Aude: residents and municipality against an illegal construction project in a natural area

Worried about losing quality of life, but also for their safety, since this summer residents of Villemoustaussou have been fiercely opposed to the construction project by an individual in a natural area of ​​Villegailhenc. The plot in question is adjacent to their municipality and their houses.

Villemoustaussou. Peaceful town of Carcassonnais with around 4300 inhabitants. Its bell tower, its vines, but also and above all its tranquility. A tranquility that was disturbed at the beginning of the summer by the installation of new owners in the neighboring village, in Villegailhenc, on a plot of land located on the border between the two municipalities. So far nothing out of the ordinary. Only here: the land in question is designated as a nature area. For environmental issues, it is protected. And therefore has neither access road strictly speaking nor connection to the electricity grid or drinking water and sanitary facilities.

Despite this, the new owners of the plot have begun development work – clearing forests, building foundations – and suggest that they are actually going to build a house here, even though the law forbids them to do so. Worried, even says to himself “in danger”, Villemachois, who lives nearby, then stepped up to stop this illegal construction. To achieve this, they launched a petition signed by dozens of residents and even created their own association. Three months later, where is the project?

Some tried to talk to the owners. They were threatened.

“Before they took over the land, this was scrub land. The whole village came to walk there with their families […] Judging by the speed at which they act, they are certainly no novices. We clearly feel in danger. Some tried to talk to them and were threatened… However, they learned from their mouths that they wanted to make some kind of caravan site. […] If these people settle there, we can expect them to cross the village in trucks, caravans, and the roads are not made for that. In addition to the destruction of this natural site, we also feared noise pollution from them. All this could lead to the desertion of the inhabitants and even a devaluation of our property. You can see how it goes elsewhere’.

Here is what the collective of residents of Baden du Goy said several weeks ago. Watching the work go on, “mostly at night”, they then warned the Mayors of Villemoustaussou and Villegailhenc; had also written to the prefect and even contacted the Departmental Directorate of Territories and the Sea of ​​Aude (DDTM).

For several weeks, work appears to have stopped.

In this area, the service acting under the authority of the prefecture could not be clearer. “Everything that has been done has been done without any authorization. Here we are in a natural area, work is prohibited according to the local urban plan. The owners expose themselves to a fine and the demolition of the buildings during a certain period of time. The verdict will decide thisblows Vincent Cligniez, the director of DDTM 11. We received the petition sent to the prefect of the collective on July 1st. In continuation of this, we contacted the town hall in Villegaheinc so that a municipal offense report could be drawn up. A few days later it was forwarded to the public prosecutor’s office.’

We are dealing with people who ignore the law

Bruno Giacomel, Mayor of Villemoustaussou.

Bruno Giacomel, Mayor of Villemoustaussou.

It took some time to reach them. It’s time they agreed to talk about this “hot topic”. But in the end, the two mayors concerned ended up speaking out. On the side of Bruno Giacomel, the mayor of Villemoustaussou, whose residents are concerned about the potential nuisance, the city councilor indicates that he has issued a traffic restriction on the Chemin du Château d’Eau: “I accepted this order because you can access the site from my city. I also had concrete blocks installed. They were removed three hours after being deposited […] The work seems to be at a standstill. Nothing has happened for several weeks. But I prefer to be careful because these are people who ignore the law. I remain cautious and alert. We are dealing with people who ignore the law.”

Faced with dishonest people, I played the legal game

As for Michel Proust, the first judge of Villegailhenc, although some local residents doubt it, he says that he has “do the right thing, on time”. “It was a Villegailhencois owner who sold this lot, not the town hall. When I started receiving calls and hearing about the petition from local residents, I went there to see a stop work order. Order which I delivered to the owner of the land in person at the town hall, says the mayor. I also archived minutes. Faced with dishonest people, I played the legal game. I can do no more. It is now in the hands of the state attorney. But as far as I know, the family stopped working.”

At the site, the ground no longer looks like real scrub. The rubble and pallets of cinder blocks are still there. However, the work appears to have been discontinued. Currently.

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