We were only expecting to meet the Maire and her Adjutant.
So we were a little surprised when two unexpected Council members came into the boardroom and sat down, looking like they belonged there (which, to be fair, they did), casually flipping through flipping enormous ring binders that drew my attention to our ongoing lack of A Mighty Dossier.
Me and Her Outdoors smiled nervously, relieved that we had changed out of our muddy clothes, and that Managing Director of Périgord Développement, Marc, had agreed to come along.
We were a little more than a little surprised when all the people standing in the car park turned out to be the rest of the Council, who jumped into their cars and followed us to écovallée.
Laughing manically now, we led the extravagantly large convoy, more than relieved that Daniel the builder said he would come too.
The Maire - a very enthusiastic and supportive woman who loves the project - got straight to her first point. The access road from our car park to the land - a shabby, half-finished, track that zig-zags through the woods and is steep and slippery in all kinds of places - is a "non" starter. The firefighters will never go for it.
No problem, we say. There's another road a few neighbours away at the other end of the site. Maybe we can use that in emergencies.
The rest of the tour went well, me telling the Maire things and she repeating them loudly to everyone else. Council members in dressy shoes didn't complain too much about the boggy fields they had to tromp through to reach the other road (at least, not to us). And conversations continued for some time.
Next steps on the road to écovallée are:
o Asking the firefighters what kind of access they'll need.
o Asking the neighbours for permission to use their land for access.
and maybe even
o Buying the neighbouring land off the neighbours.
so we can
o Build an access road.
Like I said: It's complicated. And it's going to take time.