Refused permission for Veluxes. Can we do something?

We were told by our builder we would not need planning permission to put in 4 skylights(Velux) in our roof. This was wrong.we applied for permission and received permission for 2. Later, we re-applied but were refused because we are within 500m of an historic cross. This is debatable as we are right on the very edge, maybe outside even. Secondly, all sorts of permission is given for annexes, extensions, some quite ugly, etcIN the village where this cross is.
One reason for wanting the veluxes is that the sun will heat the room and cut down electricity. Basically an ecological reason. Can we appeal to revoke this refusal? Has any one had a similar situation? Please let us have any advice. Thank you.

From your post, it is unclear whether you are able to have 2 velux and have been denied an extra 2… or whether the whole thing has fallen through… :thinking:

Why not go and discuss the outcome, face to face, at the Maire…
but… do not go in “guns blazing” about other permissions in the village… as that will not cut any ice.

I would advise you to quietly ask for the distance 500m to be double checked, since this has obviously thrown a shadow over your plans. If the velux are still not allowed, ask them what alternatives they suggest…


This highlights why you should always speak to the Mairie first before starting any work to your property. It would seem that the OP wanted 4 veluxes but has only been granted permission for two.


We were given a form to fill in to get permission for our velux.

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Déclaration Préalable de travaux (DP)… is needed for almost any small change/addition to a property…

Some works require full planning consent… Permis de Construire

So glad you got it right… many folk get caught out and try to do it in retrospect… not always with happy results. I know of one instance where the work had to be completely undone… :thinking:

Always best to discuss with the Mairie… get the right forms… and rest easy.

AFAIK you always need to apply for permission to put in new skylights. It’s very strange that any builder would say you don’t. (Unless, was your builder a Brit by any chance?)

I agree the way forward is to talk to someone face to face - your mayor if it’s a small village or the person in charge of urbanisme if it’s a larger mairie with its own service d’urbanisme. If they can explain the exact reasons for the refusal, you’ll have a better idea of whether there are grounds for appeal.


I would expect the Mairie to have had discussions with B de F if you have a 500m zone…

Can you tell us exactly who/what has ruled against the Velux ??? Is it your local Mairie… or higher up … or Batiment de France ???

The Refusal will have given such details…

Please would you let us know more? Who gave it to you, what was its purpose etc. It would be helpful to know more . It would be lovely if we could make some headway with this. The room is very dark and cold without them.

Thank you.


Karen… you go to your Mairie… and ask for the form I have described above… “Déclaration Préalable de travaux”

While you are there… do as I have suggested and discuss the whole thing…

Karen… does the room you are using (cold and dark) have any windows at all ???

When we filled our form in the Mairie were very keen to have photos of the roof and measurements to show the size and also the proximity to other buildings. Before we got our form we asked both our immediate neighbours if they had any problems with us having a velux. They seemed surprised we asked and were fine.

For instance Karen, whenever I need to do something on the house the process goes like this; I go to the town hall and ask to speak to Nathalie, who is the lady in charge of urbanisme. I’ve dealt with her so many times now that she knows me and where I live, and she knows without checking on the map that my house is within a historic zone. I tell her what I want to do. She tells me whether it needs a form filling in, and if it does she gets the form out and we fill it in together on the spot. Sometimes she tells me to go and take a photo and bring it back. Then I sign the form and go home and in due course I get a letter giving permission. If I want to get started straight away I ask her if there is any doubt over permission, usually she says No it’ll be fine, go ahead but occasionally she says You’d better wait for the letter.
Once when I wanted to do work on the facade a chap from Batiments de France who was looking at my application rang me on my mobile to discuss what materials I would be using and to give some recommendations.
Basically the system isn’t there to make life difficult for individuals, it’s there to preserve the environment for everyone.


Also, it might be an idea to have a look around your village within this 500m radius to try to see what other new velux Windows have been put in. If you are setting a precedent, then you may have problems, hence only 2 out of the 4 you asked for.

Are there other ways to get light into the room? Perhaps by using glass tiles in the skylight rather than a Velux? Is the issue that Velux would open … if so, then if a closed window frame might that be sufficient. Just trying to find alternatives that would give you the light if the two further Veluxes are refused.

It wasn’t the Mairie. It was about 3 years ago that we put in a request for the remainining two velux, so I cannot remember where to. The reply said it refused because of the cross. However, as I wrote in my first mail to Survive France, we did get permission to put in two of the velux. They don’t protrude, are about 100x70cm and you can hardly see them on the roof from any distance. And as I say when you look at the 500m circle our house is practically on the outer 500m line. It might even be outside. The refusal grates because, as I wrote all sorts of buildings, extensions, indoor swimming pools, skylights are erected including a very unattractive plastic type edifice about 200 m long, for some type of rural business, has been erected round about the time of our refusal and is a big eyesore and all within the same 500m zone.

Thank you for your suggestions.

Thank you very much for your advice.

Thank you for your advice.

We don’t have any neighbours, but yes, it would be a good idea to talk with them as you do, if one has.

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Thank you.

Gracious, 3 years ago… I thought the refusal was a recent event… and I was also wondering if the original permit for 2 had expired and you had re-applied for the full 4.

Now, I understand… 2 done and then, 2 refused… 3 years ago. Mmm… I doubt things have improved… but, they may have. If you are using a room for habitation, which has NO outside light… (you say: cold and dark)… sometimes exceptional permission is granted… certainly worth discussing… If there is already a small light source… sometimes an enlargement can be granted…

Whatever… it is always worth while having a personal discussion.

Visit the Mairie and ask for an appointment (if necessary) as you don’t want to be rushed… you and (whoever) need to sit down and talk the whole thing through.