the essential As expected, discussions around the hotel and housing project carried out by Hôtels invest sport (HIS) near the Plantes de Montauban garden, in Tarn-et-Garonne, crystallized tensions during the council meeting municipal on Tuesday September 19, 2023.
It was announced, it came true. The project of two three and four star hotels as well as around twenty accommodation units, announced exclusively by La Dépêche and overlooking the Jardin des Plantes de Montauban, in Tarn-et-Garonne, was the subject of most of debates during the back-to-school municipal council, Tuesday September 19, 2023.
Five deliberations kept the municipal councilors busy and caused several clashes of arms. Hostilities were opened on the deliberation including the decommissioning and downgrading of the plot occupied today by the FSU, Force Ouvrière and CFDT unions. “What rehousing solution do you propose?” worried the former socialist candidate for city hall, Arnaud Hilion. “We worked to rehouse them. They are quite satisfied. The file is about to conclude favorably. The other occupying associations should join the premises of the former Marcel-Pagnol school”, indicated the mayor Brigitte Barèges.
The influence on the Jardin des Plantes makes people cringe
A little later, it was Rodolphe Portoles, a member of the FSU for fifteen years, who worried about the future of his former union. “To propose going from 400 m2 to 100 m2 for three unions, you must have little understanding of how these organizations operate,” he said. “It’s a bit tight indeed and we plan to convert two former staff accommodations from the Hugues Aufray school,” admitted Ms. Barèges. “It’s under consideration.”
But the most sensitive element was undoubtedly the 206m² footprint on the Jardin des Plantes, “where there will be no destruction of biodiversity or remarkable trees”, Marie-Claude Berly tried to warn. , first deputy delegate for town planning.
“A politics of the 20th century”
A position far from being shared by Arnaud Hilion. “I vote against in principle on this deliberation to concretize part of the Jardin des Plantes, what you call on the municipality’s website the green lung of the city. It was created in 1861 and is of great importance in terms of revegetation. However, faced with climate issues, I cannot bring myself to choose to sell a plot of land for a hotel project. It’s a policy of the 20th century and it disgusts me”, he insisted before being cut off by the mayor.
“You are way over your speaking time,” she said. The opposition, including radicals, voted against. “We cannot accept cutting back part of the garden,” argues Stéphane Gonzalez.
“We will try to convince you…”
Then came the time to present the project itself. “We will try to convince you,” said Brigitte Barèges. It (obviously) didn’t work… “I’m perhaps going to make you angry,” Mr. Portoles conceded, “but aren’t you selling dreams to the Montalban residents as was done so often with the swimming pool Nautica, the Poult wasteland or even the Maison du Peuple, the third place dear to Mr. Deville will surely never see the light of day?
New sharp response from the mayor, who only admitted a failure on the Nautica project. “The project leaders separated and did not have the means to finish it. For Poult, it is a heavy project, the demolition has started and the construction will follow. Things are happening in this city so that before 2001, nothing was happening.”
“We must support our territory!”
The opposition, which “well exceeded its speaking time” according to the count of the first councilor, continued to show its disagreement. Jeanine Maignan (Montauban citizen) thus called into question the very usefulness of the construction. “But those who invest do not embark on an adventure if there is no clientele. A study by the tourist office has shown that we are lacking rooms and seminar venues,” replied Thierry Deville. We must support our territory which is in the midst of a revolution with the upcoming arrival of the LGV station in Bressols!”
In conclusion, Arnaud Hilion proposed three amendments: the withdrawal of the Jardin des Plantes plot, “which only represents 6% of the surface area of the project”, the sale of the plots “in proportion to plot B17 – according to his count, 200 000 euros for 45m² of floor space – a total cost of around 15 million euros” and “protection of heritage by not increasing the built surface area already in place”.
Proposals brushed aside. “Your evaluation is risky, well beyond the price estimated by the Estates. You are a mathematics researcher and you do not know how to count,” concluded Ms. Barèges. Socialists and communists voted against the entire project. The radicals abstained. The deliberation was voted on.
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