Thionville.  Should we preserve this green space in the city center?  The court appoints an expert

Thionville. Should we preserve this green space in the city center? The court appoints an expert

The struggle of the local population to preserve a green space of one hectare, Rue Alexandre Drouot in Thionville, takes on another dimension. The civil section of the court orders the expertise of the land requested by their association, ZAD, which opposes a real estate project on this private land.


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Vegetation is regaining its rights. Trees grow again. Fifteen months ago, in February 2022, construction machinery was driving on a one-hectare wooded plot in the center of Thionville, avenue Alexandre-Dreux. The land belongs to a private person, a promoter, who plans to build buildings there. Even if a building permit has not been issued at the moment.

This is what the land looked like before the owner started the “clearance” business. Photo by RL/Pierre Heckler

As early as 2018, local residents got together to preserve this “little forest in the city”. They created the ZAD Association (Alexander Drew District) and started a petition. The group met with the landlord, and exchanged with the town hall. But that didn’t change anything. The stagnation of the situation and the removal of this forested area has strengthened their determination and widened the circle of support. At the beginning of the year, the Assembly amended its statutes and took over the civil chamber of the Thionville Judicial Court. The judge just ordered, on April 21, that the land requested by Zad be granted. A few individuals as well as the union of co-owners of the Athena Residence (whose buildings border the plot) joined the action. They will have to jointly fund the studies. An amount of 3,000 euros has already been set.

Build a plot

“It goes beyond the living environment, our own interests. It is environmental issues that really motivate us,” insists Lawrence Weber Bozon, president of the Alexander Drew Area Association, which has about sixty members. “This earth is fragile, every time it rains, it fills with water,” she explains, supporting the photos, shared on Instagram Facebook page increased. Former gravel pits, then a pond, once occupied these places. “You have to prove that the land is wet, and that the area is saturated. In general, the association questions the over-industrialization of the soil. He also points out the advantages of such green lung during heat waves. His arguments are non-existent, but the land is indeed buildable according to the local urban plan (PLU) which City development, which was last amended in 2013, is governed under the former municipality.“The current mayor tells us that it is private land but town planning is one of his tasks,” ZAD members maintain.The required expertise is welcomed as “good news” by the city council Who would like to see the progress of the file.

Expert appointments

A court-appointed expert will have the special tasks of assessing the level of soil moisture, and identifying any “disturbances” caused by deforestation on neighboring plots and on the flow of water. These technical and quantitative surveys and analyzes don’t stop there. The professional must also ensure that the clearing made by SAS Immobilière Métropole complies with the rules of the Forest Code. The expert has eight months to submit his report.

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“we will harden”

The lawyer for SAS Immobilière Métropole, the owner of the land, Me Vauthier, has announced that he will not contest the order made by the court. We will participate in expertise operations. We will be intransigent about the fact that it is necessary to solicit specialists to carry out certain procedures,” warns the Council. The court rejected the application for extension of expertise made by the real estate company. , where the basement floors were built. »

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