The city of Bruges has taken an important hurdle in the resit of the Bruges stadium file. The aldermen’s council approved a necessary amendment to the urban planning regulation. “We hope that our efforts will finally yield positive results,” says alderman Franky Demon.
If Club Brugge wants to build a new stadium, it must provide all the necessary parking spaces on its own site. That was never the plan, because Club wants to use peripheral car parks and deploy shuttle buses, among other things, but that turned out to be mandatory according to Bruges urban planning rules. At least that was the opinion of the Council of State, which at the beginning of this year, partly on the basis of this contradiction, annulled the environmental permit for a new stadium on the Olympia site.
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“However, it was never the intention of the urban planning regulation that this passage should be interpreted so literally. After all, for larger projects, a mobility study must always be carried out and it is possible to deviate from a parking offer outside the applicant’s own site,” says Franky Demon (CD&V), Bruges alderman for Spatial Planning.
Possibility to deviate
To leave no room for interpretation, the city council had the ordinance amended. “In the amended regulation, we explain the passage in question more broadly and we indicate that for larger projects, such as the stadium of Club Brugge, different options are provided in addition to parking spaces on site,” says Demon. “For example, account can be taken of the use of shared cars, a complementary parking offer, such as car parks that are used part of the time for one function and the rest of the time for another project, and parking at a distance with a planned route. In the latter case, consider, for example, the provision of shuttle buses to an edge car park. This applies in the regulation to both parking facilities for cars and cyclists.” (Read more below the photo)
Five more months
The adjustment should put the Bruges stadium file back on track. If everything goes according to plan, the decision will be submitted to the city council for approval within five months. Only then will the new regulation come into effect.
“The city is making further efforts with this and is showing decisiveness to move the stadium file forward. But the amendment to the regulation also prevents other dossiers from being lost due to the interpretation of the Council,” says Demon. “We hope that our efforts will finally yield positive results.”
The adjustment is a first, but not the last hurdle taken to get the new Club stadium licensed. The study work on mobility also had to be redone in part, because the figures of the permit applicant and those of the opponents were too far apart. It is up to Club Brugge to take a closer look at that issue. Only then can the Flemish Minister of the Environment Zuhal Demir (N-VA) consider whether or not to grant a permit again.
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