The mayor of the South of France region has been left flabbergasted after apparently being tricked by a Britsh company into approving the building of the the first gay retirement village. Earlier this year, Yves Bastie approved planning permission to build 107 eco friendly homes in Salleles-d’Aude. He has only now discovered that the new development, bear Perpignan, is to be the first ‘rainbow’ retirement village in France.
The developers have claimed they only made their decision on Monday in a bid to save the project which they were close to shelving. It’s against the law in France to market homes solely for specific sexual orientations but Village Group, the company behind the development, have got around it by simply making it clear that all gay people are particularly welcome.
Mr Bastie says that when he was approached for approval, he was shown images of heterosexual couples enjoying themselves at another Village Group centre which had been designed for those over 50 who sought a healthy lifestyle. He went onto say that he had not an inkling that the development, worth over £20m and called Le Village Canal du Midi’ was to be predominantly targeted at the gay community.
Mr Bastie is also said to be worried about what effect this village will have on the image of the town, and that he is flabbergasted to discover it is not to be the place he gave the approval for. There have been mass demonstrations against the decision back in May to legalise gay marriage in France, with groups such as the Catholic church and other conservative organisations calling for an end to what they call ‘ the promotion of the gay lifestyle’.
In the new online brochure for the village there is a picture if it with a rainbow flag, a universal symbol of gay liberation. The development in described online as a private oasis for the gay and lesbian community over the age of 50 who want to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle in the glorious South of France climate.