After a month-long deliberation, the court of Senlis handed down its decision on Monday on the destruction of an area located between Vez and Vauciennes, home to no less than 66 protected species. The judges found that the responsibility for this ecological disaster lay with two companies, SAS Samog, which carried out most of the work, and SARL Objectif Terre, owned by the farmer who owns the premises. The court fined them €250,000 and €75,000 respectively for these acts. However, their legal guardians were both acquitted.
The two companies and their managers had blamed each other for the work carried out in the summer of 2020, which transformed nearly 20 ha of land, highly appreciated by many species of birds, into an almost lunar landscape as described by the agents of the National Office for Biodiversity (OFB), who came to see the extent of the damage.
A well-known birdwatching site for birdwatchers
The place was thus known to be a viewing site for birdwatchers. In the days of the sugar factory, birds were naturally attracted to the settling ponds and the sweet pulp of the beets that were then there. Bought by a farmer, this land had been recultivated and then had to be sold to SAS Samog, which had considered burying embankments there before favouring the possibility of a photovoltaic power plant.
It was while waiting for this project to materialize that the work was undertaken, destroying almost all the vegetation. Part of it has been able to reclaim space over the past three years, but some damage, particularly to the trees and the species they sheltered, is irreversible. Companies have ten days to challenge the decision and appeal.