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  • Condo development on Juno Beach

    Didn't know where to post this, but it's of interest to myself and I'm sure to some others.

    Canadians fighting proposed condo development at Juno Beach D-Day site

    A group of Canadians is organizing to stop a proposed condo development at Juno Beach in France, the site of the D-Day landing that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Canadian soldiers.

    "It was a remarkable battle and the examples of fearlessness and courage and bravery just were outstanding," said Cindy Clegg, a spokesperson for the group Save Juno Beach.

    "And now to think that there are condos going up right next to [the beach], where people can go on holidays and hoot and holler and play their radios loud on this battlefield just made me sick to my stomach."

    The site is currently home to the Juno Beach Centre, a privately operated Canadian museum that has been open for nearly 20 years.

    The museum has for two years been engaged in a lengthy legal battle with French developer Foncim, which plans to construct two buildings near the beach, comprising a total of 66 condos.

    Save Juno Beach says the construction of condos on the site where Canadian soldiers took part in the pivotal Normandy landings will dishonour the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers who stormed the beach on June 6, 1944.

    More than 14,000 Canadian soldiers participated in the landings and 359 were killed, according to Veterans Affairs Canada.

    "We are rapidly approaching a point of no return. This is an existential threat to the Juno Beach Centre and the Canadian memorial presence in Normandy," the museum said in a statement.

    French 'deserve to enjoy the freedoms' helped won by Canadians

    Local media reports suggest the proposed condo development has been a source of controversy around Caen, the nearest city and home to the courts that have overseen the dispute.

    However, a ruling in early January granted Foncim the right to begin construction later this year. A developer spokesperson told French media that construction could begin in September and last for up to two years.

    Unlike the Save Juno Beach group, the museum says it is not categorically opposed to the possibility of construction near the site of the landings.

    "We are not generally opposed to projects like these on former battlegrounds; the French deserve to enjoy the freedoms our veterans' sacrifice brought them," the Juno Beach Centre statement reads.

    The dispute between the developer and the Juno Beach Centre has largely centred on the usage of a road — named la Voie des Français Libres — constructed and operated by the museum.

    Foncim plans to use the road during the construction. The museum has tried to block access to the developer on the grounds that construction will disrupt access to the site.

    "We have great concern for the impact that this will have on the Juno Beach Centre," the museum says.

    Group says pressure from Ottawa could stop project

    Clegg is urging Canadians opposed to the development itself to write to their local MPs, with the hope that the federal government could apply pressure on the French government to halt the project.

    She noted that condos have not been built at the sites of other important battles in France, such as Waterloo, Vimy Ridge or Omaha Beach.

    "The French have a duty to memory and remembering what came before is very important to their culture," Clegg said.

    Despite the court ruling in favour of the development, she said the group still hopes the project could be cancelled if enough Canadians voice their opposition.
    Thoughts?
    Last edited by statquo; 11 Mar 22,, 18:59.

  • #2
    French lands. French policies. We do not have the right to deny them the very freedoms that we fought to give them.
    Chimo

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
      French lands. French policies. We do not have the right to deny them the very freedoms that we fought to give them.
      Fair enough. Was hoping to visit it after Covid, but I'll just wait a bit longer and AirBnb a condo on it instead.

      Ever done a tour through France/Europe viewing some of our WW2 or WW1 grounds? Was hoping to be the first long overdue in my family to pay respects to my past relatives that fought in both.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by statquo View Post
        Ever done a tour through France/Europe viewing some of our WW2 or WW1 grounds?
        Yes, on parade. Damned it was cold.

        Chimo

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
          Yes, on parade. Damned it was cold.
          Viewing Germany from the back of an open M113 or right seat in an M151 with no doors in winter is a real joy!!!
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

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          • #6
            Originally posted by statquo View Post

            Fair enough. Was hoping to visit it after Covid, but I'll just wait a bit longer and AirBnb a condo on it instead.

