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Felling of trees suspended while Stib redevelopment plan is reviewed

Illustration picture shows an STIB tram (BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
09:44 27/01/2021

Work has been suspended on the felling of 26 trees in Elisabeth Park in Koekelberg after a petition signed by more than 700 local residents was received by the municipal authorities.

The reduction of trees on Avenue du Panthéon in Koekelberg is part of a redevelopment which will see the Stib tram stop at Besme, which services tram line 19, expanded.

But after citizens mobilised against the plan and objections were raised, the mayor of Koekelberg Ahmed Laaouej held talks with the regional mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt and a decision was made to suspend the felling until after further discussions with the Stib.

According to the mayor, Stib will be asked to consider limiting the number of trees that need to be felled. A coordination meeting for the rest of the project will then be quickly organised between the municipality of Koekelberg, the Stib and the mobility minister.

This decision "goes in the direction of a better balance to be struck between, on the one hand, the security and accessibility of the stop at Besme and, on the other hand, the preservation of the natural environment," Ahmed Laaouej said.

Written by Nick Amies