Planning permission needed? - opening up a blocked up window

I would be interested to know if planning permission would be required to open up a blocked up window.


Hi Mat

I believe you will need to seek permission at your Mairie… you can ask them… they’ll soon tell you what paperwork to use.

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Thanks @stella I am going to pop and see them tomorrow.

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Never occurred to me before we had one put into the bathroom. But there wasn’t one there before, does that matter?

I remember building myself a shed several years ago, and that a neighbour and friend who was also a local councillor, often walked past as I was working, ‘for a chat’.

Nothing was said but later I read that the size without needing planning permission had just been increased, but still wasn’t as big as my shed. :astonished: :rofl:

When I talked to our Mairie recently about converting the back of the garage to an arriere-cuisine, they told me that anything that affects the outside appearance of the house (there was going to be a new little window) would need a Declaration Prealable even if it was likely to go through on the nod…

Bloody hell, thank you. I think I’ll let sleeping dogs lie though, it was around 20 years ago. :roll_eyes: :slightly_smiling_face:

To be honest - so would I :rofl:

The rules have tightened a great deal recently though so I very much doubt if anyone is even aware what you did 20 years ago… :thinking: (I am going to be squeaky clean from now on though - honest… :angel: )

I think you’ve got a decade. I’m sure I read somewhere that if it’s over 30 years old changes will be accepted without the need for any retrospective planning so you just need to hope that no one suddenly spots it in the next few years, although if they’ve not done so in the last 20 you’re probably pretty safe :joy:

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That’s interesting, Kirstea - thank you!

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As always don’t trust what I say, it’s probably nonsense, but I definitely read that 30 year number somewhere in relation to this!

Funnily enough I had a conversation with a neighbour a couple of days back (I only really have a couple of close-ish neighbours) as he’s having a major overhaul done on his house once he gets planning permission through. I told him about being worried regarding some changes I’d done to the house quite a while back and he swept an arm around and said “Who’s going to complain?” and I realised that all the people around here arrived after I bought the house…

I’m still going to be pukka on any new work though :smiley:


I think I can rest easy, on the shed too, I have a sneaky feeling that the Maire might have seen me building it and asked my friend to ‘cast an eye’ just to make sure that, without measuring it, it wasn’t going to be massive. :rofl:

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Does it look over on your property ?

Interesting question, we hav ea super old opening (probably 1700s , possibly earlier) that has very obvious stone surround but is blocked. It never occured to me to ask for anything as we are just ‘returning it to as it was’!!! Not done it yet, I’ll check with my friend (the mayor, who refused to accept paperwork for my 40 cm ‘lift’ of another window - he said now one would ever notice as it had been behind an old shutter!!).

I reckon a declaration préalable should be all that’s needed. Even better would be getting hold of an old photo (neighbour maybe) showing the window
Good luck at the Mairie


Photos are brilliant to back up a Préleable… if you’ve not got an old one… the modern, showing it blocked, will be ideal.
but even without a photo the Préleable is so easy to do !
and… it keeps everything official/shipshape for the future.

Sorry Peter, was that addressed to me? If so, not entirely sure what you mean and are you referring to the shed or the bathroom window?

Neither look out over anything except our garden and blocked from the view of others by a hedge. :slightly_smiling_face:

Let’s hope it wasn’t done in 1800 as a reaction to the impôt sur les fenêtres or a ‘pre- blocking’ photo might be a little difficult to get hold of :joy:

Hi Dave, if it’s overlooking your property and within a certain distance of ne t door then there shouldn’t be a problem. Also, being in a protected zone can affect things like a historic church or whatever. In one place we were within 500 mètres of a classified bridge (12c or whatever) and that affected what we could and couldn’t do)
In any case I would definitely ask at the Mairie just to make sure.

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@Peter_Bird No other houses are overlooked by either windows, but I reckon after 20 years for the bathroom window and around 15 for the shed’s, it is best to let sleeping dogs lie. Especially as the shed’s construction was watched frequently by the local councillor. :wink: :grinning: