Bundy residents chaos, soon to be confiscated

Grand Paris would like to store aggregates from the construction site for Line 15 at the site of their homes.

Joanna and Didier have lived in their home in Bondy for nearly half a century. The owners from the Ile-de-France region built their lives here, in this house surrounded by lush vegetation and housing a garden.

But two years ago, their daily lives were turned upside down with a simple message. In a recorded message, they were informed of the impending confiscation of their property at the request of the Société du Grand Paris.

“We did everything, 100% of the work, everything was announced, everything was paid, everything was settled, even the credits, it was over, it was paid. In this case, when it’s over, we have to leave,” BFM Paris-Ile-de-France mic slams Joanna, sitting in front of her house alongside her husband.

“It’s broken”

For them, the deadline is approaching, and they will have to leave their home in six months from now. These two Bondysiens aren’t the only ones affected by this expropriation. On the other side of the fence, Joanna and Didier’s neighbor find themselves in the same situation. She is 83 years old, and has been living in her home for over 20 years.

Her daughter Lydia ensures that the pensioner is decimated by this impending expropriation. The latter has never thought about moving and wants to end her days in her current home.

“She is being tortured and devastated. Instead of quietly taking care of her grandchildren and then her last days, she spends her time collecting documents and participating in group meetings (…) It is actually like a deportation, we tell you, you take your bags and leave”, Lydia regrets bitterly with BFM Paris Ile -de-France.

If all of these residents are targeted by this expropriation, it is because Grand Parix Express wants to store the rubble from the construction site for Line 15 on their home site. This huge new metro project is planned to serve several cities in the inner suburbs surrounding the capital. The eastern part of the project, of which Bondi is a part, should see the light of day by 2030.

In order to allow such quick expropriations, the government instituted a contingency plan for expropriation in 2018. If no agreement is reached with the owners, a judge can issue a forfeiture order, then the property is deemed to be of public interest and cannot be sold, donated or mortgaged. An action that makes it possible to shorten deadlines. Compensation is determined by the judge.

Resorting to associations

For their part, local residents’ associations support metro access to Seine-Saint-Denis, but decry the methods of the Grand Paris community.

Last Monday, five associations filed a lawsuit against the governor of Seine-Saint-Denis and the Grand Paris company at the Montreux Administrative Court. In their press release, they said they regretted the “persistent contempt” of residents by state and community services in Greater Paris.

Environmental Society 93 is one of those who made this appeal. In response to a question from BFM Paris Ile-de-France, its director, Francis Redon, emphasized that alternative solutions more beneficial to all parties were possible nonetheless.

“The areal area here is about 2,500 square metres, there, we have about 3,300 square metres. (…) It’s better than here, much better, and it doesn’t bother anyone,” he says, pointing to another field.

The groups concerned with this issue also pointed the finger at the behavior of the promoters. They suspect that the Grand Paris company wanted to resell the confiscated land at the end of the construction site at prices higher than the amount of compensation offered to the residents.

“There can no longer be any doubt that real estate development, a new profitable SGP activity, outperforms the healthy and living environment for the residents,” Environnement 93 denounced on its website.

Other cases in Ile-de-France

Other problems will also arise for Bondy with this project. One pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks will allow people with reduced mobility to access shops, but will not be accessible due to the works

“Deafness from state services, and the stubbornness of the Société du Grande Paris exacerbates the crisis of confidence as much as the citizens’ lack of understanding of the authorities’ decisions and their perceptions in the regions,” regrets the associations in a press release.

With major construction projects for future metro lines, the question of owners expropriating the needs of construction sites was increasingly raised in Ile-de-France. Bundy’s case is far from isolated. In Rosny-sous-Bois in Seine-Saint Denis, 25 owners of Rue Jean-Mermoz and Rue Philibert Hoffmann are also forced to leave their homes by the end of the year.

In other departments, other individuals as well as shops, businesses or schools are specifically targeted at Kremlin Bicêtre, Clamart or even Ivry.

At Perreux-sur-Marne, in Val-de-Marne, a petition was made to denounce the “completely unjustified” emergency expropriation as part of the action of Greater Paris.

Bettina de Guglielmo, Emmanuel Binet and Gauthier Hartmann with Dina Tsimba

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