The Greater Saumur area SCoT

Published on 18 November 2016 - Updated 16 December 2019

The territorial coherence plan (SCoT) for the Greater Saumur area sets out to champion the area as one of the top destinations of the Loire Valley World Heritage – for tourism, for business and for residents. The World Heritage section of this plan is a dedicated framework guideline enshrined in the Guidance and Aims Document (DOO).


The SCoT for the Greater Saumur area (101,000 inhabitants) encompasses 59 municipalities, 21 of which are located within the perimeter of the Loire Valley World Heritage. On 1 January 2017, the spatial planning remit was transferred to the new urban area Saumur Val de Loire and the territorial coherence plan was approved on 23 March 2017.  

Mission Val de Loire helped to draft the World Heritage section of the SCoT in 2015, following the local authorities' pledges to incorporate the Unesco site management plan into their urban planning documents and development projects.  


  • Define a territorial project in relation to the OUV;
  • Take up the SCoT guidelines in the development and urban planning tools;
  • Harness the Loire Valley value as a driver for economic and residential appeal to champion the Saumur Region as a "capital-destination for Loire Valley tourism".


In liaison with Mission Val de Loire, an expert panel oversaw the SCoT in terms of defining the OUV and the key protection, enhancement and development issues.  

The findings were discussed during a workshop with elected representatives from the Unesco site municipalities, "developing projects in the Loire Valley". The requirements and recommendations were written together with the engineering firm commissioned to draft the SCoT, as well as the State (Regional Directorate for Cultural Affairs – Département-level Unit for Architecture and Heritage of Maine-et-Loire and Regional Directorate for the Environment, Development and Housing – Département-level Directorate for Local Areas).  

Outcome and outlook

A framework guideline "Including World Heritage in spatial planning": 

  • Upkeep of a river landscape entailing a continuity of activities and populations mindful of the flooding risk and protection of biodiversity.
  • Promotion of the "Great Saumur hillside", with hollowed out cave dwellings and vines, as well as its heritage sites, encouraging innovative new uses to be made of them.
  • Urban renewal with account taken of the wealth and density of heritage represented bymanor houses, châteaux, religious and civil heritage, encouraging respectful reinvestment of the tonalities and forms.

See Chapter 1.4 "Including World Heritage in spatial planning" (pp 39 to 44)  

The tourism plan covers the same guidelines. The attention of local elected representatives has been drawn to the qualification of their space. The SCoT's implementation is being monitored and assessed with a view to upholding the pledges made. 


Anne-Cécile Moron 

Cross-Cutting Programme Manager - CA Saumur Val de Loire 


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