Océane Théard, edited by Gauthier Delomez 06:51, January 19, 2022

A real estate agency specializing in real estate projects near spiritual places is embarking on the construction of a housing estate of 17 houses in the small town of Île-Bouchard, in Indre-et-Loire.

A hamlet that is not unanimous in the town of 1,600 inhabitants.


It is for the moment only a fallow field, covered with a thin layer of frost.

An expanse of more than 11,000 m², bordered by a winding country road.

It is here that the real estate agency Monasphere, specializing in real estate projects near spiritual places, is embarking on the construction of a housing estate of 17 houses in the small town of Île-Bouchard, in Indre-et- Loire, which has 1,610 inhabitants.

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A village within the village

Damien Thomas, co-founder of the agency, can already see the homes of the future Clos Saint-Gabriel emerging from the ground. "There on our left, we have a first row of three houses, a little further still another house", describes the co-founder at the microphone of Europe 1, surveying the ground. "Further to the right, it will be a shared garden. And then a hall, like in the old villages where there was a washhouse or a large hall below which the grandpas play bowls", smiles Damien Thomas.

Rows of houses, from 84 to 180m², with whitewashed walls, a central alley, a forecourt... All will be built on land sold to the company by the very influential Catholic community of Emmanuel, and located at barely one kilometer from the sanctuary of the Saint-Gilles church, a well-known place of pilgrimage in the region.

But, for the co-founder of Monasphere, the future enclosure has nothing to do with a communitarian place: "Our project is close to Christian spiritual places, but is not reserved for Christians".

Damien Thomas describes the village project for local Christians.

Credits: Océane Théard / Europe 1

70 families interested in the project

The project seems attractive. According to the company, a contract for the reservation of a house has already been signed, and 70 families are interested. Among them, Clément and Agathe, a young couple who have lived in the village for two years. Their six-month-old baby curled up in their arms, they are already imagining their future life in this shared hamlet. "Me, I'm a great player and I like to play board games, petanque... So when they told me about the hall where we could meet, it immediately spoke to me", smiles the young dad looking around the field.

“And if our son or our future children can find the other children, go play in the middle, we can share moments, help each other, it will be very practical!”, already imagines Agathe, his partner.

The spiritual side of the place did not particularly tip the balance adds Clément: "I am a Catholic and I also go to mass, but that is not the reason why I am part of the project. It was, we going to say, a plus, but not really the reason why we came".

The risk of communitarianism, points out the opposition

But in this peaceful little town, crossed by the waters of the Vienne, the construction of the future housing estate is divisive.

The mayor of Île-Bouchard, Nathalie Vigneau, prefers not to take sides, while her rivals are stepping up to the plate.

Guy Juteux, municipal councilor of the opposition, denounces a stranglehold of the community of Emmanuel on the village.

"The sympathizers have a lot of houses around the Saint-Gilles church. We feel that there is a grip! So there, with this subdivision that is being put in place, we are accentuating this community side!", Says- he.

The construction of this island on the edge of the village should begin this summer.

The first families are expected for 2024.