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With one million tourists a year, the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most prestigious tourist sites in France. A vestige of the Roman era that could soon rub shoulders with an e-commerce giant: Amazon. In a vast plain surrounded by vineyards, 14 hectares ideally located, there will soon be a parcel sorting center here for the American company. A building criticized by Adere (association for the development of employment while respecting the environment), which denounces its ecological impact, but also the methods of Amazon. For good reason, for months, the project progressed on the sly. On all documents from the town hall of Fourès (Gard), including the building permit, Amazon never appears, but rather Argan, a company that builds and then rents businesses.
The association also points out the conditions of sale of land. Some belonged to elected officials or their relatives. They granted planning permission while selling their land at above-average prices. For opponents, this is a conflict of interest. They therefore filed a complaint. Affected by this accusation, the village mayor, Thierry Boudinaud (SE) receives us, accompanied by other elected officials. He supports the arrival of Amazon, its 200 jobs and especially the 200,000 euros in annual property taxes. For him, this complaint is without foundation. A first building permit was canceled by the prefecture, a second was re-voted without the participation of elected officials who sold their land, but the project is still blocked by another legal recourse. A project that annoys far beyond the village. 400 to 500 trucks per day must pass through a roundabout, main access to the Pont du Gard, future entrance to a regional natural park. Tourism professionals don’t want Amazon. When contacted, Amazon did not comment on this controversy. By 2021, the company plans to create eight to eleven similar warehouses across France.
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