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Planning Permission for Shepherd's Huts or Tiny Homes

Shepherd’s huts and tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular around the world as a way of creating additional space at a low construction cost.

Tiny house, shepherds hut

What type of planning permission do you need?


Planning permission for these types of structures in France is more complex than in other parts of the world. So, before falling in love with the tiny homes lifestyle it is important to know what is and is not permitted.


Broadly speaking a shepherd's hut or a tiny home will always need a form of permission and this application type will vary depending on where you are in the country.


Although one could argue that the shepherd's hut is mobile, it still requires permission. Structures classified as a mobile often have a three-month limit in one location. Mairies around the country are increasingly enforcing strict rules regarding the siting of caravans on private property when they are not being used for temporary accommodation during construction work.


When it comes to tiny houses the same rules apply to these structures as to any permanent structure: if it creates over 5m2 of floor space you will need to apply for planning permission. If the commune has a PLUi in place, then the application will be a déclaration préalable for homes up to 40m2 then a permis de construire for spaces larger than 40m2. If the commune lacks a PLUi, the spatial allowance for déclaration préalable decreases to 20m2, and a permis de construire becomes necessary thereafter.


How a planning application is determined


The application would be determined based on all of the planning policies that affect a regular structure; there are no exceptional circumstances for Shepherd’s huts and tiny homes. If it is determined that the structure would require drainage or increase the number of people who could stay at the property, an assessment of the drainage facilities is necessary.

Scrutiny of the material palette as well as the distances from the proposed structure to any boundaries are additional requirements. There might be specific policies about heights, roof pitch, and window style that need consideration. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly plan a project of this type in advance.


Tax issues

If planning authorities approve the structure and deem the created space permanent and habitable, it will affect property taxes.

Next steps

French Plans has undertaken many applications for these types of structures, often successfully. At the outset of a tiny house or Shepherd’s hut application, we always advise our clients that in France, these structures receive the same treatment as any extension or annexe. Furthermore, if planning policy does not permit these types of additions to a property, a planning application will not be successful.


We would always recommend a client seek professional advice before purchasing a tiny home kit or ordering a Shepherd’s hut to make sure that permission is possible.


Contact Us

If you are also looking to realise your own plans in France, whether it is a renovation, a new build, an extension or another project, residential or commercial – please get in touch.


+33 (0) 296 36 56 16

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