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French château owner wins €700k payout from LGV line

The owner of a château in the Sarthe department has won more than €700,000 in compensation after successfully claiming that a nearby LGV train route has caused a loss in overall value of the property.

The Nantes administrative court this week ordered the Eiffage Rail Express, owner of the LGV (ligne à grande vitesse) train route from Brittany to the Pays de la Loire, to pay €743,854 to the owner of the château in the commune of Coulans-sur-Gée.

The owner of the 18th century château had initially lodged the complaint in 2015, after judging that the train line - located 450m away from the château - would reduce the value of the total property by as much as €1.5m.

As well as the château, the site also includes outhouses, a wood, meadows, and 48 hectares of grounds. It was previously estimated to be worth €2.9m before the LGV and court case issues.

The LGV line cuts through part of the site, with some of the wood and several private lanes having to be cleared away to allow for its installation, the court heard.

The court accepted the owner’s complaint, but reduced the compensation awarded to a lower amount than requested.

The ruling said: “[The close passing of trains] would be seen as a particularly negative factor for almost all potential buyers of this type of residence [who may be] looking for a specific kind of environment.”

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