Nantes, France

28/05/08

The autonomous port of Nantes Saint Nazaire receives authorisation from the Prefect to extend the existing quays. This is of concern to several associations for coastline protection (LPO, Loire Vivante, and Bretagne Vivante) who lodge an action for annulment of the decision. The Administrative Court does not accept their arguments. However, the European Commission, having to pass a sentence on the same case, confirms that an extension under the proposed conditions would be in breach with current regulations. This is why we are supporting these associations in their appeal proceedings. The campaign achieves the cancellation of the project, and Donges Est will not see the light of day!

Due to the exponential expansion of maritime transport, the port of Saint Nazaire decides to extend its quays by 500 meters, and to develop the 51-hectare-yard on the site of Donges Est.

The project receives the approval of the Prefect for the Loire Atlantique Department in 2003. However, the environmental protection NGOs we are joining reveal at an early stage in the project that these works would seriously degrade the habitat of the corncrake, which is a species protected by the Birds and Habitats Directives (Natura 2000).

When a project is likely to have such severe ecological impacts, European regulations oblige the project owners to implement compensatory measures for the various environmental degradations caused. In this case, based on the supporting documents presented, the compensatory measures are clearly insufficient. Wanting to ensure the respect of the environmental laws, the NGOs bring the matter before the administrative courts to dispute the decision made by the Prefect. As the demands for redress at domestic level were not yet received in favour of the NGOs, only representative mass direct action will legitimise this legal recourse.

This is why SFE, whose statutory objective it is to protect the coastlines, the oceans, and the people who benefit from these, decides to join this associative movement to give the necessary weight to their demands.  We have therefore drawn up a brief for our intervention in the proceedings. Finally, after more than 15 years of fighting, the project is abandoned as Brussels does not accept the compensatory measures offered by the port management.

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Coastal Development
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