Celles will finally welcome new inhabitants

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Joëlle Goudal, Mayor of Celles, the ghost village next to Lake Salagou

You may have read our summary of the deserted village here yesterday.  Here’s the full story.

Fifty years after the evacuation of the inhabitants of the village of Celles, the town is preparing to welcome new arrivals on Friday, September 13th.

On September 13, 1969, the inhabitants of Celles, a small village in the Salagou red valley, were evacuated by the rising waters of the artificial lake, intended to meet the needs of agriculture. Fifty years later, there is only one family, located above the town hall … This administrative building remains the only one to have been lived in, but things are changing.

“It will be a great day”

After years of (peaceful) negotiating, sleepless nights, good news followed by bad news, the Mayor of Celles, Joëlle Goudal, will welcome its first new arrivals next Friday.

“We have been fighting hard since 1969. It will be a great day because everyone thought we were crazy, we succeeded and we will start a new adventure with the signing of the first three leases,” she explained.

By 2026, it should have 80 inhabitants: “We will be 120 at most a few years later,” she added.  “We built this rehabilitation project on key principles: no land speculation, a social mix, job creation, and the preservation of the environment and landscape.We received two hundred applications and we have picked four. ”

Today, the first three families will be able to file the building permits since the works will start at the beginning of October. From now on, nothing can stop the village of Celles from being reborn.

Celles won’t be a ghost village for much longer

Source: Midi Libre