The Jacques-Chirac urban park monopolizes the debates during the general assembly of the Marronniers neighborhood committee

The Jacques-Chirac urban park monopolizes the debates during the general assembly of the Marronniers neighborhood committee

Les élus Emmanuel Carrière et Julien Plantier, aux côtés de Marie Ozil, présidente du comité. MLG

This traditional meeting was held in a packed room in the Pierre-Gamel center and in the presence of the two Pichon sisters, shocked by the demolition of their ancestor's house.

Their presence was absolutely not expected, Wednesday evening, during the general assembly of the Marronniers neighborhood committee: then, when Geneviève and Marie-Hélène Pichon made their way among the very large audience (some followed the debates from outside the Pierre-Gamel center) through the open windows, murmurs arose. Because the two octogenarians knew it well: the developments of the future Jacques-Chirac urban park, on the site of their family's former nurseries, were going to monopolize the debates. Not only because the committee doubts the merits of certain technical decisions, but also because the demolition of the house of Ernest Pichon, founder of the company in 1885, and its historic greenhouse, at the end of February , aroused emotion in the neighborhood.
After the official presentation of the project a year ago, a file with local residents' suggestions sent to the town hall and a meeting with elected officials in January, President Marie Ozil's team dove into "the amazement and astonishment with this demolition. I received a call from a member of the Pichon family who experienced it as, I quote, the word is strong, a betrayal. It was to be a place of memory and exhibition on the history of the site. And the demolition permit was never posted."

«What you are saying is nonsense»

Standing among the assembly, Geneviève Pichon, moved, confided her dismay: "We saw that everything deteriorated over time. There were 32 expropriations, and for us, this is the biggest, the hardest. Our great-grandfather's house was built over 100 years ago. Asbestos is in greenhouses, potting…" And, speaking directly to the first deputy Julien Plantier: "For us, what you are saying is nonsense." 

Right in his boots, the elected official retorted: "I understand that you may be offended." While justifying this decision: "When there is demolition, we are not required to file a demolition permit. This house was not included in the planning permission. This building was squatted for 9 months. Given its condition, it was not necessary to add additional money (Editor's note: the budget for this project is 18 million euros) for a house diagnosed with asbestos and that it was difficult to renovate to transform it into a building open to the public."

Pending environmental authorization

Another point of friction between the first deputy and the committee, "the waterproofing of highly floodable soils. It was the thing not to do, said secretary Joël Gardes. To compensate, you created 13 mini-retention basins, embankments above the ring road." Julien Plantier provided technical details : "We waterproof an additional 2,400 square meters: compared to 15 hectares, it’s relative."

While the development permit appeals have been purged, the elected official brought good news in terms of administrative authorizations: the hydraulic component was validated by the DDTM, as well than the health component by the ARS. The environmental part, studied by DREAL, remains pending. The start date of the work is therefore still not known…

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