Amazon will finally not install a giant warehouse near Rouen

published on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 07:35

After months of deadlock with local associations, the e-commerce giant stops setting up a parcel factory in the suburbs of Rouen

The developer of the site who was tipped to host an Amazon warehouse sent a letter to the mayor of Petit-Couronne, near Rouen, announcing a withdrawal, on March 26, the PS mayor of the town was in favor of the project.

The construction project for a “logistics building with an area of ​​160,961 m2 (…) is ultimately not carried out”, wrote to the municipality the company Gazeley, which according to the mayor of Petit-Couronne Joël Bigot would rent to Amazon.

“A troubling project”

Joël Bigot regretted this decision which he announced to the city council. “The job losses are between 1,000 and 1,800, depending on the time of year.

The tax revenue for the municipality was estimated at around 600,000 euros,” he said.

“This project bothered so many people,” he admitted, however. “The various appeals against the building permit or the environmental permit have delayed the project,” emphasizes the elected official.

SDIS concerns

In October 2020, the metropolis of Rouen had voted against this project due to the concerns of the SDIS (departmental fire and rescue service). Firefighters feared being faced with an “operational impossibility” in a report and believed that a major fire at the Seveso site of Lubrizol in Rouen, “be able to produce a greater amount of smoke than during the fire of September 26, 2019”.

However, the metropolis had not taken any legal action. The Prefect of Seine-Maritime had signed two decrees authorizing the project in March 2021, as the operator had meanwhile “integrated the recommendations of the SDIS”.

But last February, the Norman media Le Poulpe, broadcast by Mediapart, had confirmed that the clean-up of the site that Amazon would partially occupy “raised serious questions about the reality of the work carried out”.

The company Valgo was responsible for the remediation of this site where the Petroplus refinery was closed in 2013. Le Poulpe is said to be based on the testimony of 30 Valgo employees and subcontractors who worked on this remediation.

But for Joel Bigot they are “distorted articles”, “mixing everything together”. “Admittedly, there was a problem with contaminated soil at the Valgo site, but I took care of the reception of the Dreal (Regional Directorate for Environment) some time ago and everything was under control,” he said on Friday. In a press release, Stop Amazon 76 was “elated with this local victory that echoes other construction projects abandoned by the American giant in Montbert (Loire-Atlantique) and Fournès (Gard)”.

10,000 jobs in 5 years

In 2017, “only three French regions had an Amazon warehouse on their territory. Today, none of them are spared”Cyrille Moreau, vice president of EELV of the metropolis, said he was “glad that this damaging project for the environment is not being realized in Rouen”. But “the problem is far from solved (…) Amazon will build it somewhere else,” he added.

Metropolis PS chairman Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol declined to comment. Amazon said in February it had created more than 10,000 permanent jobs in France in the past five years. but a report from the firm Progexa fears the group’s desire to “maintain only painful positions” in the long run.

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