            Ever done a tour through France/Europe viewing some of our WW2 or WW1 grounds? Was hoping to be the first long overdue in my family to pay respects to my past relatives that fought in both.
            I have been fortunate over the years to hit a lot of sites in Europe. All the D Day beaches & airborne drop areas, the US Breakout from the hedgerows, Metz, Nancy, all the Bulge area, Remagen, Saarbrucken, the Hammelburg Raid. Also been on some of the sites for El Alamein...toured from my open jeep during OPERATION BRIGHT STAR 1986! For WW 1 I've been throughout the Meuse-Argonne & Verdun. Also Gallipoli and the Asiago battlefields.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

              I have been fortunate over the years to hit a lot of sites in Europe. All the D Day beaches & airborne drop areas, the US Breakout from the hedgerows, Metz, Nancy, all the Bulge area, Remagen, Saarbrucken, the Hammelburg Raid. Also been on some of the sites for El Alamein...toured from my open jeep during OPERATION BRIGHT STAR 1986! For WW 1 I've been throughout the Meuse-Argonne & Verdun. Also Gallipoli and the Asiago battlefields.
              That's amazing you've seen so much.

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              • #8
                According to this Normandie TV3 article the whole thing is a bit different.

                First off, this is Juno Beach 1944:
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                The relevant point is the barely visible green marked peninsula in the Mike Red sector north of Courselles-sur-Mer.
                • An estate on this peninsula was loaned to Canada in 1945 - until 2044 - to build the Canadian Juno Beach Memorial Centre.
                • The estate to be developed by Foncim is right next to it, towards the town, and was partially developed decades ago already (it's part of the port of the town...).
                • The road to this estate is private and part of the museum - or rather the land loaned to Canada.
                • On Jan 7th this year a court decided that since the estate is "landlocked" (in the sense of otherwise not accessible) the museum has to grant them access for construction via their private road.
                • The museum fears that having trucks and such on their access road during construction would negatively impact tourist influx to the museum. As in it would likely lower their profit, because that's all this is really about - money.
                This is the concerned peninsula today:
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                Marked in blue is the museum, in yellow the estate to be developed, in green the access road.

                The municipality currently is largely on the side of the museum, and is having a bridge within the port - leading to the estate - surveyed with regard to supporting vehicles; this would in their opinion invalidate the "landlocked" state of the estate and thus remove the legal requirement for the museum to grant the developer access.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by statquo View Post

                  That's amazing you've seen so much.
                  I have been in or worked for the Army for over 40 years. I have always taken advantage of where the Army has sent to me. In the US I always try to drive as I can cause that will let me visit Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Civil War websites. Also I live south of Richmond VA so it puts me in the sweet spot of what I can hit in a 1 day drive.

                  Been going back and forth to Europe since 2000 so I always add a day or 2 of leave or take advantage of being there over a a weekend. Sitting around a hotel room staring at the walls ain't my style!
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Planned condo development on Juno Beach site cancelled after government deal

                    OTTAWA — A proposed condominium development on Juno Beach in France has been cancelled after public outcry and a three-year legal fight.

                    The Canadian and French governments are helping the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer buy a parcel of land where a developer planned to build a 70-unit building.

                    Veterans Affairs Canada says the construction “posed a threat to both the integrity of Juno Beach itself, and Juno Beach Centre operations.”

                    Developers planned to use a private road next to the centre for nearly two years during construction, which the centre says would cause “chaos” and safety concerns for visitors.

                    Federal and local governments are also negotiating a 99-year lease to protect a parcel of land where Canadian soldiers landed on D-Day in June 1944, including a portion of Juno Park where visitors to the centre tour old bunkers.

                    The plans sparked a campaign called Save Juno Beach, which encouraged people to write letters to members of Parliament and French officials calling for a halt to the development plans.

                    “Canadians make a promise every Remembrance Day to never forget the sacrifices made for future generations. And this year, we forced our government to step up and protect the legacy and reputation of our country as an ally and force for good in a war-torn world,” the group’s founder, Cindy Clegg, said in a statement.

                    The Juno Beach Centre, a privately run museum that was built in 2003, has run into financial difficulty due to the pandemic and a legal fight with the building’s developer.

                    “The settlement will ensure that the Juno Beach Centre and the Canadian memorial presence in Normandy are preserved for generations to come,” the centre said in a statement.

                    Veterans Affairs agreed in January to provide up to $500,000 over the next two years to cover some of the Juno Beach Centre’s expenses and help it weather the pandemic, on top of the $500,000 Ottawa gives the museum each year.

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