Association Flainoise

2018-07-12-Public enquiry into the planned “new tourist unit” for the extension of the leisure zone.

Friday 3 August 2018 by Regis_Lardennois, Timothy Cooper

Thanks a lot Tim for the english version.Retour ligne automatique

Updated on 12 July 2018: the “new tourist unit” (UTN) file is expected to be published on Monday on the Arâches town council’s website.
Addition of links to external sites.

This public enquiry runs from 16 July to 24 August 2018.
This is a very important issue for us, even in Flaine (see below).
This article contains general information, and will be followed up by separate articles giving more detailed or updated information.

Description of the project:
This extension comprises (figures are for total floor area):

  • a nine-hole golf course covering 46 hectares, on the commons (including Pierre à Laya) between les Carroz (Pré du Bois) and the village of Arâches, requiring the clearance of 13.5 hectares of woodland
  • 6 500 m2 of buildings comprising
    *- a four-star hotel covering 5 700 m2
  • a multi-leisure centre (restaurant, shop, etc.) covering 450 m2
  • staff accommodation covering 350 m2
  • a car park.
    This extension would allow the site to be used during all four seasons with the following activities:
  • winter: cross-country skiing, biathlon,
  • summer: golf, horse-riding, VTT, walking routes, etc.

A public enquiry is open from Monday 16 July to 24 August 2018.
The file can be consulted at the town hall. There are currently no plans to make the file available online (in spite of repeated requests, as it is impossible to study a document expected to number 600 pages at the town hall).
This is most regrettable, after everything which we have been told about its contents, which should answer all our questions.


Our readers are already familiar with part of the content of this project, as it was discussed at length at the meeting on 15 March 2018 about the sustainable development plan (plan d’aménagement et de développement durable - PADD), and at the meeting on 28 June about the local urban development plan (plan local d’urbanisme - PLU).

Following the meeting of 15 March, we published first a transcript of the speeches and discussions, and later an article setting out our comments, and in May a version was sent to the town councillors and to the President of the Region, the President of the Department, and the Prefect.

Following the meeting of 28 June, the transcript was published online, and we will first publish a summary, then our comments.


We oppose this project for the following reasons, which are explained in the documents already published (links below):

  • Too much concreting over of the commune.
  • There is a risk that the resort of Les Carroz will put off residents and holidaymakers who come here to be closer to nature.
  • The commons of Les Carroz is a quite exceptional site in terms of fauna and flora, and for walking and cycling trips in the medium mountains.
  • We fear it will be a financial drain, which worries us for two reasons:
    • as taxpayers in the commune of Arâches, like the majority of our members,
    • this can only further reduce the money available to invest in Flaine, which has been virtually zero for a number of years, in spite of the rules on the allocation of the tax revenue and electoral promises.
  • This is the start of a process which will lead to urbanising the Arbaron, which we oppose for two reasons:
      • preservation of the landscape: it is a ridge, and building there would destroy this mountain scenery; this zone is as worthy of protection as the commons of Les Carroz;
      • the link with the Flaine golf course, which is in a bad state, largely because of a lack of investment for 20 years, and which is worth preserving because of its unique characteristics.

As you can see, this project, which primarily concerns the residents of Les Carroz, also directly affects us in Flaine.

We hope that Arâches town council will return to its senses and stop its black-out of the documents linked to the public enquiry (for what reason, we wonder?), and that we will be able to take a closer look at these projects.

We will return to these points in greater detail, in close cooperation with residents of Les Carroz, and ask you to speak up by responding to the public enquiry, after considering carefully what is at stake.


The first stage of the public enquiry battle is the fight to obtain information.
The file which is the subject of the public enquiry apparently runs to 600 pages, and the town hall has refused point blank to make it available for download. It can be consulted only at the town hall during its opening hours.
Anyone wishing to read the file will therefore have to spend at least two days at the town hall, and we will have to wait and see if they have enough copies for everyone.


Transcript of the public meeting of 15 March 2018 about the PADD (sustainable development plan), and comments. The latter has been sent to the Arâches town councilors and to the political and administrative authorities responsible for Arâches.
2018-03-15 - Compte-Rendu de la présentation du PADD
2018-03-15 - Présentation du PADD - Allocutions et Présentation
Position de l’Association Flainoise sur le projet de PADD / PLU de la commune d’Arâches
2018-05-22-Commentaires de l’Association Flainoise sur le projet de PADD

2018-06-28 - Restitution de la présentation du PLU d’Arâches le 28 juin, long, but contains a lot of information.

Public enquiry about the UTN (new tourist unit) file
Message to our supporters:
2018-07-13 - “No to Marc Iochum’s project”. Have your say.
We are sending you documents with a QR code (matrix barcode). If you focus the camera of your smartphone on a QR code it will connect to a website. Our QR code will bring you to this page.

and comments to follow when we have more information:
2018-07-23 - Information sur le projet UTN d’Arâches

External sites
Arâches opposition town councillors
They have an avantage over us in that, like all the town councillors, they have a copy of the public enquiry file, and have drawn the consequences on their website.

Les Amoureux des Carroz, Facebook page.

They have provided a link to a video (Youtube) by Patrick Gabarrou, a well-known mountaineer and speaker, who used to live in Les Carroz.
Direct link:
He doesn’t like the project. We are providing a direct link for those of you who don’t have a Facebook account.

There is also a film by Bertrand Decret on Youtube

These two films have subtitles in French which can be translated by Google! We are studying the possibility of providing a human translation.

“Citoyens d’Arâches” Facebook page


Scheduled or estimated date Event
16 July to 24 August Public enquiry on the “new tourist unit” project at Arâches town hall
July or August 2018 Detailed presentation of the works planned on the commons of Les Carroz (before the public enquiry, we hope)
13 August 2018 The mayor of Arâches, Marc Iochum, presents the PLU (local urban development plan) to the general meeting of the Les Carroz Residents Association.
24 September 2018 Meeting of the Massif Commission to rule on the acceptability of the project.
autumn 2018 Public enquiry into the environmental impact of the project
? Decision of the Prefect. Adoption of the UTN (new tourist unit) order
January 2019 Public enquiry into the modification of the PLU (local urban development plan) of the commune of Arâches.
September 2018 Presentation by the mayor of Arâches of the new development plan for the Lays area, following the expected rejection of the current plan including the Lays-Cupoire cable car.

A busy calendar, as you can see!


PADD Plan d’aménagement et de développement durable - sustainable development plan - first stage of the PLU
PLU Plan local d’urbanisme - local urban development plan
UTN Unité touristique nouvelle - new tourist unit: building projects exceeding 12 000 m2 are required to obtain a special permit following a specific administrative procedure.

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