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Woluwe shopping centre gets permission to expand

15:23 15/07/2023

An expansion of Woluwe Shopping Centre has been given the green light following a revision of plans, although the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert has already said that it plans to “file all possible means of appeal” against the changes.

The expansion plans were put on hold for a time after protests, but a revised plan has now been granted a permit, Bruzz reports.

An initial application to expand what claims to be “Europe's oldest indoor shopping centre” was submitted back in 2019.

The municipality immediately issued a negative opinion with the support of many local residents, prompting the contractor to revise the plans.

In the new plan, the extended building protrudes less and is one storey lower, with 71 flats above the shops instead of 95. Opponents are still not in support of the plan.

“The building will still be far too big and unwieldy, there is barely room for pedestrians and cyclists at the entrance, an adjustment of a few centimetres will not change that,” alderwoman for town planning Delphine De Valkeneer (Défi) said.

The municipality therefore once again gave a negative opinion, but the Brussels r did not follow suit. On 7 July, the changes were accepted and the expansion permit was approved.

Neighbours also fear that the deep car park – two underground floors – will increase the risk of flooding.

“The architectural choices don't fit at all in a municipality like ours,” De Valkeneer said.

The possible additional urban planning costs – estimated at almost €2 million – are also causing a lot of discussion.

The political majority is therefore preparing to file an appeal.

Such an appeal involves the project being examined by independent experts, after which the government must take a position.

If this avenue of opposition comes to a dead end, the municipality does not rule out going to the Council of State.

“We are going to use all possible means of appeal to reach a sound solution,” it said.

Written by Helen Lyons



The Brussels region is famous for supporting all kind of ugly and superfluous buildings - the tower in Ixelles was also imposed against the opposition of Ixelles municipality and of the neighbouring citizens. Perhaps a reflection on the responsibilities would help; the municipalities should get a veto right.

Jul 17, 2023 08:04

This Brussels government seems to have their own agenda for everything and they are determined to implement it, regardless of the cost to others, including the city of Brussels itself. And the opinion of others would appear to be of little or no importance to them.

Jul 17, 2023 09:27