PARIS, April 3 (Reuters) - A French administrative appeals court has ruled in favour of a state decision to have Bouygues build a new judiciary complex in northern Paris, dismissing a challenge from lawyers reluctant to leave the city centre.
The project, designed by architect Renzo Piano - the man behind the Pompidou centre and London’s Shard - features a 160-metre tower in the Batignolles neighbourhood and is expected to accommodate more than 8,000 people a day.
Bouygues won the order from the government over two years ago. A grouping of lawyers has actively fought the project in court, but its head told Reuters on Thursday the appeal had been rejected.
They argued that moving the main courthouse from its historic location in central Paris to the northern fringe of the city is both costly and impractical.
They wanted judges to annul the government’s decision to strike a public-private partnership (PPP) under which Bouygues bears the cost of building the complex - 575 million euros ($792 million)- and maintains it for 27 years, during which the state pays rent. A finance ministry audit of the project has assessed the overall cost for the French state at 2.7 billion euros. ($1 = 0.7263 Euros)
Reporting by Natalie Huet and Gerard Bon; Editing by Andrew Callus