Nantes: The metropolis signs the definitive abandonment of its Heron Tree

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It's NO Abandoned a year ago, the ambitious project hoped to relaunch thanks to private funds. The president of Nantes métropole Johanna Rolland announces that she rejects this new version

Nantes: The metropolis signs the definitive abandonment of its Heron Tree

Synthesis image of the monumental construction project 039;Heron tree in Nantes. — The Machine

  • For a year, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire had worked on a private financing solution to relaunch the Heron Tree project.
  • A new version which was not retained by the metropolis, which therefore marks the definitive cessation of this giant vegetated metal structure.

His fate seems definitively sealed. The Heron Tree will not see the light of day in the near future. Nantes. This is what announced Thursday evening the president of Nantes Métropole Johanna Rolland (PS) at all the actors who still hoped to see this 35 meter high metal structure one day rise up in the Nantes sky. However, for a year, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire had indeed worked, with success we learned, on an exclusively private financing solution.

An approach undertaken after Johanna Rolland had chosen to abandon the project (long-criticized by the Nantes right, the elected environmentalists of the majority, and part of the population) , in particular for budgetary reasons: the forecast cost had passed. from 35 million euros to 52.4 million euros and the latest estimates, taking into account the soaring costs of raw materials, placed it at the top of the list. some 80 million euros. “Awareness of the climate emergency” had also played a role.

Legal and security obstacles

« The project group, combining all the necessary expertise, demonstrated feasibility economic impact of the project, thanks to an assembly based on on an agreement for the temporary occupation of public space, indicates today Nantes Métropole. However, the legal advisors of the Metropolis, seized of the file, indicated that: that such an arrangement in the Misery quarry presented legal risks in terms of its legality, in particular by the absence of competition with regard to the public domain. »

The leaders of the new project have meanwhile become interested in another site located à west of the island of Nantes, on land of the Grand maritime port. But there again, the metropolis has vetoed it. Mainly for security reasons, it is said, the attraction would have drained people. too many people in a place far too close to the Loire. « Moreover, the possibility of re-use of studies financed by public authorities for the benefit of a private project leader This also raised insecurity. legal, notes the metropolis.

The Great Blue Heron, without its tree, will soon be released?

A “genuine regret” for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which saw this “fabulous project” an “Eiffel Tower for Nantes”. But the big bird and its mechanical bestiary shouldn't stay in the garage for too long. Because the metropolis, whose relations have since been strained with the designers of the Tree, now wants “to put the Great Blue Heron into operation on the Esplanade des Naves from the 2024 tourist season /2025». Objective: to continue “the magic and wonder of the Machines à agrave” Nantes, a real tourist locomotive in the region.