Mobile Homes and Caravans in France
4. Leisure Buildings
Leisure buildings are known as habitations légères de loisirs (HLL).
They are defined as buildings that are demontable and transportable, whose purpose is destined for temporary or seasonal leisure occupation, eg chalets.
Prior to planning reforms introduced in 2007, leisure buildings could only be implanted within a designated tourist sites, for which a works declaration had to be submitted.
The designated sites are les terrains de camping et de caravanage, parcs résidentiels de loisirs (PRL), villages de vacances classés en hébergements légers and maisons familiales de vacances agréées.
Nevertheless, since this date it has become possible for councils to allow implantation of such buildings outside of designated areas, subject to normal planning regulations.
These require that planning permission must be obtained where the external surface area is greater than 20m2. Lower than 20m2, then a works declaration is required.
Local authorities differ in their approach to granting consent to such building outside of designated areas. Many have taken a tough stance, while nearer the coast or in other tourist areas a more relaxed planning regime sometimes applies.
You should not, therefore, assume that getting approval for, say, a chalet for fishing or shooting lodge outside of an area zoned for construction is going to be a formality.
A mobile home with a surface area greater than 40m2 is classed as a leisure building.
Where an HLL building is a fixed structure that cannot be transported they are subject to the local taxe foncière, including the land on which they sit.
Only where they are mobile do they escape liability the tax.
Indeed, even where they can be transported, the land on which they sit is still liable for la taxe foncière sur les propriétés non bâties.
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