Amazon abandons its warehouse project in Fournès, in the Gard, after a citizen mobilization

“The world of Amazon, enough ! » In the Gard, the slogan got the better of the American giant. After the Nantes region, it is Fournès’ turn to close the door to the American giant. Monday evening, December 13, the mayor of this small town in the south of France, located between Nîmes and Avignon, and a stone’s throw from the emblematic Pont du Gard, officially announced to the press: Amazon is giving up its center sorting of parcels.

Launched in 2019, the project provided for the construction of a building 280 meters long and 170 meters wide for a height of about six floors, near an exit of the A9 motorway, and one hour from Marseille as in Montpellier. An almost perfect location for Jeff Bezos’ company, which had planned almost everything: the plans, the building permit, the agreement of the city council …

The American already announced the creation of 150 to 200 jobs, which Amazon support quickly swelled to 600, in a department where the unemployment rate is around 15%. And the mayor of Fournès, Thierry Boudinaud, to complete: “It was an investment of 80 million euros in the territory. For our small community of municipalities, this was not trivial. “ The company Argan, real estate developer who carried the program, contacted, Tuesday, December 14, by phone, “Has no comment to make on this decision”.

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If the scenario seemed at the beginning well put together, it was without counting on the tenacious and stubborn sling of a handful of citizens, who, during the first confinement, took a little more interest in this public inquiry of 450 pages . “She never specifies the name of Amazon. Sacred performance! “, ironically Patrick Fertil, of the Association for the development of employment while respecting the environment (Adere). He sees it, from the start, “An oversized project, securely catastrophic, deplorable in terms of the environment and politically lamentable”.

“Our project was relevant”

Anger rises over the months. The deputies Philippe Berta (MoDem) and Annie Chapelier (LRM) or the former minister Delphine Batho announce their opposition. Then Carole Delga, the socialist president of the Occitanie region, positions herself on the side of the anti. The Adere will register up to 36,000 signatures on a petition and will gather, on several occasions, thousands of demonstrators on the site. “We never gave up: 600 trucks a day, six days a week in a small town, who can accept that? “, asks Mr. Fertil, a doctor in pharmacy by training, who does not claim to belong to any political party. Beyond this citizen mobilization, Adere, around twenty members of the counter, collects the sum of 28,000 euros to finance legal actions.

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