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Do I need planning permission for a shed in France?

Q: I'm hoping to buy a garden shed for our holiday home.

I thought I could just pick one up from a garden centre, but I understand there might be planning and tax implications. Our house is in a rural hamlet that is marked in the local commune plan as being in a non-constructible zone.


How big a shed would we be allowed without planning consent and do we measure it on the interior dimensions or the external footprint, including the eaves?


If there's a limit, could we just buy multiple small sheds to get around the problem?


Does it make any difference where we site the shed and whether it has a wooden floor (as some seem to have no floor).


Also, would we have to pay taxe d'amenagement? We just want to store our lawnmower, bikes and garden tools in it.

Garden Shed, Abri de Jardin

A: Any construction which exceeds 5m²* footprint (external dimensions) requires permission. Realistically anything smaller is unlikely to be of any real use to you as a storage space as it will be very small.


Assuming your shed is larger than 5m², but smaller than 20 m² (40m² if your property is in the urban zone of the commune), then you will need to submit a déclaration préalable application, with full details of the shed, including external facades, plus a site plan showing where it will be sited on the plot. Photographs and a document géographique (3D perspective of the shed based on the position in the garden) are also needed.


You can’t buy a series of sheds to get around the requirement for planning consent, it is the total additional area which is taken into account.


As a general rule, the shed will need to be either exactly on the boundary of your plot, or at least 3 metres from it, though local regulations may mean other restrictions apply. The type of flooring (or absence of any flooring) makes no difference to the planning permission.


In France a garden shed is taxable space so you will pay a taxe d’aménagement based on the size of the shed (the tax is calculated on each square metre). The Mairie can advise the level of tax applicable in your commune. Buying a Garden Shed in France





Although buying and erecting a shed seems like a simple process, consent is needed and the requirements for the application can be a little daunting if you’re unused to the process. Using a professional to prepare and submit the dossier for you can be a good, and not necessarily expensive option to ensure the submission is correct and that the permit is granted. If you'd like to know more, please do get in touch.


* In some communes there are specific restrictions which may prevent a property owner erecting a shed at all, irrespective of size.

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