Brussels (BrusselsMorning) Six local residents from Brussels have started a petition against the planned conversion of the ‘Middenvijver’ in the park of Neerpede into a natural swimming pond. According to the initiators, this would damage the biodiversity in the park.
The municipality of Anderlecht and the Brussels regional government have plans to convert the ‘Middenvijver’ of the park of Neerpede into a natural swimming pond the size of four Olympic swimming pools. Brussels residents would be able to swim in it in the summer, starting from 2024.
“Swimming pond harms biodiversity”
For a swimming zone of up to 130 metres, the pond would be deepened to 1.5 to 3 metres, depending on the zone. Less deep zones and a paddling pool will also allow recreational swimming adapted to the children. In a feasibility study, which Brussels Environment has ordered, it has been calculated that access to the pond should be limited to a maximum of 225 simultaneous bathers in order to guarantee the quality of the water.
But several residents fear that future swimmers will disturb the rich fauna and flora and the peace and quietness in the park. “We do not want this natural site to become a recreational zone that is harmful to biodiversity,” the petition reads according to an article by BRUZZ. “We learned that no study on the adverse effects of the swimming pool has been made yet,” Yannick is surprised as one of the initiators of the Facebook page ‘Sauvegardons Neerpede’. A petition of the same name now has more than 680 signatures.
In addition, the collective already interpellated the city council of Anderlecht on 23 December. “We accuse the municipality and region of not being transparent about a project that affects not only the local residents, but all the inhabitants of Brussels,” said Yannick in La Capitale. The mayor of Anderlecht, Fabrice Cumlps (PS), seems to be interested in this concern. There will be an information session from the municipality.
In addition, Yannick calls on the local residents to object to the project from June. “The public inquiry will start in June. We then have 15 days to object. With the Josaphat Friche and the Meyle Meersch farm, there are more endangered nature reserves. On the one hand, politicians say they want to preserve the nature reserves, but on the other, they destroy what is there in practice.”