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Sport In Roissy, a thirty-year battle to create a golf course near the airport

22:40  27 september  2020
22:40  27 september  2020 Source:   leparisien.fr

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Roissy, dimanche 27 septembre. Le practice et le parcours du golf international de Roissy sont ouverts depuis le 18 septembre dernier. © LP / Frédéric Naizot Roissy, Sunday September 27. The driving range and the international golf course of Roissy have been open since September 18th.

The golfers have arrived. Open since September 18, the Roissy-en-France golf course is the completion of a thirty-year-old project which cost 32 million euros. It is also the realization of the dream of André Toulouse (LR), mayor from 1977 to 2020. “The starting point is 1988 or 1989,” he says. There was an extraordinary economic boost. »

The small village (2,900 inhabitants today) has seen the airport grow. Inaugurated in 1974 by then Prime Minister Pierre Messmer, it was enriched with a second terminal in 1982. In 1989, terminals 2C and 2D were added to 2A and 2B. "I understood from the people who came to see me for real estate, that it was going to explode", remembers André Toulouse.

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An idea of ​​the English

The elected official cites in particular a major project for a shopping center and congress center which was to emerge between Gonesse and Roissy. Therefore, he fears that the Green Valley, a wooded and hilly area of ​​90 hectares between his municipality and Vaudherland, already classified in the land use plan, will be caught up in a real estate project.

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"Fearing that the State would impose anything on us, I created a semi-public company", he recalls. The chosen one brings together investors and an architect to have control over real estate projects. The idea is to organize the establishment of companies around the Green Valley. A visiting group of British investors then pointed out to him that the site would be suitable for the development of a golf course. “Three months later, another group of English people have the same thoughts. There, I said to myself: it may be an idea to dig ”, he indicates.

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A course like a Stations of the Cross

This upholsterer and decorator by trade takes to golf. He immersed himself in this culture, frequented the routes of Mont Griffon, in Luzarches, traveled and acquired the conviction that this was the project he needed. “I ran into a wall of incomprehension,” he sighs. The landowners are resisting. “I was not helped by the prefecture. We had epic meetings. I was ready to resign, ”he emphasizes. He sees this project as a way of keeping the village its rural aspect. "But a golf course for a village, that does not pass for the State," he continues. But if it became an inter-municipal project, it would pass. "

Building permits and land purchases can begin from 2010. Appeals are filed against the project, in particular by environmentalists. “I was disgusted, I thought they were going to support me,” he laments. The appeals are purged in 2015, the year the work began. After several uncertainties, the opening scheduled for 2019 was postponed to spring 2020, then to September. Here it is, now complete.

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LP/Fr.N. © Provided by Le Parisien LP / Fr.N.

A GOLF WITH INTERNATIONAL PRETENTIONS

The golf course of Roissy-en-France has great ambitions. "We want to make it a golf course of international stature", underlines Swann Gueydan, its director. In addition to its proximity to the airport, the site is close to many hotels.

“We have 6,000 rooms a few minutes away,” he adds. The clientele of these establishments is clearly one of the targets, in particular the flight personnel of airlines, but also schools in the sector, as well as practitioners from all over Ile-de-France. At 1,990 euros the annual subscription, it targets 600 members.

To establish its reputation, the Roissy golf course also wants to distinguish itself from a sporting point of view. It will host its first professional tournament on October 23, 24 and 25. “We will have Challenge tour and Alps tour golfers, that corresponds to the 2nd and 3rd European divisions,” he explains. Later, he did not rule out welcoming even higher level players, but he believed that golf had to "mature" to do so.

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