The original idea came from Nicolas Méliet, mayor of Lagraulet-du-Gers, who decided to divide up some of the commune’s land into building plots. Aware that it would be necessary to meet the quality-of-life expectations of future purchasers by standing out from existing projects which favoured profitability over the quality of plots, he established a solid partnership network able to properly integrate the building project into its surroundings. So the Argenté estate was born. Inspired by the positive reaction from purchasers, he decided to set up CNT in order to sell more building land for which the first estate became a model of how best to prepare the land.
In association with ‘Arbre et Paysage 32’ and with quality as a watchword, our sites are prepared according to the following standards:
- Parcel of land selected depending on the direction it faces and its topography
- Existing landscape taken into account
- Natural greenery used (so called ‘green concrete’, i.e. standardized box hedges, banned)
- Plots’ greenery prepared in advance using border hedges (three-year maintenance and guarantee) in order to reduce the need for dividing walls
- Minimum of 15% public space with wide, spacious access roads and a communal garden enabling parents and children to mix socially.

The Argenté estate – a model for land preparation

The Argenté estate through the eyes of Bruno Sirven
Project leader of the ‘Arbre et Paysage 32’ association
Building and living in the countryside

The preparation of the Argenté estate is in many ways exemplary and demonstrates a policy of welcoming newcomers to a traditional rural area where modernity and forward-thinking are part of everyday life.

It is exemplary because of the inspired choice of the site, with its technical and aesthetic qualities – the particularly suitable topography and the fact that there were mature trees already in place, creating a special atmosphere typical of the Armagnac region into which the project fits so naturally.

It is exemplary because of the way the operation was carried out, led by the town council, and involving dialogue at a very early stage with all partners likely to be involved and taking into account their aims as well as their objections, well before the final project was decided upon – surveyors, contractors, utilities suppliers and ourselves, ‘Arbre et Paysage 32’, which undertook the entire landscaping of the site, having been brought in from the outset of the project and so having been part of the consultation process – of vital importance – which is now paying off in aesthetic and practical terms for the future residents, and which will also be apparent in the final cost-savings for roads, utility services and landscaping work.

It is exemplary because whereas the creation of building plots is often regarded as a strictly demographic, commercial operation, quality of life has always been regarded as of primary importance and the results show that there are negligible additional costs for setting up such a project. In terms of surveying and landscaping, the simple concept of preserving as much as possible and incorporating existing greenery is a considerable advantage, especially as the relatively restrictive environment rules out many landscaping excesses and partly eliminates that modern phenomenon, green concrete, which seems to have become an almost compulsory feature of most French housing estate projects. The use of wild hedges made up of a range of varieties is a very strong landscaping statement as it reduces the construction of walls, a practice from which Gascony has been comparatively spared.

And even more importantly, the fact that plots are pre-planted emphasizes, through matching surrounding hedges and shared boundaries, the overall harmony and comfortable identity of the site. This is an obvious obligation for purchasers who seem to have understood how important these preparations are for their comfort and quality of lifestyle. Furthermore, the project’s success is clearly demonstrated by the fact that most lots were sold almost immediately.

The commune now boasts a new neighbourhood which blends seamlessly into its surroundings.

Réalisation : N124 communication