“Farming effect” of climate law, housing projects accelerate in Brittany – Should we stop building housing estates?
The season of mayoral swearing-in ceremonies was accompanied by announcements of future subdivisions to respond to local demographic dynamics. In Plougourvest (29) we plan to build a hundred houses, and in Meucon (56) we think we will soon be able to place 60-80 buildings on an area of 3 ha. However, these ambitions are overshadowed by a new and powerful concern arising from the announcement of the Climate and Sustainability Act in August 2021. For the first time, it is assumed that by 2050 the principle of “zero net artificialization” (Zan) of land will be implemented. milestone: a 50% reduction in the rate of artificialization of natural, agricultural and forest areas during the period 2021-2031 compared to the previous one. Future regional, intermunicipal and municipal planning and urban planning documents will have to incorporate this new situation.
“Perverse influence of the law”
The concern of elected officials translates into a desire to rapidly expand housing estates in many municipalities: “I was afraid of this perverse effect of the law: as its implementation approaches, there is a tendency: as long as we hurry, I say. as we can still build”, notes Dominique Ramard, former president of the Brittany Public Land Authority (EPF) and mayor of Saint-Juvat (22).
In Pluvarada (22), mayor Kiril Nicolas commits to “hurry up” before the local inter-municipal urban development plan is revised: “We have to go there while we still have building land. It might be a little selfish, but the risk of expecting too much is never being able to do anything about it.” The mayor, who said he was “absolutely in favor” of the Climate Law, thus launched a new subdivision of about twenty apartments: “If I keep this hectare in the city to plant corn, it does not interest me. Besides, we have not abused in the past: for years municipal housing we do not produce arrays”.
According to Yves Bleunven, president of the Association of Mayors of Morbihan (AMF), it would be “cheating” to raise the flags as soon as possible. “The meter has been running since the publication of the law, on August 22, 2021, and you are responsible for accounting for everything you consume on the land from that date,” notes one of the mayors of Grand-Champ ( 56). His colleague from Pluvara is well aware of this: “Maybe in 2025 they will tell us that we have already finished our quota of construction land and we will have to stop there,” he fears.
For his part, Dominique Ramard criticizes the desire to “divide” the fissa because, in his opinion, it means that “the problem that the law seeks to solve is not understood by elected officials. The issue of preservation of living lands seems to be the only limitation regarding the development method of their municipality so far. It also clarifies current local taxation that favors the conversion of agricultural land to land for construction or buildings, as this leads to increased revenue.
On the contrary, some municipalities such as Grand-Champ are already on the brakes: “We have planned to reduce housing extensions by 63% in the decade 2021-2031, while at the same time we manage to buy more housing because we have a lot of housing. reconstruction of cities, empty areas to be mobilized”, Yves Bleunven explains. These rehabilitation possibilities are not everywhere: “We don’t have an empty area that they can demolish and do other work. In rural municipalities, it is outside, of course there are old agricultural buildings, but it is private, “the mayor of Plouvara notes.
Land that has become unbuildable
His counterpart in Saint-Jouvat (22), the aglo de Dinan (22), unhesitatingly accepts the 3 hectares allocated by the new PLUI, three times less than the reserves seen on the 2003 municipal map. Its mayor, Dominique Ramard, says he is, in fact, convinced of “the almost absolute necessity of protecting land to produce food, energy, materials and host biodiversity.” “We have decided to demolish all building land that is not in or near the city,” he continues, even if it means incurring the wrath of owners who have seen their properties lose a large portion of their value.
However, other challenges arise for municipalities trying to allocate less natural land for housing. Taking into account future construction in areas of economic activity in Grand-Champ – the city is one of the vacuum cleaners for enterprises in the Vannes agglomeration – and all others outside its competence, such as the department of roads, the total balance will fall to 18% – more than the expected 50%. As a result, Yves Bleunven asks for a better consideration in the law of “territorialization” and locally “the creation of an inter-municipal PLU at the scale of the Vannes agglomeration within the framework of the Zan car”. Judge between us.”
Land zero: Senate wants to ‘take communities out of the blur’
A draft law (PPL) that aims to “take communities out of the blur” in the face of “net zero artificial (Zan)” land targets by 2050 is due to be debated in the Senate at the end of February. Before the visit to the National Assembly. This PPL, introduced in mid-December, comes from a cross-party mission of the Senate. Valéry Létard, the president of the mission, warned: “The aim is to ensure the solution of the identified difficulties that come to us from the territories.”
Zan’s executive orders, in fact, drew the ire of a number of elected officials, including village mayors who denounced the “territorial imbalance” and the risk of “creeping control” by the regions. . The measures proposed by PPL plan to facilitate the implementation of Zan by local authorities by adding and “harmonizing” the legal framework, “strengthening territorial governance” or even “better involving local authorities at the regional level”. .
Bechu is ready to “change the system”.
Meanwhile, the Association of French Mayors (AMF) challenged two of Zan’s three executive decrees before the Council of State in June. It also prepared 20 implementation proposals in mid-December. Among them are the review of renaturation measures from 2021 and a one-year extension of the deadline for the integration of the Zan goal into urban planning and development documents.
In response, the Minister of Environmental Transition, Christophe Bechu, stated that he was waiting for the “white smoke” of the Senate text to amend the system in the spirit of openness that the government had shown from the beginning. when he suspended the execution of the decrees at the end of April. According to him, rewriting of the decrees is planned for the beginning of this year.