Castle Scopont, in the village of Maurens-Scopont in Tarn (81), is located just a stone’s throw from the future A69 motorway, which continues to annoy the owner of the place, Bernard. He fears that the future 53km motorway to connect Toulouse to Castres, due to open in 2025, will run too close to the castle and damage the listed building and romantic chateau. Neo-Gothic pavilion, protected as a monument since 1986, located in the park. A remarkable property because the columns of the castle were even used to restore the Jacobin monastery in Toulouse. At the time, the château belonged to Jean Soubeiran de Scopont, founder of the Golden Eglantine, the prize that rewards the first ever poetry competition in Europe, the Flower Games, which celebrates its 700th anniversary this year.
In fact, the future highway must pass 300 meters from the 480 m² castle and 180 meters from the Neo-Gothic troubadour-style pavilion built by the Marquis de Castellane in honor of his ancestor Bonifáce de Castellane, troubadour at the court of Anjou. The owner believes that the classification of the castle means the construction of a highway within a radius of 500 meters, no less. “I slept soundly, never thought the state would exceed this limit“, explains the owner Figaro.
Unfavorable opinion of the building architect of France
Too short a distance between the monument and the highway will expose the century-old oaks to carbon monoxide emitted by cars and the property will be affected by noise. “Our monuments are victims of rape. This freeway is an insult, a complete lack of respect for the laws that protect historic buildings. Nevertheless, it is the memory of our fathers, the wealth of our regions», confided the gentleman who bought the castle from the Algerian state in 1987, Figaro, last September
Only work on buildings located within the visibility of a historical monument less than 500 meters from it is subject to the approval of the French building architect, ABF, which is the case here. “The architect Bâtiments de France intervened in 2022 to issue an unfavorable opinion and create a compensatory, modified and even alternative route. It remained a dead letter. So is it an address error or a land registry error? Still, we weren’t worried about the lock. This is why we absolutely want this highway to go far. 500 meters is enough to solve the problem», asked the president of the association “Renaissance du Château de Scopont” François Linares to France Bleu Occitanie.
No threat to the castle
The concessionaire and constructor of the A69, Atosca, claims to have met the owner with the architect of the French buildings. According to the investigation commission, the route declared to be of public benefit is not problematic due to the vegetation around the highway. The owner applied for a preliminary injunction to suspend work on the A69, which he says passes too close to his property, but was rejected by the Toulouse Administrative Court on Tuesday. No serious reason likely challenged the legality of the permit issued on March 1, 2023 by the Prefects of Tarn and Haute-Garonne according to the courts, reports La Dépêche du Midi.
The Prefecture of Tarn welcomes this decision: “Administrative justice once again confirms the legality of the A69 environmental permit“he rejoices in the press release. Before making sure that “near the A69 routeErespects the interests of the historical heritage and does not damage the castle in any way“. The owner is desperate: “How can we defile the memory of our fathers, spit on our heritage?“, he complains Figaro. swinging”he was never against the freeway» but he just wanted her to go away from him.
So the A89 construction site continues, with at least four applications lodged against it in 2023. They were all rejected, confirming the “that the A69 project perfectly fits the interests of Tarn residents and respects their environment», according to the prefecture of Tarn. The owner will appeal the decision. To be continued.