Sauve Garde le Salaves

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Merci de signer la Pétition!
Sauvegarde du Salavès

And what have the authorities done...?

And what have the authorities done ...?

Art. 15 
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

Society has the right to hold to account every public servant of its administration.


A little history:

December 16, 2004: Meeting at the Town Hall

M. Malgoire, the Mayor of Sauve, called a meeting of some forty local residents to discuss the noise pollution caused by car trials and motorcycle training at Sebens. The majority of those present spoke against this circuit but the meeting was not followed up (there were no minutes).

Local residents create a file concerning the installation of a racing car test track with a length of 7 km at Sebens. This file is sent to the Sub-Prefect of the Gard.

January 2005 -
The first petition

The residents deliver to the Town Council a petition against the car trials at Sebens.
Local residents continue regularly to contact the Town Hall and the Sub-Prefecture of the Gard by telephone, email and mail. Between 2007 and 2012 the circuit is used for more than 200 days.

July/August 2007

The Association "Sauve-Garde du Salavès" (created under the Act of 1901), which groups together residents of the Valley of the Banassou, writes to the Prefect of the Gard with a copy to the Town Council stating: "According to M. Malgloire, the Mayor of Sauve, M. Metge has obtained the required authorizations from the Prefecture and the Town Hall. Please kindly confirm for us the precise terms of any such authorisations. "

No response from either the Prefect or the Mayor.

Alexandra Masot, Deputy Mayor, passes the complaints of residents to the police, without commenting on the issue of authorisations.

Nothing happens.

Olivier Gaillard, Deputy Mayor, states that the Sub-Prefect has "proposed to submit the file to the road safety commission."

Nothing happens.

October 2007

The Association sends a new file to the Prefect.

Nothing happens.

December 2007 - Ban issued the Commune

The Town Council of Sauve approves the local development plan (PLU) for the town in which it is stated that the terrain of Sebens consists of areas A1, US1 and N1 in which "are prohibited motorsports activities and installations."


The Association writes to M. Malgoire, the Mayor of Sauve, explaining that he has granted authorisations "to an institution that does not meet the standards required for road safety", putting himself personally at risk "since you had acted alone, without either consulting or receiving the endorsement of your council and in full knowledge of what you were doing..." and affirming his penal and financial responsibility and that of the town.

Nothing happens

November 9, 2009

Maître Bernard Marion, the new Mayor of Sauve, convenes a meeting of the Metge family with a small group of neighbours living close to the domaine de Sebens. Jean-Yves, Mireille and Mickaël Metge are present. After two hours of heated debate, the Mayor proposes to both parties an agreement to limit the use of the tracks, without admitting the legality of motorized sports at Sebens. The Metge family agrees to inform local residents eight days in advance of their intention to hold motor cycle events or car trials.

With rare exceptions, the Metge family did not respect this agreement.

April 2011 - disturbances

Several violent mine explosions at Sebens without prior notice to the residents, shaking the ground for more than a kilometer away. Cracks are found in houses nearby as a result. 
M. Metge writes to the owners explaining that the explosions were authorised in order to "facilitate access to agricultural plots of land".  They are followed by large earthworks (exploitation of underground quarries), the creation of new tracks and a “reservoir”, which in fact is a lake for the practice of jet ski.


Preparation for blasting (Quarry No. 1) ...


... followed by the exploitation of the subsoil


Is a water reservoir on this scale justified for an abandoned farm?

February 2012 - the Mayor writes to M. Metge

Marion Bernard, Mayor of Sauve, writes to M. Jean-Yves Metge reminding him of the Local Development Plan regulations of the municipality.

March 28, 2012 - Administrative investigation at Sebens

Following the preparation of a dossier by the Association, an administrative investigation at Sebens is organized, involving the sub-prefect, the Mayor of Sauve, representatives of the DDTM, the Water Department, the Inland Revenue and the gendarmerie with the overflight of a helicopter. 
The file is sent to the Prosecutor in Alès.

July 2012 - the Mayor writes to M. and Mme Metge

The Mayor of Sauve writes to M. Jean-Yves and Mme Mireille Metge: "I am informed that as a result the complaints of your neighbours, the police came to discuss with you and that you claimed to have the approval of the prefecture and municipality for the activities on your circuit.  Unless I am suffering from amnesia, I am sure I have never issued you with any license to perform these activities. "

August 2, 2012 - the Deputy Prefect makes his position clear

M. Gilles Bernard, Deputy Prefect, writes in a letter to the Association: "I am able to confirm, as the mayor already wrote to you in his letter of July 3, 2012, that M. Metge has no operating permit. Furthermore, I confirm that the Prosecutor has been informed of the violations identified after the field visit of the administrative services on March 28, 2012 ".

November 2012 – complaints officially lodged

Twenty residents lodge complaints with the police, concerning noise pollution and other disturbances emanating from Sebens.

March 2013 - Administrative silence

The Mayor of Sauve writes to the Prosecutor asking him what action he plans to take: "Indeed M. Metge claims to operate legally since there has been no response following the various administrative investigations". Two residents write to the Prosecutor to the same effect. 
To date, no response.

April 2013 - 90 decibels

The Mayor of Sauve confirms having recorded with a sound meter, about ten metres from the Sebens track, a sound intensity of 80 to 90 decibels, depending on the type of motor bike that was being ridden.

April 2013 - Letter to the Mayor

A letter signed by fifty citizens of Sauve is sent to the Mayor and Members of the Town Council, with copies to the Prefect and Sub-Prefect, asking them to enforce the law without delay, to enact a bylaw to end these illegal activities and to initiate public action. The letter also refers to the issue of liability in case of accidents.

May 1 - Launch of a petition

The collective "Les Riverains du Banassou" and the Association "Sauve-Garde du Salavès"  launch a petition against the illegal activities at Sebens. The Association decides to create a website.

June 2013 - exploitation of a new quarry

After an impressive excavation of subsoil and rock several metres deep, hundreds of m3 of rock are crushed and moved back a short distance, demonstrating once again the owner’s intention to create a centre for mechanical sports...

After 9 years of defiance, how is one to explain such laxity on the part of the authorities?