Brussels, (Brussels Morning)- The plans for the renovation work of the new abbey in Forest were slightly changed. For example, one of the buildings will be removed from the plans and an outside staircase will be retained. The changes were the subject of negotiations between some local residents and the municipality.
The “Fabrique” building (de Hallen) will no longer be built. For example, local resident and ex-ship Annie Richard reported to La Dernière Heure. The building was to become an extra space that could serve as a “forum”, in the middle of the future library, theatre and music academy.
The changes made in the 1970s and 1980s are preserved, as is the staircase behind the castle. Originally, the latter was to be replaced by a slope.
Finally, there will be lawns in the centre of the site.
The local residents also wanted the future theatre with 300 seats to be removed from the plans, but were blunt during the negotiations.
On Tuesday evening, the city council presented the changes to the city council and passed them onto the architects.
Hair in the butter
The Adbij van Vorst is to become a new, cultural attraction in the Sint-Denijs Wijk. It will be named ‘Aby’ and will include a library, music academy and concert hall, as well as a larger park. Yet there is a hair in the butter of the project.
Three local residents, including former alderman of Ecolo Annie Richard, and the association Inter Environnement Bruxelles (a federation of neighbourhood committees) lodged an appeal with the Council of State in December to have the building permit for the restoration of the abbey in Vorst cancelled.
The local residents felt that the new construction destroys the heritage character of the Abbey of Forest.
Due to the appeal, however, the project has been delayed, as a result of which the municipality is in danger of losing a European subsidy of 7 million euros. The condition for this subsidy was that the project must be completed before the beginning of 2024.
It is not yet clear whether the changes have delayed the works to such an extent that the project can no longer land on time.