Wednesday, 28 November 2007

One of those moments

Just before the ad break, comes a moment like this. A moment when you go: "How are they going to get out of that?"

The mayor was not surprised to hear that he did not approve of our project. Our land is not in a constructible zone, he said. ("But the previous owner had permission to build?" I said.). The department of agriculture objects because there is forest, he said. ("Yes, but..." I said.) In France it is Yes or No, he said. (In French.) They also object because there is a steep slope ("...?"). A woman from Planning objects to the compost toilets, he said. And nobody wants yurts.

The big cliffhanger is the thing about not being in a constructible zone. How did the previous owner get permission to build? Was there anything underhand? Did we buy the land under false pretenses? Is it worth less now than it was when we bought it? What will our brilliant estate agent say tomorrow? What will our solicitor say next week? What solutions will we come up with after several glasses of wine? And will we remember in the morning?

In the meantime, here's an advertisement for French schooling. It's the menu for Monday and Tuesday this week at the daughter's school. An education in food - which costs us about €15 a month.

3 comments:

Dave said...

regarding planning zones - i think the french local authorities have been forced to submit proper plans to control the development of new houses. As such, planning applications for areas that aren't in their (relatively newly) designated zones would get rejected.

Thats not to say these things can't be worked around, but it might explain what you are seeing - these zones will probably only have been defined within the last 12-24 months.

As for the mairie giving you a pack of lies, it is (sadly) not unheard of...

Keep on fighting.

devolutionary said...

At the end of our meeting the other day, I said to the Maire: "Au revoir." And he said: "No, it's goodbye." Which reminded me of an excellent sketch from Beyond the Fringe (I think).

We have a number of options, which I will go into in the coming days. One of which is to wait for the elections in March. March! And speak to a new mayor! They work to a different timescale over here. One which we will continue (I hope) to find charming for many years to come...

Alpha Mum :-P said...

Not sure if I would find this situation 'charming' . . . . . sadly, your situation only confirms my (controversial) view of your adopted nation. . . . .