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Canada: Amazon renounces his mega-warehouse project in the Gard

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Lors d’une manifestation d’opposants au projet de Founès, dans le Gard. © West-France archive during a demonstration of opponents of the Founes project, in the Gard.

The mayor of the municipality of Fourès, in the Gard, where a mega warehouse of the e-commerce giant, announced the abandonment of the project. The promoter confirms.

"We are more than happy. It is a relief. Patrick Fertil Jubile. With other inhabitants of the small rural commune of Fourès, 1,000 inhabitants, in the Gard , between Nîmes and Avignon, he managed to fold the e-commerce giant Amazon . The mayor of the municipality, Thierry Boudinaud, he gives gray mine. Yesterday, at a press conference, with the mayors of neighboring municipalities, the elected official announced, the dark air, the abandonment "definitive" of the project to establish a sorting center of the parcels of 38,000 m2, with an average height of 14 m, on a plot of 14 ha in the immediate vicinity of the A9 motorway.

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and less than 5 km from the famous Gard Bridge. Contacted by West-France, the Argan Real Estate promoter confirms the abandonment of the project by Amazon. As for the American firm, it will not make "no comment" on a project on which it had "not made of ad". "This project represented 80 million euros of investment and job creation. But we are in a basin of life that had greatly need it, " sighs the mayor.

No appeal from the court decision

The proponent decided not to make a court decision falling on November 9, . The Administrative Court of Nîmes, seized by opponents of the project, had canceled the environmental authorization issued in November 2019 by the prefect of the department in Argan. In the eyes of the representative of the state, the project presented "compelling reasons of major public interest" with the creation of 600 full-time jobs. But the administrative judges felt that the creation of these jobs was not demonstrated. And that even if it were the case, nor these jobs, nor "the economic benefits are not enough to characterize a mandatory reason of major interest." The project threatened "about fifteen protected species", and especially the marriage. No question of endangering them in the name of economic development, felt the magistrates.

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A "Beautiful Victory" for Corinne Lepage


"Beautiful Victory" for the former Minister of the Environment Corinne Lepage, whose law firm represented opponents of the project. For his collaborator Roxane Sageloli, a decision that will make jurisprudence, because she "favors the protection of species and natural habitats to job creation, including in a tense area." Jean-Loup Pizon, Vice President of the France Nature Environment Association for Languedoc-Roussillon, rejoices, after the announcement of this abandonment, "that we are a little more than future generations rather than Immediate interest ". The project federated against it a broad opposition, ranging from the advocates of the environment to those of the small business, which was threatened by the Mastodon of e-commerce. Last January, a demonstration brought together 1,000 opponents on the spot, including another former Minister of the Environment, the President of Generation Ecology Delphine Batho. "Amazon will elsewhere"

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The Mayor of Fournès is sorry:

"Compensatory measures were planned, with 13 hectares that would have been preserved for grass pies. But the judge did not take it into account. The legislator must seize this debate, and that we can reconcile economic development with the protection of the environment.

A few years ago, the municipality had sought to implant, in the same place, a village of brands, already provoking, at the time, a lifting of shields.

"This project went to Miramas (Bouches-du-Rhône)",

regrets the mayor. "Amazon will elsewhere, to Orange or Nîmes. His opponents, they intend to push their advantage. "We must now turn the page and work with the prefiguration association of the Regional Natural Park," pleads Patrick Fertil. "With a Charter of Environmental Excellence, to put safeguards and prevent such projects. The Argan promoter indicates that it "will file a new folder" for another sign on the site "for a lower project". But Amazon to Fourès, it's over and finished.

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