July 24, 2024

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Locals continue fight against Club Brugge: ‘We are not foie gras’

Locals continue fight against Club Brugge: ‘We are not foie gras’

Club Brugge will have to wait a little longer before laying the foundation stone for its new stadium, because about forty local residents will once again object to the environmental permit. And it seems they have a chance again, says Professor Sabine Lust (UGent). “I’m afraid Club Brugge will go back to square one.”

“All concerns have been taken into account as much as possible,” Flemish Economy Minister Jo Bruns emphasized yesterday when announcing the environmental permit for the construction of a new football stadium on the Olympia site.

All sighs? That’s not how local Ton van Morbeke sees it. His request to build the stadium as far away from the residential area as possible fell on deaf ears. “Who wants a 47-metre high playground in their garden?”

“The site is big enough,” he says. “So the stadium could ideally be located at a respectable distance from the houses. But they still chose a 47-metre-high wall 50 to 70 meters from the houses.”

“And we wouldn’t have anything to say against that? Club Brugge claims to be in constructive talks with the neighbourhood. Well, it’s a simple demand. They should just ask the architect to move the stadium further away. Everyone from the neighbourhood will do it immediately.” . Approves.”

“A stadium may be built, but not a giant stadium close to the houses. If a stadium with a capacity of 30,000 fans was planned to be built here, at an acceptable distance with a real mobility plan, there would be no problem.”

Last year, parking and transportation were the biggest stumbling block for locals, but now it’s mainly about the size of the stadium and the distance to homes.

However, concerns about parking problems have not gone away yet. “In the previous European home match, the Te Zand car park was immediately full,” says another local resident. “And then all the buses have to come from the terminal parking lots. It’s crazy.”

Ton van Morbeke doesn’t believe much in Brugge’s promises. “In 2013, club president Bart Verhaeghe said he wanted Jan Breidel to leave, because a new stadium would cause more disruption in the neighbourhood.”

“But if he hits his head against the wall, the neighborhood will simply have to put up with more inconvenience. We are not foie gras. We ask for consultation and engagement. We have seen in the Oosterweil file that consultation is the solution.” best solution .”

He added, “I offer assistance in holding serious consultations in which all parties are ready to make concessions.”

“If people don’t want to have constructive discussions, they force us to take further steps. We took the legal route three times and won. There may be another way.”

The appeals process before the Permit Disputes Board has no stopping effect, but there seems little chance that the club will begin construction without certainty.

Parking on the edge is my Achilles heel

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The stadium case has been going on for more than 17 years, and it seems that the ordeal will extend even longer.

According to Sabine Lust, a professor at Ghent University who specializes in proceedings against the government, local residents also have a legal leg to rely on.

The parking solution in particular seems to be the Achilles heel of the Borouge project. According to building regulations, all visitors must be able to park their cars around the new stadium. In its plans, Club Brugge works with thousands of spaces in its terminal parking lots and shuttle services.

“The city modified the 2011 rule so that the club could still operate with terminal parking lots, but the State Council suspended that rule,” says Sabine Lust on VRT’s Het Quartier podcast. “If they proceed to repeal the rule, the permit will be of no use.”

“The Council of State believes that the environmental consequences of the review should be investigated. They did not do so, because they thought it was a ‘minor deviation’. The Council disagrees with that.”

He added: “The possibility of canceling the regulations seems very high to me. After that, I fear that it will go back to square one for Club Brugge.”