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Ixelles says no to KFC at Porte de Namur

21:14 01/06/2019

KFC has been told it cannot open a fast-food restaurant at Porte de Namur - because there are too many similar food outlets nearby.

The municipality of Ixelles has refused a request for planning permission to open a KFC at 1 Chaussée d'Ixelles. The decision was reportedly led by two Ecolo councillors, Yves Rouyet (in charge of urban planning) and Audrey Lhoest (commerce).

The town council said there was already a high concentration of restaurants within a 100m radius. McDonalds, Burger King, Quick and Hector Chicken, among others, already have outlets there.

The municipality said: "Chaussée d'Ixelles is a street with a high concentration of fast-food businesses, and the accumulation of similar establishments reduces the diversity of what this district has to offer. The proliferation of fast-food is likely to harm some of the qualities of the neighbourhood."

KFC is looking to open 150 restaurants in Belgium, with the first at North Station. The American fast-food chain has lodged an appeal with the Brussels region against the decision in Ixelles.

Written by The Bulletin



A street full of restaurants is no different than being in a shopping mall's food court.
Consumers deserve varieties and the right to choose what they please.
Stop going backwards.
Belgium needs KFC.

Jun 2, 2019 08:45

No one needs KFC anywhere, ever. And with Hector's and many other excellent chicken places available, Brussels certainly doesn't need KFC.

Jun 2, 2019 16:32
Frank Lee

The point isn't if we like KFC or not. It's about freedom for a business to open an outlet in a location of its choice. If indeed "Brussels doesn't need KFC," let the consumers decide it by not spending their euros there. Why do government officials feel the need to make those decisions? Are we little kids who don't know better?

Jun 2, 2019 17:58

zoning laws have been in effect for decades for good reason. No, a business does not have the freedom to do whatever it wants including the right to choose any location; KFC on the Grand' Place, anyone?

Jun 3, 2019 08:08

Politics, as Belgian as it gets. KFC was "allowed" to set up shop at the charming Gare du Nord. So why not in a safer location? All cities have entire sections with lots of restaurants (think Quartier Latin in Paris). Of course Brussels is SO not Paris. And why not at the Grand Place? There are already a number of snack bars there to compete with the rip-off tourist-trap restaurants. Hector Chicken is totally different than KFC. That argument is just silly. And a tad political.

Jun 3, 2019 11:16
Frank Lee

Grand Place has a Starbucks and a Hard Rock Cafe. How is a KFC any different? As for zoning laws, they allow or forbid some types of activity, but if Burger King and McDonald's got the town's OK, then banning KFC is just pure discrimination. As for the claim that "the proliferation of fast-food is likely to harm some of the qualities of the neighbourhood," they should explain to which qualities they are referring. The times when strolling the area between Porte de Namur and Place Louise was a delight have been gone for quite some time now. The proliferation of beggars and homeless people have already harmed "some of the qualities of the neighbourhood."

Jun 3, 2019 11:53
Jeroen Verhoeven

A society is made up of citizens. The role of citizens is far larger than consuming. Reducing politics to consumer choice is a neo-liberal attack on citizen deliberation. If you follow the same reasoning, you could allow a crack dealer on the corner of your street and let the free market sort it out, right? In a representative democracy politics represents the will of the citizens. If politics decides not to have another transnational fastfood in a neighborhood, then that's the expression of the sovereign will of the people.

Jun 3, 2019 17:36

Only thing worse than KFC?
Government officials who decide what’s good or bad for the people who elect them.

Jun 3, 2019 18:17

"Grand Place has a Starbucks and a Hard Rock Cafe. How is a KFC any different?"

Neither Starbucks or Hard Rock are fast food.

Jun 4, 2019 12:40
Frank Lee

"Neither Starbucks or Hard Rock are fast food." But they sure taste just as bad.

Jun 4, 2019 15:54
Frank Lee

Jeroen, "If politics decides not to have another transnational fastfood in a neighborhood, then that's the expression of the sovereign will of the people."
I agree if they either allow or ban ALL of them, but I don't elect politicians so that they decide that Burger King is OK and KFC isn't. Rule of law should be the same for all.

Jun 4, 2019 16:00

Ixelles (and particularly Matongé) is getting rapidly gentrified. That is displacing hundreds of people because renting is not affordable anymore. If a trendy restaurant where you can easily pay 30 euros for bio tomatoes and oxfam coffee (as there are already some in the surroundings) would have been planned instead of KFC, then it would be OK, eh? Of course, because that is the kind of places where ecolo hipsters come to have a nice "soirée" talking about global warming and how good people they are because they can buy (afford) bio products. Isn't that hypocritical? This is not about fried chicken, it is about people that believe they have higher moral values, and try to enforce the rest to think like them. We are adults and are free to decide what to eat. We did not elect you to treat us as children.

Jun 4, 2019 16:13