been a normal deck on the ground, we could have had up to 20 sq m new area without permission (similar limit for greenhouses and polytunnels I understand, which we are about to try out.) The regulations for this changed 1st January this year.

However, the permission needed was an attestation prealable, which is assumed to be approved if you don’t hear anything to the contrary within a month.

I’ve just realised that I used “permit de construire” in my previous post when I meant “Attestation prealable” so I shall add a corrective note. Permit de construire is the full planning permission and needs a positive response from the Mairie to be approved.

What the Mairie suggested was that we put in separate attestation prealables for each bit of our proposed changes as they were all less that 20sq m additional area.

As a general rule… you have nothing to lose by asking at the Mairie…
go armed with rough drawing/measurements as may be appropriate… and talk things through.

They were lovely to us!

Hmmm. I have a modern house, raised off the ground, built on a gentle slope. One end of the house is only 50cm off ground level, but the other is 1m15 off ground level. The extra decking is being built towards the higher end and will probably be just above 1m at that end. The decking level will be at the same level as the ground (and only) floor. I did understand that it may only need a attestation prelable as we’ve had to do this twice already for external changes. In both instances, we handed the completed form in, walked home from the Maire (200m or so) and had an email granting permission waiting for us.

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Yes, already got a proper drawing and have done this before, so off to the Maire we go :grinning:

Edit: @sunbeam , just realised yours was a reply to @AngelaR , but your comment applies equally to me.

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That actually may be fine - it was just over a metre was the height limit but I can’t remember the exact figure so you may well not need the declaration. Your Mairie sounds very on the ball if they give you permission straight away (either that or they really really like you :smiley: )

Be careful though, I don’t think the 20 m2 thing works everywhere, I think here it is only 5m2 limit which is VERY annoying for terrace extensions (which ours needs!). Oh hang on maybe less than 5m nothing needed?? Then up to 20m the attestation prelable then over that the full Monty? What if you did a 5m2 extention / year would that work :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Actually, our Mairie is very helpful… and if the “little by little” was in someone’s interests… that would certainly be advised. :rofl: :rofl:

The Mairie has always stressed that it is better to ask them… and follow their advice… than to simply go-it-alone…


I agree, particularly last time I took in the picture of the new (lifted by about 40cm) window mock up the mayor folded it up, put it in my bag and told me not to bother as no one would ever notice it had been moved!


Shhhh… not everyone will have such luck… and, as they’re led to the guillotine… it will do them no good to wimper… “but Tory did that and kept her head…” :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Are you sure that your PdC is no longer “valid”. In our case we received the PdC in '06 and are still going. It was explained to us that work had to start within 2 years, and then one could take as long as necessary to finish the work and finalise with either a H1 or H2 as per the area of construction.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: too right! It must be said mayor is both friend and neighbour and we live up a tiny lane with only about 3 cars that drive past!

By “valid” I meant within the three years from issue. I have spoken to the architect and he is going to investigate. At present, the assumption is that even if you have started building (which we have) if you are beyond the 3 years, you cannot amend anything from the original plan without another full planning application, as a modification certificate must applied for during that period.
I suppose one could argue that you may want to add the first floor a few years from now or change the window openings at a later stage and just declare you will live in a portion of the building…with the intention of completing the full approved conversion at a point in the future :thinking:

I don’t want an extension as the building work commenced within the 3year validity- I just want to make some alterations to the planned building now it is underway

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I think it was just the fact that you put

that led some people to think that you were suggesting it had run out, as in the wording suggested it may have run out in Feb 21, but now that you’ve explained more it’s clearer.

I doubt you’ll have problem Tony. What happens inside is your business and outside you’re reducing not increasing.

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