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Parties renew proposal to open up part of royal grounds to public

18:23 17/10/2019

Brussels political parties Groen and Ecolo have renewed their proposal to open up part of the royal domain in Laeken to the public. The grounds, part of Laeken Park and home to the palace where the royal family live, would be a welcome addition to Brussels’ green space, according to the parties.

Proposals have twice been submitted before, but with the new regional government, the parties found it wise to renew it. “We live on top of each other,” Groen MP Tinne Van der Straeten told Bruzz, “and open space is extremely important to our quality of life.”

While the western part of Laeken Park is open to the public, everything across the Avenue due Parc Royal is fenced off, reserved for the royal family. At 186 hectares, it is the single largest green space in Brussels. “With respect for the safety and privacy of the royal family, it is certainly possible to open up part of it,” said Van der Straeten.

Specifically, the parties would like to see the wall demolished along the Chaussée de Vilvoorde, from the Van Praet bridge all the way around the southern tip to the Notre-Dame de Laeken church. Whether another wall or fence would go up to separate the royal family estate from this area has not been made clear.

The idea has been supported by several parties, including PS, N-VA and MR. The Brussels Capital Region owns the grounds, and Bruxelles Environnement oversees the management. Groen and Ecolo hope that part of the park can be re-opened by next year’s National Day in July.

Photo: Part of the royal domain in Laeken
©Dirk Waem/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

Frank Lee

Ursula von der Leyen will live in the Berlaymont so as not to be a burden to the taxpayers. Why couldn't the royal family live in the palace in town? Too small for His Majesty? He would save time on the commute...

Oct 18, 2019 18:25