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Terrace heaters should be banned, says Groen party
The government of the Brussels-Capital Region has approved the final document that contains all of the regulations regarding terraces maintained by Brussels’ restaurants and bars. According to the government, this will make information such as permit procedures, fees and sanctions – which was previously spread out between a number of agencies – much easier to find.
Brussels has more than 1,800 restaurants and bars, and half of them maintain some kind of terrace. There are regulations concerning a number of issues, such as how late a terrace is allowed to be open and what constitutes proper furniture. Last year, about 450 violations were recorded.
Some restaurants only maintain terraces during warm weather, but some use electric heaters so the terrace can be open all year. This is a legal practice, though if the Flemish Groen party had its way, they would not be allowed. Groen abstained from voting on the new regulations because it says they do not go far enough in regulating terraces.
Terrace heating systems “are an ecological disaster and should be banned,” said MP Bart Dhondt of Groen. “Warming up the air outside is no longer sensible, and we should find alternatives.”
Groen is also concerned about a lack of urban planning when it comes to terraces. “The new regulations are progress,” said Dhondt, “but they don’t do anything to limit the growing number of terraces. We would ask that the government put a stop to the privatisation of public space.”