It is a boiling subject among mayors that arrives at the National embly. The deputies are considering from this Tuesday in committee on a Senate bill which aims to help local authorities implement the famous objective of “zero net artificialisation” (ZAN) of soils.
ociations of elected officials are sounding the alarm: the principle, enshrined in law for almost two years, is a puzzle. Last summer, the government had promised to review its copy, before the senators put a text on the table in December, then that the deputies of the majority make their own proposals 2 months later.
The political cl is now trying to find common ground. “The fact that we are taking up the Senate bill and that there is a constructive approach from the groups shows that we are on a transpartisan subject”, wants to believe the rapporteur for the text Bastien Marchive. The deputy of Deux-Sèvres, related to Renaissance, has “good hope” that the parliamentarians will reach a consensus “which is as broad as possible”.
The ZAN objectives are “a major evolution in the way we think about development”, takes care to remind the elected official. And this requires, according to him, a certain number of accompaniments. “Everyone agrees on the observation: difficulties arise in the implementation, it is necessary to guarantee a territorial network that is balanced and better take into account the way in which the quantitative objectives must be broken down within the communities”, describes -he.
One of the proposals promised to a lively debate amounts to granting a “rural guarantee” to the municipalities, with the aim of better distributing the rights to build and in a balanced way. A sort of right to develop “when they need it”, specifies the Renaissance deputy from the Landes and rapporteur Lionel Causse. The Senate has proposed that this guarantee take the form of one hectare per municipality, which is far from unanimous.
The rapporteurs intend above all to ensure that, if there is a guarantee, the hectares concerned are well accounted for in the overall envelope of 125,000 hectares that France can now artificialize over the decade, in accordance with the law. Lionel Causse ures us: the same would apply to major national projects (LGV, ports, etc.) that the senators wanted to count separately (and not charge to the regions) or for green industry projects.
“The definition of major national projects will be discussed, this is one of the things that will come out by decree”, explains the deputy. “On the objectives, it’s 125,000 hectares and no more,” he said, indicating that this is a “red line” for the rapporteurs who have “the support of the government”.
The latter chose to tighten this very technical text compared to the version of the senators, who wanted a final vote in the summer. From fourteen articles – voluminous for a bill – it could go to seven or eight. The rest would go through regulations. The executive, which has therefore tabled several deletion amendments, promises in particular to deal with decrees “taking into account the past efforts of communities” or even the reference to the nomenclature of surfaces artificialized or not.
Environmental defense ociations are on the alert. For the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), the text contains “many uncertainties”. They will pay particular attention to the way in which major projects and green industry projects will be accounted for, or even housing estate lawns and agricultural warehouses, as well as taking into account the specificities of mountain and coastal areas.
For Vanessa Lorioux, director of the citizen mobilization unit of the LPO, “the biggest setback would be that the derogations which are granted as and when the parliamentary discussion undermines the flagship objective of the 2021 law, which was the halving of artificialization in the next ten years”.