BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – The consultation committee of the City of Brussels has a favourable advice for the new district in the centre, at the location of the five blocks on the Papenvest. Local residents who wanted to adjust the project are disappointed. “The Region says that there is not enough accessible green space here and then they will build it up.”
What happened before: The City of Brussels wants to tear down the 5 modernist and worn-out residential blocks on the Papenvest and build a new city district in its place. The number of homes will increase from 314 to 350.
The plans came in for a lot of criticism, partly because the built-up area was much larger. Nevertheless, the consultation committee of the City of Brussels decided to give the project the green light. The new Papenvest district will receive favourable advice with conditions.
Those conditions are not very drastic. For example, the sidewalks in Onze Lieve Vrouw van Veelstraat will become wider and parking spaces will be lost. All roof areas where there are no solar panels will also be provided with a roof terrace and roof garden. This applies to the northern building and the central residential building.
One of the conditions is that the ground floor of the northern building will have more interaction with the surrounding streets. So there will be no more living space on the ground floor.
The advice itself says nothing about the future of the street called Papenvest. But the introductory text for the advice does state that the city wants to reconstruct the street and remove the parking spaces. In this way, a solution must be found for the expected traffic junction if cyclists, pedestrians and cars have to share a very narrow strip, says Alderman of Stedenbouw Ans Persoons (One.brussels/SP.A). The street may also become car-free, although no decision has yet been made.
Residents of the Papenvest who had requested drastic changes are disappointed. “It is as if this advice had been written before the consultation committee,” says Elke Van de Walle. “It even raises issues that were not discussed at all in the committee.”
Van de Walle believes that the City has not at all taken into account the concerns of local residents, including about the loss of open space. “The Region has just established that this is an area where there is a lack of publicly accessible greenery, and then the City will largely build up the area.”
The local resident, who represents a dozen families living opposite the site, is now eagerly awaiting the decision of the Region, which must grant the permit. “If the Region takes a decision that conflicts with its own objectives, the Council of State will annul that permit, I am sure.”