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Belgium's Council of State rejects final Eurostadium licence appeal
Belgium’s Council of State, the country’s supreme administrative court, has rejected construction company Ghelamco’s last appeal against the licence refusal for the Eurostadium, the proposed new national stadium.
The Eurostadium, with a planned capacity of 62,613 spectators, was originally intended as a host location for the Uefa Euro 2020 European Championships. It would have also become the home ground of the Belgian national football team.
However, the project suffered a major blow when the Flemish government decided in January 2018 to refuse an environmental permit on the grounds that the planned floor area of the project would exceed the permitted limit and that it would also create problems with access on the site. Despite belonging to the City of Brussels, the Heysel site on which the new stadium would be built is actually located in the Flemish municipality of Grimbergen and therefore subject to Flemish regulations.
As a result of the Flemish government’s decision, the project was cancelled, leading to the Uefa Executive Committee removing Brussels as a host city for Euro 2020.
Ghelamco appealed the Flemish government’s decision to the Licensing Board in September 2019 but the board found the initial judgment on the environmental permit to be “not manifestly unreasonable.” A month later, Ghelamco took their case to the Council of State.
Now the Council of State has issued a final rejection, stating that the Flemish government’s justification for refusing the permit was correct.