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Metro 3: Brussels parliament approves faster dismantling of Palais du Midi

08:57 03/10/2023

The Brussels parliament has approved an emergency ordinance that allows for an accelerated partial demolition of the Palais du Midi complex, which is expected to significantly speed up the works on Metro 3.

A majority of 52 MPs voted in favour, Bruzz reports, with 27 against and eight abstained. The MR and PTB parties voted against the measure, citing financial uncertainties.

The emergency ordinance cuts the permit application for the partial demolition short by one year.

“After being halted for two years, the works on Metro 3 in this section should restart as soon as possible,” said Ans Persoons (Vooruit), Brussels state secretary for urban planning.

“The current worksite has a huge impact on the neighbourhood, and this is precisely why it’s so important that we speed up the procedure. The works should be resumed and completed as soon as possible, so that life in the neighbourhood can resume its normal course.”

Opponents of the ordinance point out that the Council of State is very critical of the new ordinance in its opinion, but Persoons said she was confident that the decision will be upheld by the Constitutional Court.

The demolition includes removing the roof and interior of the Palais du Midi, which will allow large machines to be used to dig the trench for the new metro tunnel.

To let those machines in, an accessway to the building will be demolished and then rebuilt afterwards. All four facades will remain standing.

Despite the ordinance’s passing, shopkeepers in the Palais du Midi say they still lack details regarding when they will need to move.

Written by Helen Lyons