The listed site of Luynes
Published on 14 September 2018 - Updated 29 March 2019
Listed sites are outstanding places which warrant national protection. This protection is aimed at safeguarding the quality and integrity of the site by protecting it from serious damage. The listed site of Luynes provides one of the finest expressions of a sweeping landscape in the Loire Valley World Heritage.
The State harnesses the "listed site" protection tool in the context of the Unesco site management plan for the Site’s most emblematic landscapes. Work has been carried out to identify which landscapes are eligible for such protection.
The Luynes valley site fits squarely into this initiative. It is one of the first sites in the Centre-Val de Loire Region to be included in the procedure, thanks to the active involvement of local authorities who attach great importance to their landscape.
- Shore up an existing commitment to the landscape
- Protect and showcase the Outstanding Universal Value in these areas
- Preserve the quality and integrity of the site
The project began in 2013 when the Region's Sub-Prefect, Jean-Luc Bressard, asked for Luynes to be given Listed Site status. In 2016, the municipality conducted an exemplary landscape study which informed the presentation report. This must explain why protection is necessary and in what way the site's protection or preservation presents a general interest from an artistic, historical, scientific, mythical or picturesque point of view (Art. L341-1 of the Environment Code). Listing confers regulatory protection over a perimeter proposed in the presentation report.
The site is characterised by a striking landscape composition, the form of Château de Luynes rising clearly into view on its promontory, against an unspoilt natural and agricultural backdrop. From the hillsides, the valley, the levee and the Loire banks nearby, or from the opposite bank, views enable perception of this typical organisation, shaped by the valley, and enduring for centuries. In the end, it was the picturesque criterion that was selected, in view of the site's landscape quality.
Outcome and outlook
The decision to list a site goes through the following stages:
Examination at local level
- Technical stage: characterisation of the landscape, definition of the perimeter and management guidelines: this preparatory work is carried out by the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Development and Housing (Dreal) in liaison with the local authorities. On the basis of an initial perimeter, the General Inspectorate of the General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD) is consulted, and rules on the opportunity of the listing.
- Consultation stage: consultation with the municipal councils, organisation of a public survey then consideration of the file in the Département-level Commission for Nature, Landscapes and Sites (CDNPS).
Examination at national level: the file is forwarded to the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. This comprises a second inspection by the CGEDD, which gives rise to a report and opinion, and submission to the Higher Commission for Sites, Perspectives and Landscapes (CSSPP) which issues an opinion on the file. This is followed by consideration in the Conseil d’État.
It is the Conseil d’État which finally announces the listing by decree. Protection on listed site grounds affords an easement in the public interest by which urban planning documents must abide. Protection does not come into effect until after the Conseil d’État's decision.
Any alteration to the condition or appearance of the site is subject to special permission issued depending on the type of work, either by the Département-level prefect or the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.
The listing of the municipality of Luynes represents a genuine opportunity and a springboard for its neighbouring municipalities. New plans have emerged, such as drafting of a Landscape Plan, a Remarkable Heritage Site currently being drafted and revision of the Local Urban Development Plan (PLU).
Site and Landscape Policy Officer - Centre-Val de Loire DREAL
Online: The complex encompassing the château, hillside, “Varennes” farmland, aqueduct and the Loire at Luynes - Centre-Val de Loire DREAL
See, in particular, the chapter on "The Outstanding Universal Value of the Loire Valley World Heritage in the listing perimeter project" (pp. 78-117) of the site's presentation report (PDF, 21 Mb)