Real estate plans jeopardise the future of a Rhone Valley co-operative

Friday May 03 2019 by Vitisphere

The urban development project in Courthezon (Vaucluse).The urban development project in Courthezon (Vaucluse).

The plans may directly jeopardise the winery’s business”, says Pierre Cohen, director of Cellier des Princes in Courthezon (Vaucluse), referring to an urban development project launched by the town council. The council is considering new local planning regulations that would give planning permission to a plot partly planted with vines classified as Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, next door to the company's grape harvest reception and winemaking buildings. The aim is to build 6 social housing units.

The plans are totally incompatible with the industrial activity located just 10 metres away: “There is a significant safety risk, with tractors, trailers and hoppers coming and going during the harvest, and we know full well that we will have complaints about noise and smell pollution. Economic balance is very fragile in the wine industry”, explains the winery’s director.

Pointing to the many years the winery’s facilities have been located here (1965), its executives have therefore been trying for several months to stop the project by raising awareness among public authorities, liaising with the town hall, launching a petition and holding a public meeting. These steps have so far failed to elicit a response from the authorities or change the council’s opinion on the planning regulations. The next step is the opening of the public inquiry, which should begin in June 2019. 



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