La Chapelle-Thouarault, this residential area that everyone visits – Should we stop building individual houses?



Fabrice, a permaculture farmer, cycles through La Niche aux Oiseaux, a box of leeks on the luggage rack. It circulates on a bocage alley, between houses and small collectives. Birds sing near a common garden. Ramparts, paths and valleys cross the landscape.

Around us are no less than 256 homes inhabited or under construction. A density of 32 inhabitants per. hectares – against 10 in traditional residential areas – with a mix of social housing, assisted home ownership, pavilions on open spaces and regulated housing. Houses with garden on plots of 140 to 255 m2 for less than 200,000 €, plots free of builders from 320 to 520 m2 from 66,700 €. A varied palette of materials.

“The landscape in the city”

Welcome to the heart of La Niche aux Oiseaux Concerted Development Zone, an eco-district opened in 2010, located at the end of bus line 53. ZAC is adjacent to a green corridor, bike paths and hiking trails. “The countryside of the city,” says Nathalie nicely, who has lived here for nearly three years, with her husband and their three daughters aged 9 to 16, in a house they bought, “with a small garden for summer barbecues.” “It’s cheaper here than in Vezin or L’Hermitage, it’s a good compromise with life with opportunities for walks, shops and service in the city and the city within easy reach of the bus without being bothered by traffic,” she assures.

“It’s cheaper here than in Vezin or L’Hermitage, it’s a good compromise with life with opportunities for walks, shops and service in the city and the city within easy reach of the bus without being bothered by traffic,” she assures. (Lionel Le Saux / The Telegram)

“A big difference of almost € 100,000”

On the steps of a townhouse, in another room in La Niche aux Oiseaux, Quentin says he has lived there for three months with his partner and son. The pavilion is ten years old. What made them come here? “The price above all, a big difference of almost € 100,000 on a house like this compared to Saint-Gilles, in the first ring,” he says. “I’m four minutes from work at L’Hermitage and my partner is in a 17-minute drive to Pontchaillou Hospital in Rennes. It’s perfect ! “explains something and thirty.

The role of public authorities

Not a week goes by in La Chapelle-Thouarault without Régine Armand, the mayor since 2020 in this city of 2,252 inhabitants who do not show La Niche aux Oiseaux. The elected representative says that she is in line with her predecessor, Jean-François Bohuon, very well versed in sustainable urban planning, which aimed for 32 homes per. hectares in ZAC. She says that in collaboration with Rennes Métropole and the Bruded network, she is very concerned with ensuring that public authorities regulate development, keep track of the housing environment, by making the city closer, the few hollow teeth, by going less far in the city . urban expansion, which keeps projects accessible “.

PHOTO Lionel Le Saux / TELEGRAMET.  LA CHAPELLE-THOUARAULT (35): resident in front of his house in the birdhouse ZAC in La Chapelle-Thouarault.
A resident in front of his house in ZAC La Niche aux Oiseaux, in La Chapelle-Thouarault. (Lionel Le Saux / The Telegram)

“In love, this district”

Jeannie’s three children attend or have attended Capelthouraine Elementary School (190 students). Available on foot in minutes. “A love, this district. We liked it right away: the quality of the environment, the proximity to the inhabitants, the playgrounds for children, these container houses that are affordable, even though in the long run we realize that there is not much healthy humidity. ” says the 30-year-old.The couple is looking to buy a house in the area.

We meet Pascale on one of the gentle paths in La Niche aux Oiseaux. She borrows them six to seven times a day to take in the city or to work. “I’m more of a city girl, but I appreciate the calm here: When I’m 50, the birds, the trees, it feels good … We want to buy, but given the situation, we’ll wait. “She and her friend rent a T2 in a small house.

“Thoughtful in relation to, well-designed house, inspiring setting”

“We were looking to buy. We landed in Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande (35), it was too expensive. We were directed to the Rennes Métropole site and its rental access section. We visited various programs: The municipality “It was not a question of price, but of the interior design of the house and the surroundings. A compromise in an allotment garden with thoughtful vis-à-vis, a well-designed house, inspiring setting,” book Mélanie. She has lived in the neighborhood. since 2015 with her husband and their two children. “Beyond the neighborhood, the connections in the city, it is easy to make its place, by experiencing pleasant things”, adds the chairman of the Association of Citizens’ Initiatives in Capelthouarains (Asspicc), a 25 to 30 local associations, at the origin of the common garden La Niche aux Oiseaux.

PHOTO Lionel Le Saux / TELEGRAMET.  LA CHAPELLE-THOUARAULT (35): residential houses in the birdhouse ZAC in la Chapelle-Thouarault.
(Lionel Le Saux / The Telegram)

Marie-Thérèse, 67, in cradle to cradle

A few hundred meters away, in the middle of the city opposite the church, Marie-Thérèse moves on in a collective for seniors with 19 half-timbered and thatched houses. A cradle to cradle (from cradle to cradle, an eco-design philosophy) designed by Neotoa. A national first place. Those over 60 represent almost 26% of the population of La Chapelle-Thouarault; those below 25, 25%. Marie-Thérèse, 67, smiles in the 52 m2 of her “very well-insulated and south-facing” public housing. I’m from Ploubalay (22), near Dinard (35). I’m alone, I have no family, I like contact, I started to know neighbors. I like this idea that we manage to be together , to help each other, ”says the sixty-year-old.

PHOTO Lionel Le Saux / TELEGRAMET.  LA CHAPELLE-THOUARAULT (35): residential houses in the birdhouse ZAC in la Chapelle-Thouarault.
(Lionel Le Saux / The Telegram)

The mayor, Régine Armand, predicts about fifty new homes outside the ZAC in 2026. – for the municipality’s life and the reception of new arrivals in the metropolis. In a spirit of sustainable development and by teaching the inhabitants, because density and diversity are not always easy, ”comments the city council member.

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