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How close to my neighbour’s fence can I build a shed in France?

We look at the rules around building a garden shed in France, which may differ depending on where you live

When it comes to building near a dividing wall or fence there are two options Pic: sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

Reader question: What are the rules for building a shed in relation to its proximity to a neighbour’s fence? 

There are two options in the case of a dividing fence or wall on the boundary, which in most cases will be in shared ownership, unless it is entirely on your property. 

First, you could install your shed right beside it but you will need written permission from your neighbour to do this. 

In this case, you should still leave a small gap to ensure that rainwater runs off on to your property. 

If you decide to build it away from the fence, there will usually need to be a gap of at least three metres, though exact rules can vary depending on your commune’s plan local d’urbanisme, the local planning document, so it is best to check this with the mairie if in doubt. 

In any case, it is recommended that you discuss the location of the shed with your neighbour to avoid future disagreements. 

Note that if your shed takes up more than 5m2, you need to make a déclaration préalable to the mairie to undertake the work. 

You will need to apply for permis de construire planning permission if it is larger than 20m2. 

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