• France's news in English

French chip stand irks ex-boss of L'Oreal

AFP · 14 Dec 2014, 16:40

Published: 14 Dec 2014 16:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

On Tuesday, the millionaire ex-cosmetics boss and three of his neighbours will ask a court in the Alps town of Albertville to shut down La Cabane chip stand for causing "olfactory pollution".

The 68-year-old Briton, who stepped down as CEO of L'Oreal in 2011 and withdrew from its board last year, owns an apartment at the foot of the slopes in the upmarket Val d'Isere resort.

The couple and their neighbours say the smell of chip fat drifts up from the stand, which is situated next to the ski lifts, to their balconies and into their apartments.

They also complain of "noise and visual pollution," according to arguments prepared by their lawyers, which were seen by AFP.

The "remarkable view" from their apartments and "exceptional tranquility" of the surroundings are defiled by the eatery and its "numerous chairs and deckchairs, tables, tents and marquees, multicoloured parasols, rubbish bins and vehicles," the documents argue.

The plaintiffs will ask the court to order La Cabane's owner, Valerie Maertens, to pack up her fryers or face a fine of €50 ($62) a day.

In the event the court rejects their application they will ask for an expert valuation of the impact of the chip shop on the value of their properties, the documents said.

For Maertens's counsel Francois Bern the case of the "precious nostrils of Mr Owen-Jones" as he calls it, amounts to "legal harassment".

The Briton launched no fewer than five cases against the chip shop.

The retired businessman and his neighbours accuse Maertens of flouting Val d'Isere's planning laws, saying the chalet in which she dishes up chips was built for use by the resort's cable-car operator.

To support their case they quote a 2009 letter from the mayor, which warns the snack shop is in "an illegal situation".

Bern told AFP the municipality had approved the chalet's use for commercial purposes as far back as January 2008.

"It's a case brought by rich people who live in luxury and comfort, where everything smells of perfume, who want to stop this woman earning a living," he said.

La Cabane, he said was "a no-fuss place which has all the proper justification".

Owen-Jones's lawyers refused to comment on the case.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President Fran├žois Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available