In March 2008 we purchase a house with Lake in France hoping to create a fishery and to move to France.
The campaign is to raise £48,000 to pay for an Experts reports on our dam. These reports are to prove the safety of the dam, new drawing of the dam to prove high, and a report of the work need to be done to complete the repairs.
On the 29th of January 2012 on walking around the lake we found a hole had appeared behind the concrete drain. This hole was full of water and was 2 meters wide and about two and half meters deep. What had happened was when we emptied the lake a year earlier in October the pipe underground must have broken and created erosion around the pipe and then in January when the ground was wet it collapsed and the pipe became completely blocked. With the run-off water having nowhere to go created this large hole.
The DREAL (Regional Directorates of Environment, Physical Planning and Housing) came to visit on the 31st January to look at the problem. The person running the show on the day for the DREAL had a new emergency plan which they had developed for dams but have now found out later this plan only catered for large hydroelectric dams and on this day they pressed the panic button and put this plan into action. We had the police, water police, Mayor, Perfect’s of the surrounding towns and even the fire chief arrived that day all expecting a ten meter plus dam to be breaking.
We then received a letter on the 7th February 2012 removing the planning permission for our dam on the grounds of lack of maintenance and a security risk to the public and saying that we didn’t lower the water fast enough.
We were told that we had to hire an Expert to do an accident report on the dam which we did so we asked again when we could repair the dam but got no answer from the planning department and in the end we were advised to get a lawyer.
Our lawyer then on the 7th April placed an appeal for the planning permission to be restored and then on the 10th April we had other visit from the DREAL with five collages from all different administration departments. In May another two more problems hit us, a department called ONEMA (Dealing with the technical reference on knowledge and monitoring of water status and ecological functioning of aquatic environments) who visited us on the 10th April send us a copy of a letter saying that we should not be fishing in the Lake because of the broken drain , the other problem was that the planning department said that the dam was 1.13 meters higher than the planning permission granted in 1967 and these reports will also clarify this problem.
We have been told by our lawyer that we need to complete a detailed report of the dam so to prove that the dam is safe. We have received a quote for this report and it will take up to three months to complete and will cost £48,000. Without this report the DREAL will not let us repair the dam.
We did hope to sell the new stock to help pay for these reports but because of the deepening recession in France this as not be possible. So our only hope of saving the fishery and our home is try to raise funds to paid for this Expert report.
We look for your support
Adrian & Jenny.