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Center Parcs in the Chambaran forest, Roybon, Isère, France


Environmental French associations denounce the inconsistency of Pierre & Vacances (P&V) project with the 2006 French water law. The recreational Center Parcs would make disappear the wetland of Chambaran forest, increasing the hydrological stress upon Roybon and its surrounding areas. Protected species of the forest would be threatened as well. In spite of the opposition of the independent committee to the project, Center Parcs’ construction was allowed by Grenoble Prefecture. The case went to court and the second judgement is expected in 2016. 

(Please read the French version for more details)

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Center Parcs in the Chambaran forest, Roybon, Isère, France
State or province:Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Location of conflict:Roybon, Isère
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The project expands over 200 ha., the recreational center would gather 1 000 cottages and a "tropical bubble" (pools complex) heated to 29ºC.

S'etandant sur plus de 200 hectares, le projet Pierre & Vacances construirait 1 000 bungalows et une "bulle tropicale" chauffée à 29 ºC.

The project, finally abandoned in July 2020, had a budget of 387 M €.

Project area:200
Level of Investment:400,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/08/2008
End of the conflict:07/2020
Company names or state enterprises:Pierre & Vacances from France
Relevant government actors:La préfecture de Grenoble, Office National des forets, Mairie de Roybon
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Fédération Rhône-Alpes de protection de la nature (Frapna), Association Pour les Chambaran sans Center Parcs (PCSCP), Fédération de la Drôme pour la pêche et la protection du milieu aquatique, Quelques opposants à Center Parcs (QoCP)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Zadistes, young environmental activists not necessarily from the area
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Mobilization through the "zadiste" network


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsWetland under threat
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Division of Roybon inhabitants, fracture and no dialogue between the two positions. Finally success in 2020.
Development of alternatives:Invest public money in sustainable touristic projects and in sustainable farming. A ban on energy demanding tourism related infrastructure and projects. [3]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:High risk that the project will be accepted in 2016 if the compensatory plan for the wet zones destroyed in Chambaran forest is satisfactory according to the judges. However, finally the company abandons the plan in July 2020, because of judiciary difficulties and the opposition of the zadistes.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Loi sur l'eau 2006

Amendement de la loi Censi-Bouvard, 2016 qui défiscalise les residences service (pas passée devant la commission des finances de l'Assemblée Nationale)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Enquête publique « loi sur l’eau » relative auprojet d’implantation d’un Center Parcs à Roybon (Isère), Grenoble, Juillet 2014

Des Chambarans à la métropole, la marche des possibles, Attac France

Center Parcs de Roybon : élus, zadistes, écolos... qui veut quoi ?, L. Maurice, Nouvel Obs, 03/12/2014

Frapna Drôme

Chambarans Blog

[1] Center Parcs de Chambaran : un nouveau bétonnage de la nature, Attac France sur Mediapart, 29/11/2014

Tension high before ruling on Center Parcs village in ancient French forest, The guardian, 18/05/2015

A Roybon, la guerre d'usure entre les partisans et les opposants au projet de Center Par, Le Monde, 06/12/2014

Collectif ZAD Lyon, 2/07/02015

Le Monde, (2015), L’avenir du Center Parcs de Roybon à nouveau suspendu à une décision de justice.

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Vidéo Center Parcs Roybon : scandale écologique, économique et politique

[3] Video: Contre un Center Parcs à Roybon (Isère), December 2014

[2] Envoye Special du 29 janvier 2015 : Center Parcs & ZAD chambaran

[4] Libération. Epilogue. Center Parcs de Roybon : enfin les vacances pour les zadistes

Par François Carrel, correspondant à Grenoble — 9 juillet 2020

Crenn.O for « Mediapart », (2017), Center Parcs de Roybon. L’histoire d’une décennie de Lutte à mort.

Magdelaine.C for « », (2015), Encore un grand projet inutile imposé : la construction d’un Center Parcs dans une zone humide.

Meta information

Contributor:Camila Rolando Mazzuca
Last update17/08/2020



Zadistes occupy Chambaran forest against Center Parc project

France3regions, Celine Aubert

Wetland in the Chambaran forest