One of the many things we like about France is its commitment to the environment.
We understand that the country has ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, tackle local air and water pollution, and put in measures to manage waste and conserve biodiversity. All of which are hugely attractive to us as residents.
Coupled with this is our love of the local natural environment here in the Dordogne, which is beautiful, peaceful and full of ecological wonders – again some of the many reasons we moved here.
Imagine our horror then when we learn that there are serious plans to build a 53-acre (21.5 hectare) racetrack just a few kilometres away from where we live.
We have until Friday 17 March to add our voices to the public enquiry – will you contribute yours?
If it goes ahead, the racetrack will be built across the communes of Vendoire, Champagne Fontaine and Nanteuil-Auriac-de-Bourzac, an area popular for its beauty, peace and tranquility, and its ecological properties. The architect of the idea – landowner, Yves Dominault who lives 60km away in Périgueux – wants the racetrack to be open eight hours a day, seven days a week, eight months of the year. Around 100 residents live within 1km of the site. Including us.
How these proposals have got as far along the planning process as they have is beyond me. The racetrack will destroy the local economy and environment. On the long list of complaints is the…
- Noise: Around 20 vehicles are expected to use the track at the same time, travelling at speeds of between 100km and 200km an hour. This will create a huge and overwhelming level of noise that will disturb communities up to 10km away.
- Pollution: Weekend activities will produce 9,600kg of CO2, the equivalent of 1,200 vehicles. Throughout the course of the year, this combines to a massive 332,800kg of CO2. This is more than 10 times what is currently produced.
- Destruction of land: The racetrack will be located in the midst of rolling hills currently used to produce a variety of crops. In addition to the genuine loss of agricultural usage, this is an area renowned for its natural beauty. If approved, the huge concrete racetrack will create severe irreversible ecological damage.
- Impact on the economy: The local economy is highly dependent on the tourists who visit the area for its natural beauty and tranquility. The racetrack will deter these tourists and have a significant negative impact on local businesses, including the many restaurants, gites and tourist attractions. Particularly affected will be the accommodation situated in elevated locations near to the site and which offer guests a vast panorama.
For the racetrack to go ahead, permission needs to be secured from the local council in Riberac. A public consultation is being held on the proposal.
Will you please help us prevent this racetrack from going ahead by adding your voice to the public enquiry?
You have until 5pm on Friday 17 March to file comments and complaints against the plans. You can do so by writing (in French) to the commissioner of the public enquiry to let them know that “you are against the modification of the communal map in Champagne Fontaine solely for the purpose of allowing a circuit project”, and the reasons why.
You can make your objections known by:
– Sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Writing to: Monsieur le Commissaire Enquêteur, Mairie de Champaign, 24320 Champagne Fontaine, France.
– Writing in the register at the Mairie (address above), which is open Monday to Friday between 14.00 and 17.30.
We desperately do not want this racetrack to go ahead and would be very grateful if you could take the time to contribute to the enquiry.
(And big thanks to our friends up at Quirky Camping for the photos!)