The City of Brussels will only allow new hospitality outlets to open in premises already designated for this purpose. Marion Lemesre told the radio station FM Brussel: "In certain areas like the Vlaamsesteenweg or the UNESCO zone we are eager to preserve a mix of commercial activities."
In the Sint-Jacobs district local residents and traders raised the matter with the authorities themselves.
But not everybody is happy: a few weeks ago the Ghent business Wasbar that combines a café with a laundry salon complained how difficult it was to find suitable premises in the City of Brussels because of obstruction by the city authorities.
Marion Lemesre:"I've got nothing against this café-cum-laundry salon. If they find premises that are designated for hospitality sector use, that's fine. Imagine I grant them permission to set up business in new premises, and then if they go to the wall next year, I am powerless to prevent the umpteenth snack bar from opening there."