near Chambord, a luxury golf hotel project divides elected officials and residents

It is a tourist mega-project in a Natura 2000 area in Sologne. The 400 hectares of agricultural and forestry land could be transformed into a hotel and golf course. Close to La Ferté-Saint-Cyr, a small village next to the Château de Chambord in the Loir-et-Cher. Behind the tranquility of this small village, the project is up for debate. There are inhabitants who are for: “It can bring work to the region and it will make our little grocery stores work in the little villages. People will come to visit Chambord.” And those against: “I think nature should take precedence over tourism. I think the concept of a rather intensive tourist area like Center Parcs, I think it’s the 1970s-1980s, is over.”

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12 years ago, a similar project was already underway without being completed. Today it is almost the same. A mega tourist complex with four-star hotels, a golf course and 500 houses for rent throughout the year, which will be built in a protected area. In his defense, the prosecutor, Bernard Saunier, presented his assurances. He promises that 10% of the property will be a sanctuary for protected species. According to him, his project is unassailable on environmental issues: “For example, for batrachians, we created a very large number of passages under the roads to go from one pond to another.

“There have been so many compensation measures that have been studied, defined. Tourism activity and environmental protection are fully compatible.”

Bernard Saunier, promoter

in franceinfo

This project is spread over two municipalities. Anne-Marie Thomas, mayor of La Ferté-Saint-Cyr, is in favour. The project will largely be built in your commune. The economic argument motivates her because there are 200 jobs at stake, but there are other positive points, according to the elected official. “It is already a private project, so there is funding from the municipalityargues the mayor of La Ferté-Saint-Cyr. There are also economic benefits for all artisans. Mainly because it is our traders who will have priority to supply the small supermarket that will be in the heart of the estate.” Michel Laurent, mayor of Saint-Laurent-Nouan, is against it. Because a project of such magnitude no longer has a place in the 2022 “In 12 years, things have changedadvances the mayor of Saint-Laurent-Nouan. We no longer live in the same era. There are new rules, new questions and that’s why today, the project seems to no longer suit the times we live in.

The village of La Ferté-Saint-Cyr (Loir-et-Cher), January 17, 2020. (RÉMI WHITE / RADIO FRANCE)

A hotel that rises is nature that disappears, whatever the promoter says, denounces the association Sologne Nature Sauvage, of which Laure de Saint Pierre is a member, which takes us by car near the place in question. “We have a big chance in Sologne is that we have the roar of the deersays Laure de Saint Pierre. I would like my daughter to know, as I do, the slab that returns. And therefore it is bound to be disturbed by human activity.”

A demonstration took place even in mid-October against this project, which may never see the light of day. Everyone seems to have forgotten the first interested parties. The Janvier brothers are the owners of this envied land of 400 acre. They are horticulturists and Limousin cow breeders. Philippe Janvier left the prosecutor’s expertise undone, but it’s not about selling his land: “They wanted to see how far the project was going, if it was viable, he explains. But I say beware, the two people who are the owners are in fact Philippe and Hervé Janvier. And I think we own it for a while.” Public investigators will deliver their conclusions in early December on the feasibility of the project estimated at 500 million euros. But the last word goes to Philippe Janvier. For now, your cows will continue to graze on the coveted land.

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