Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Have just read about a lovely 15th century church in Somerset, the bells would chime every quarter hour as well as on the hour. It seems that incomers were not too happy with the quarter hour chimes and made complaints to the local council and asked that they be turned off between 11pm and 7am. A reasonable request but it seems that it is not possible to turn the chimes off at night so the bells are now silent.

 All day and all night.

 You get used to hearing about Nimbys in England, a bit like those townies who move to the countryside then complain about cockerels crowing or cows mooing or sheep bleating or even tractors on the road.

 I didn’t think that they had Nimby's in rural France.

 It seems they do.

 How would ‘not in my back yard’ translate - ‘pas dans ma cour’ no – it doesn’t work.

As we are now in a new house in a new location we take different routes to different shops. We spotted a lot of groundwork being done just outside of town and wondered what was being done.

 Over the weeks we saw a beautiful large barnlike structure being erected with the most beautiful wooden frame. Maybe a new sports –hall or a ‘cathedral', it is far too big for a regular barn. Hmm what could it be?

 We watched the roof go on then the walls with huge ‘door’ openings. Still no idea what is could be.

 The grounds outside have now been tarmaced and posts have been placed at the far end of the site.

 Then, one day, talking to a friend we have found out what is going on.

 On the edge of the town, in another direction, there is a Sawmill and timber yard.

 The business has been family run for 3 generations.

 Around 40 years ago the landowner next door got permission to build houses on his land and a small estate was constructed. The residents knew that the Sawmill was next door and they weren’t bothered, after all it was there first and the machinery was only used certain hours.

 One of the, now elderly, residents decided to sell up and move into a retirement home, the house was sold and everything seemed fine until the new owner decided to complain to the maire about the noise from the sawmill.

 The proprietor was advised that he must reduce the noise of his machinery and the hours of use were also restricted.

 Over the past few years he did all he could to comply to the maire’s requests.

 The resident continued the complaint and now the Sawmill has had to move, every last splinter I think, hence the new site that we have seen being built.

 So the Nimby won. And the Nimby is French.

I expect he will complain when another housing estate is built behind him.


  1. Yes and forty years ago people used a bit of common sense - without the horror of the 'norms' which now blight the lives of everyone in France trying to do business.

  2. When we lived in Bavaria this problem was becoming worse and worse as more and more 'nord deutsch' moved in when they retired. They complained about the roosters, the church bells, the cow bells -- you name it they complained and had no hesitation about taking matters to court. Finally, when they complained about the noise emanating from the very old and very traditional Biergarten the locals and the courts had had enough and the 'aliens' were defeated...