25 May, 2014

The Technicolor plot in the vague

Le terrain de Technicolor dans le vague.- Les nouveaux dirigeants d'Angers Loire Métropole auraient découvert que contrairement à ce qu'ils pensaient, leur collectivité ne serait toujours pas propriétaire du site industriel de l'ancienne usine Technicolor. Cette situation pourrait ralentir la reconversion du lieu, par ailleurs conditionnée, à des modifications réglementaires. Les activités entrevues, dont la fabrication de compteurs intelligents, pourraient aller ailleurs.

The new Angers Loire Métropole board believed it was the owner of large industrial fallow lands and that it had, with them, a leverage capacity to get some cash, but, the most known of those deserted lands - the fields of the former Technicolor factory - is not yet an Angers property. According to the French economic daily, Les Echos, the estate, 13.6 hectares, located at 3 km of Angers down town and surrounded by urbanized districts, is still the property of the liquidator, instead of the territorial authorities.

In March 2013, it was said that Angers Loire Métropole had purchased the site for € 6.5 millions after it had bought the industrial structures built on the field with their technical equipment for € 1.8 million. In fact the 6.5 millions have been budgeted but "for undisclosed reasons" the legal document has not been signed. So the current Angers Loire Métropole decision-makers could be hampered in the implementation of their projects. The former Alm board had planned to develop electronic subcontracting with the "intelligent meter Linky" for the French public company Electricité réseau de France (Erdf). But the order (35 millions meters) motivates other companies and, in case of a waste of time, Angers could also loose the market.

Morover, the estate is at the core of a juridical imbroglio, writes Les Echos. The former Technicolor plot is classified in a area where only industrial activities are allowed. Another use - housing or services industries - is not possible. That depends on a change of the local regulations. A change was attempted in 2009 but refused by justice after ecologist communities laid a complain. Angers Loire Métropole has to devise another urban plan but it will take years. The Technicolor site will remain as a wasteland probably for a long time.

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