Montpellier: the installation of “dark shops” in the city center should be limited by decree

Often installed in hypercentres, these customerless warehouses that operate through a home delivery system are the focus of major French cities.

The decree is due out at the end of next week, the French state wants to act quickly: “The consensus of the participants clearly emerged, namely that dark shops should be considered as warehouses, even if they have an exit point. For dark kitchens, it was agreed with elected officials to create a new specific category. The Delegate Minister’s Order for Cities and Housing will therefore refine these new terms, which will provide mayors with effective and expeditious legal tools to regulate dark shops and dark kitchens.

Legislation to ensure more controlled development

Faced with the proliferation of these “ghost shops” in the centers of large French cities, taking the form of warehouses without customers, where a bunch of couriers go back and forth for a long time, the government invited elected officials and associations. Tuesday, 6 September.

Goal: Fill a legal void by allowing mayors to pass laws quickly to avoid the proliferation of these brands accused of unfairly competing with local businesses. “In 2017, the state invested 5 billion euros in city centers, there was a Covid crisis, an ecological transition that demonstrates the importance of short circuits, pleads the deputy from the 9th district of Hérault Patrick Vinyal, who, in particular, fulfilled the mission “Heart of the city”. We cannot continue to uberize society. It is not about stopping this activity, but about finding the right place for it, while developing e-commerce for artisans. Today only 30% of traders are online, we have to help them with this.”

Once the decree is made public, mayors such as Mikael Delafosse in Montpellier will have to decide on the future of these dark shops.

“What do we want for our cities?”

Representing Mikael Delafosse in Paris, Fanny Dombre-Cost was satisfied with the consultation: “The government is aware of the unfair competition that dark shops present compared to traditional businesses. acts as the first assistant. We are moving towards a decree that will allow mayors to regain control in order to be able to balance this activity in their city.

In other words, move those warehouses out of the city center and back into outlying commercial areas, where the noise pollution feared by locals will be greatly reduced. “We are waiting for the decree to be issued and will very quickly finalize our PLU (Local town planning plan, ed.) establish a perimeter where these warehouses will be prohibited,” explains Fanny Dombre-Cost by saying that “The mayor has a very active policy on this issue. What city do we want tomorrow? E-commerce will develop, but it is important to keep our local stores.”

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