Julien, Vivien and I have been traveling together now for a couple of weeks, we are getting to know each other better, having spent hours discussing our dreams, needs, requirements and aspirations for our future projects. They are all a bit different but follow the same main criterion.
We all want to buy some land, we all want to set up some sort of agricultural / horticultural project, we all want to build our own houses and all want to remain as independent entities. That bit is simple.
The more challenging part is our budgets, I thought my 50k or so was stretching it somewhat. Vivien has around 30k and Julien just over 10k. I was struggling last year to find building land that was large enough for my project that still left enough to start the project and buy materials for a small house. Their approach is from a different angle. Somewhat like in england, there are certain agricultural projects here that will permit the farmer to construct a dwelling once need has been demonstrated. If animals are involved it is almost a certainty and the decision can be made with minimal interference from planning within two or three years. They both have such projects in mind. Julien is more than happy to rough it in a shelter or old caravan for several years to get his project off the ground before even considering construction. By then he will have increased his income and had chance to source local materials at minimal cost. Vivien already has a camper van that he has lived in for nearly two years so is totally self sufficient on that front and also wants to take building slowly.
The thought is, that combined, we have more purchasing power, less legal costs and any suitable land that we find can be divided at purchase to suit our budgetary input. We will end up with neighbouring parcels of land for our projects, decent neighbours that are willing to share a hand or get involved with larger projects and the possibility of shared purchases such as a trailer, cement mixer, perhaps washing machine, certain tools and, to start with, shared facilities and shelter.
Finding out rules and regulations is always a challenge. Local folk often offer differing information that they swear is correct. Differing communes and departments interpret national rules in all manner of ways, so until we find some land that looks promising, it is very difficult to be sure of anything.
My ideal project is somewhat different and will involve the purchase of building land. I believe that I have enough money to construct my property and have no urge to become encumbered by a flock, herd or gaggle of any kind. Being single and without dependents, I am keen to keep “freedom to roam” as an option and any project will be the type that can be put to bed for a while from time to time. For the moment I have a strong urge to settle down and stay in one place for a good long time and I think that the possibility of being able to leave will actually make staying put more achievable. We shall see.
So, to progress, we are networking with the locals, discussing our plans with everyone that we encounter and spreading the word as far and wide as we can. Each market we visit we try to chat to local producers and frequently pin notices to event boards asking for pointers to land. Everyone is very encouraging and interested, but as yet there have been minimal leads.
what could you do with this?
there is even a barn
16Ha along a river, unfortunately it's north facing and probably
gets no sun in the winter, but it's a start.