Consultations between the city and the promoter should take place in the coming days to discuss the future of the project
URBAN PLANNING – Consultations between the city and the promoter should take place in the coming days to address the future of the project “I want to stop the mall itself”, announces the new environmental mayor from Valbonne (Alpes-Maritimes) Joseph Cesario, on the projet Open Sky. This large-scale commercial area, run by the Compagnie de Phalsbourg provides 59,900 m2 of shops “specializing in personal and household equipment”. And also a hotel (10,000 m2), offices (20,000 m2) and spaces dedicated to culture and leisure. All in the town of Valbonne, along the A8 motorway and at the edge of the departmental park of Valmasque.
Since the announcement of its installation, the project has been far from unanimous. At the end of 2019, the promoter was facing the challenge of environmental associations and some of the inhabitants. Online petition launched even though the Company already had the building permits. In parallel, the site is put on hold after the discovery of “1,000 tonnes of asbestos”, according to Philippe Journo, boss of Phalsbourg, last December.
“75% of the population is against the project”
This parenthesis in the progress of the project opens the way to consultations on its future, according to Joseph Cesario. Elected on June 28, the new mayor wrote to President Emmanuel Macron so that the moratorium on commercial areass, decided at the Citizens’ Convention of June 29, also includes the Open Sky project.
“I would like to develop alternative projects,” he says. “I have already met the Casa (Community of agglomeration of Sophia-Antipolis) and the prefecture, it only remains for me to meet Philippe Journo quickly”, underlines the one who insists on his will to collaborate on the future of this zoned. “I want to defend the interests of my town. I don’t want shops there or an operation that brings a lot of traffic. I will express it to the promoter because it is open. He understood that 75% of the population was against the project, ”considers Joseph Cesario.
For his part, Philippe Journo announces that he is awaiting a meeting with the elected officials but considers that the moratorium cannot concern Open Sky since it cannot apply, according to him, “to authorized files”. “If the city wants to stop [le projet], the cost will exceed 90 million euros ”, considers the manager. It is an assessment of the company’s expenses already incurred, of the “parameters” that could be the subject of “negotiations” between the city and the promoter.