French residents living in Nouvelle-Aquitaine cannot wait to see the return of Brits if the country relaxes its 90-day visa-free stay limit.

Since Brexit, people from the UK have only been able to stay in France 90 days out of every 180 without a visa. If visitors want to stay longer away from the UK, they’ve had to apply for a six-month visa which can be “time-consuming” and “costly”.

The rule has been frustrating for many of the 86,000 British households who own holiday homes in France.

Some residents in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, who have been used to seeing Britons spend a good part of the year in France, are “sad” now that there are fewer tourists and British homeowners in the region.

In the picturesque Dordogne village of Verteillac, Bruno Merlaud, 56, runs a convenience store.

It is stocked with British goods from cream crackers to Colman’s mustard, but also everything from groceries to fishing gear.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he claims: “Now there are fewer of you [British], it makes me sad. They are a clientele I appreciate enormously.”

Verteillac and the lush green countryside of the surrounding Périgord Vert are awash with Britons who started coming over decades ago and began purchasing second homes.

He added: “We have suffered a significant drop in British customers and it’s a shame. The numbers are down, that’s crystal clear.”

But the French Senate has recently voted in a change to the country’s immigration law that means British homeowners will have the automatic right to a long-term visa.

The amendment must now be approved by MPs in the National Assembly next month.

The northern part of the Dordogne is named Perigord Vert (green Perigord) because of the greenery of the forests and meadows of the region.

This region is a region of unspoiled scenery split by fast-moving streams, rolling hills, and great rocky plateaus.

A restaurant in Cherval, which sits on the edge of Perigord Vert, in Dordogne, also noticed a fall in the number of British holiday homeowners in the area.

Hannah Marcus, 34, who runs the Chez Hannah restaurant, added: “The majority of our clientele used to be British holiday homeowners who owned houses for years and years. Most have sold up and they don’t come out here anymore because they can’t spend as much time as they wanted. I think there must be about 40 different houses from our village that have gone…”