Mayor Yves Bastie of Salleles-d'Aude said he discovered Tuesday the Le Village Canal du Midi gated community, which he approved in March based on a plan by the British-owned retirement community developer Villages Group, is aimed at gays, The Local.fr reported Wednesday.
"I'm dumbfounded because I didn't know anything about it," Bastie told French daily Le Parisien. "I asked my colleagues to confirm the information and if this turns out to be the case then the least I would have expected is for them to have informed me."
The online brochure for the community refers to the village as "a private oasis" for gays and lesbians who want an "active and healthy lifestyle in the warm, friendly and healthy climate of southern France," France 24 reported.
Danny Silver, managing director of Villages Group, said the mayor had not been informed of the community's gay orientation because the decision had not been made until Monday.
"The real estate market in France is so bad right now, and getting the planning permission took such a long time, that we were on the verge of closing the project down completely," he told France 24. "We didn't have any takers, and when we had the idea of marketing it in this way, we thought, Why not? It was an experiment, the last toss of the coin."