Club Brugge faces a challenge with its new stadium project. After the previous permit was cancelled, the club applied for an improved environmental permit, taking the objections into account.
The file is considered the strongest ever in Belgium, but despite this, no less than 39 objections were submitted after the public investigation. Departure from Bruges is even threatened if the permit is not successful at the current Olympia site, which is the last possible site.
Club Brugge stadium file: All hopes for applying the new environmental permit
In November, Club Brugge (Club Brugge Development NV and Club Brugge NV) submitted a new application for an environmental permit to demolish the existing Jan Breydel Stadium and build a new stadium (with retail activities) for over 40,000 spectators in the existing stadium. Olympia website.
The file also included a request to develop new parking lots, roads and a park environment. After Flanders announced the acceptance of the application, a public inquiry was held in which the public had the opportunity to express their opinions for 45 days.
During that period, supporters and opponents of the project were able to make their voices heard. The previous request from last year led to 129 objections, but the request was approved by the Flemish government.
A group of local residents submitted a request to the Permit Disputes Board, which resulted in the permit being cancelled.
With a new and improved environmental permit application, which specifically takes into account stakeholder objections and concerns, Club Brugge aims to obtain the permit this spring.
Club Brugge will play in the new stadium within three years at the earliest
The deadline for submitting objections to the environmental permit application for the Club Brugge stadium project ended this week. According to Bruges consultant Frankie Dimon (CD&V), at least 39 objections have already been submitted.
“It seems there is still a question mark behind the new stadium,” he says. latest news. The final number of objections will be announced later this week.
This means it could take at least another year and a half before an environmental permit is approved, after which construction can begin – which will also take a year and a half.
In the most optimistic scenario, it will take at least three years before Club Brugge can move into the new stadium. “It does not seem that the legal ordeal facing Club Brugge regarding the new stadium is over yet,” he wrote. The newspaper.
HLN: “Never before has there been such a strong profile on the field in Belgium”
A media session was held on Club Brugge's revised stadium plans in mid-January, where it became clear that some local residents were still against building the site, despite amendments made by Club Brugge in response to the Club Brugge board's points. Permission disputes.
The club has made great efforts to meet the requirements. The Urban Development Law on parking has been amended and approved by the Bruges City Council.
In the area of transportation, contractual arrangements have been made with land owners and private companies who provide their parking facilities during match days.
The refurbished Olympia site alone has parking space for 3,900 vehicles, while 10-space parking spaces are also provided, where fans can be taken to the stadium by shuttle buses and collected after the match.
In addition, at least 4,400 bicycle spaces will be provided. “Experts believe that there has never been such a strong profile for stadiums in Belgium before,” he said. latest news.
Olympia website Last possible location: “Otherwise there is a risk of departure from Bruges”
Since 2006, Club Brugge has been working on plans for a new stadium, and since 2020 the focus has been on the current Olympia site. This is the last possible location and the only trump card for the stadium plans.
“It's now or never,” Alderman Frankie Damon said last year. The newspaper. “There are simply no other construction sites available in Bruges. (Sighs) I don't know where.
Mayor Dirk de Fauw agreed, saying: “If it doesn't work out there, the club is in danger of leaving Bruges.” The management alliance CD&V, Voruit and Open Vld have completed 90% of the projects in their policy document, but a new football stadium is still missing.
In addition, the city of Bruges invested €370,000 last summer to keep the ancient site safe. At the national level, there is also pressure from politicians to make progress.
Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir hopes Club Brugge can start construction soon. It is particularly frustrating that more than 95% of local residents have no objection to the new stadium, but there is a small group that opposes the project.
Club Brugge can achieve a qualitative leap in its new stadium
The current Jan Breidel Stadium is in a dilapidated state, and Club Brugge has already invested several million in crucial repairs. There are problems such as leaks, lack of space for VIP boxes and business seats, limited parking options and hygiene issues.
Bart Verhaeghe hopes that the permit will be granted in the spring of 2024, because only with a new stadium can Club Brugge advance sportingly and commercially and the club can maintain its place on the map of Europe.
According to Vincent Manart, the construction of the stadium could represent a quantum leap forward in sporting and financial terms for Club Brugge.
In addition, problems such as light pollution, noise pollution, mobility and visual impact in the new stadium, which is important for the environment and local residents, will be significantly reduced compared to the current situation.
Although experts claim that this is the strongest stadium ever built in Belgium, this does not guarantee that construction will begin this spring.
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