Why has Montluçon Community (Allier) created a local commission for the Remarkable Heritage Site?

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At its last meeting on February 25, the agglomeration community approved the creation of a local commission for the Remarkable Heritage Site (SPR).

Why this local SPR commission?

The objective of this commission is to highlight the architectural, urban and landscape heritage which contributes to giving a real identity to Montluçon and to protect districts of public interest in terms of history, architecture, landscape, etc.

We want to have a mastery of the elements to promote or at least not to disfigure the remarkable sites of Montluçon

Bernard Pozzoli (Vice-president of Montluçon Community in charge of the local inter-municipal urban planning and habitat plan (PLUIH) and the territorial coherence plan (SCOT) and member of the commission)

The medieval city, but not only, will be concerned by the SPR.

How was she born?

Montluçon Community decided to embark on the SPR procedure for three reasons. First, the urban architectural heritage protection zone dated from 1990. The perimeter of the SPR established at that time had never been modified and did not take into account the urban developments of the last thirty years.

Second, the city of Montluçon is involved in the Cœur de Ville project with the idea of ​​upgrading its historic city center for heritage and tourism purposes. It is therefore necessary to clearly define the remarkable heritage site.

Thirdly, since 2017 the urban community has launched an update and modernization of planning documents. The objective is to build a sustainable development of the territory where urban and rural areas complement each other. Bernard Pozzoli underlines that the PLUiH will take into account the heritage and landscape issues of the city center, that is to say Montluçon, via the updating of the SPR and the development of a local regulation of intercommunal advertising.

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The medieval city of Montluçon (here the church and Place Notre-Dame) is a unique ensemble in Allier due to its size. (Photo Florian Salesse).

How does the local SPR commission work?

Apart from the ex officio members (see box), the commission is made up of fifteen members: one third elected, one third representatives of associations whose object is the protection, promotion or enhancement of heritage and one third qualified personalities.

The Kargo Sud architectural firm was chosen in November to conduct a field study in order to identify all that is remarkable and to propose a new perimeter for the Remarkable Heritage Site.

“This study should last fifteen months and will be returned at the end of the year. The commission will monitor this development. It is also necessary that the inhabitants of the medieval city and the city center know that the architects who lead it may be required to enter courses to study the building and see what deserves to be preserved. ‘development of local intercommunal advertising regulations. This will last in all twenty-four months, that is to say until the end of 2022, beginning of 2023. After the commission will have a whole follow-up work so that we do not do anything in the SPR ” , specifies Bernard Pozzoli.

The association for the old Montluçon, chaired by Jean-François Brun (on the right), has been working for decades for the enhancement of the medieval city.

A work of protection and enhancement but no animation

The vice-president in charge of PLUiH and SCOT insists on the fact that the role of the commission is to draw up town planning rules to protect and enhance the heritage of Montluçonnais but in no case to animate the medieval city or other historic districts.

A light trail set up in the medieval city of Montluçon (Allier)

Associations and qualified personalities happy with the creation of the commission

Member of the local commission of the Remarkable Heritage Site as president of the association for old Montluçon, Jean-François Brun is pleased with its establishment. The association has fought for many decades for the preservation of the medieval city.

Our association has been campaigning for years for a sort of charter to define restaurant rules. We need specific things and not just do anything. The medieval city has a homogeneity which is not so common. In the Allier, there are no other such large medieval complexes

Jean-Francois Brun (architect and president of the association for old Montluçon)

Virginie Laroche-Lachaume helps people discover the rich heritage of Montluçon, which she defends and promotes with passion. (Photo Cécile Champagnat).

Jean-François Brun recognizes that the medieval and more global city of Montluçon suffers from an image problem. Virginie Laroche-Lachaume, tour guide and member of the local SPR commission as a qualified personality, confirms this state of affairs.

The founder of Passion Montluçon and Jean-François Brun believe that the preservation and enhancement work of the local SPR commission will be a “good starting point” for working to promote the medieval city but also neighborhoods more linked to the industrial history of the city.

Florence Farina

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