justice was cancelled on Tuesday the project of the bypass road from Beynac, fought by defenders of the heritage and environment of this valley tourist dotted with castles, but the department of the Dordogne, in the name of road safety, refuses to abandon the project. The draft “does not respond to an imperative reason of public interest with a major character,” a ruling the administrative court of Bordeaux. And he directed the department “reclamation” after “the demolition of items of construction” of this project started at the beginning of 2018, including two bridge piers. This decision is yet another bouncing, certainly not the last, for the circumvention of Beynac. This folder of more than 30 years, re-emerged in the 2000s, crystallized the opposition of the defenders of the environment and heritage, until Stéphane Bern or Yann Arthus-Bertrand, in the face of local elected representatives.

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The project of more than € 32 million relates to a deviation of 3.2 km around the village of Beynac-et-Cazenac, including two bridges on the Dordogne river, in a valley tourist dotted with castles, the fortress ranked of Beynac, in the Twelfth century. The workaround is mainly worn by the chairman of the department Germinal Peiro (PS) and elected officials of all stripes, as the president of the Assembly of departments of France Dominique Bussereau (ex-RL).

They cited the priority of arguments of safety, traffic and pollution for the village of Beynac (550 inhabitants) is crossed by the axis Bergerac-Sarlat, with 6000 vehicles per day on average. A risk of “a major disaster is possible at any time, since a car and a truck can not be crossed on this road”, maintains Germinal Peiro.

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For opponents, this question of road traffic is mainly a problem of seasonal peak “of 45 days between mid-July and end of August”, which has already been partly resolved by accommodation. And they denounce the environmental impact and landscaping. The tribunal also considers that the project “may affect, the conservation of animal species and their habitats, including bats, mammals, semi-aquatic and terrestrial, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

The department does not loose anything

This bypass might be permitted in cases of “imperative reason of overriding public interest”. But this is not the case of this project, writes the tribunal, in the light of the data on automobile traffic, the relative improvement that could lead to the work and facilities already made.

“I’m not going to spend 20 million taxpayers from the Dordogne to build bridge piers, and then $ 15 million to demolish”

Germinal Peiro, chairman of the department

“I am very happy for the lovers of the Dordogne”, told AFP Stéphane Bern. “It was predictable, it was hoped, for all the defenders of the heritage, all the defenders of the ecology”. “I hope that in the end this will protect this beautiful valley”. Germinal Peiro, for its part, deplored a judgement “preposterous” on a “construction site started with all of the necessary permissions”. But more importantly, a decision “derogatory to the elected representatives and the population of the rural world”.

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“The intelligentsia is not interested in the rural world than to spend a holiday”, told AFP the chairman of the department, ensuring that his “willingness to continue the project is intact”. “We will take all the appropriate measures for it. We will either call, or we will launch a new procedure from scratch,” he said, refusing to consider a demolition of the work. “I’m not going to spend 20 million taxpayers from the Dordogne to build bridge piers, and then 15 million for the demolition”, has launched Germinal Peiro, which has the possibility to ask the judge for a stay of execution. Defender of BTP Bouygues supervisor, Me Christophe Huts had warned last month against “the financial impact and for the environment” of a possible cancellation and destruction of the site. To him the invoice, cost of destruction and compensation, even exceed the 40 million euros.