Do I have to put up with eyesore mast?

My neighbour has put up a radio mast that is an eyesore – do I have to put up with it? G.F.

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Not necessarily – there are two possible avenues, either based on planning law or a visual “nuisance”, confirmed Paris lawyer Cédric Daugan.

First, if the mast is more than 12m high (or in all cases for mobile phone masts), then according to article R421-9 of the Code de l’Urbanisme it should have been subject to a déclaration préalable de travaux (prior declaration of work) to the mairie, including putting a notice on the property to give neighbours the chance to object.

If that was not the case, you could send a recorded delivery letter denouncing the illegal construction to the mairie, which has a legal obligation to send a report to the public prosecutor.

If the mairie ignored this, it is possible to write to the prefecture. Finally, taking court action is also possible, at the discretion of the public prosecutor. Another avenue is legal action for a trouble anormal du voisinage (abnormal inconvenience to neighbours).

There have been successful legal actions on these grounds for mobile phone masts, based on potential risk to health from radio waves.

But if your view is objectively, seriously spoiled by the construction, you could argue it constitutes a nuisance visuelle (visual nuisance). In the first instance, it may be best to take it up with your neighbour by sending a letter explaining your concerns.

If it cannot be resolved amicably, you can write to the mairie about the nuisance. You could also report it to the local police or gendarmerie. Direct legal action in court is also a possibility.

An alternative is to apply to a conciliateur de justice, who would act as an intermediary between yourself and the neighbour to seek a solution (see

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