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New building code to require terraces on newly built flats

17:43 11/03/2021

Pascal Smet, state secretary for urban development in the Brussels government, wants to rework regulations to require new houses and flats to include a garden or terrace in the building plan. This is one of the changes he would like to see made to the draft document on development reform.

The building code has not been adapted since 2007, so it’s about time. The project has been on the table since the previous government, but now Smet (One.Brussels) wants parliament to take another look before anything is finalised.

“I don’t want to deliver a new building code that is only half-done,” he wrote in a letter to parliament. “It needs to be developed into an instrument that takes a radical new look at the future.” Smet also wants to change the name of the adapted policy from the dull Regional Urban Development Regulations to Good Living.


The terrace requirement has obviously been inspired by the corona crisis. Other changes that Smet wants to discuss could be attributed to the last year’s experience as well, including at least one bicycle parking space per apartment in a new building and striving for more green space in the region overall.

“It’s clear that our draft document from 2019 must be significantly improved,” wrote Smet. “We will submit the document for debate a second time. A small step back in order to make a big leap forward.”

Smet hopes to have a new draft document ready by the summer for parliamentary approval. Then it must be published for public input. If all goes according to plan, Good Living will be approved by the middle of 2023.

Photo courtesy The Horizon


Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

Not everyone wants a terrace. I don't care for them. So, it will cost me more to buy or rent an apartment because there's a terrace that I don't need? Once again, unnecessary government regulations that cost us money without accomplishing anything. Let people who want a terrace have one, those who don't not have one. Personal freedom: a strange concept for Belgian authorities.

Mar 24, 2021 20:24