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Campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas finally forced to close

France 3/Scoop, Oct 19

In August following torrential floods in the Gard, a large group of campers got into trouble in the floods. A German employee from the campsite helped the campers, predominantly youngsters, but he was washed away, and his body was found a few days later. More than 100 children from the colony had to be evacuated urgently and nine of them had been slightly injured. Some had been recovered from the trees, where they hung to escape the rising waters.

The owners of the campsite were arrested, and were facing manslaughter charges.

It was an illegal campsite, and the local Mairie had been trying for several years to get them closed down. The campsite was on the flood plain, and had been illegally trading.

On Thursday the Court of Appeal in Nîmes ordered the campsite owners to “cease all activity”.

The mayor, who had been stressing for months the dangers of hosting young people on a flood plain, had appealed the initial decision that the campsite could stay open.

The lawyer for the municipality said “Initially, we were the bad guys who forbade kids to go on vacation, but finally, if the first judge had followed us, there would have been no tragedy,”

6 months to demolish everything

The court of appeal ordered the demolition of all the facilities at the campsite within six months, with a daily penalty of €100 if the timescales are not met. In the meantime, a ban on camping has been set, with a penalty of €1000 a day if this is ignored.

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