Plans for “landmark” buildings at the coast

Apartment buildings line the promenades of most of the resorts along Flanders’ 60km plus coastline. Many of the buildings look the same and lack architectural character. Now six of the ten coastal municipalities have plans to build a number of high-rise apartment buildings in an effort to give the seaside resorts of West Flanders a new sense of style.

The local authorities in Middelkerke are to draw up a plan that will stipulate where new high-rise block may be built. The Middelkerke municipal authorities have already said that that would like to see more than one block built.

The Mayor of Middelkerke Janna Rommel-Opstaele (liberal) told the VRT that "I think that at the present time landmark buildings are needed to keep us on the map as a coastal resort. Currently our highest building is 11 stories. We would like to go to as much as twice that. We don’t want to become a second Dubai”

104-metrebuilding already in Ostend

Since 1969 the Europacentrum block has towered above the coastal city of Ostend. The 104-metre block is the tallest block of flats in West Flanders and the highest building along our coast. Ostend too is considering allowing the construction of new high-rise blocks in the near future.

According to the Ostend Alderman responsible for planning Kurt Claeys (liberal) "a high-rise block looks lonely on its own. As far as I’m concerned they can build as high as they like. The sky’s the limit.
Knokke-Heist has also approved plans for a high-rise “landmark” block. Elsewhere, Elsewhere, Koksijde, Nieuwpoort and Blankenberge are also considering plans for “landmark” blocks. Meanwhile, De Haan, Bredene, De Panne and Zeebrugge (City of Bruges) are against the construction of high-rise block on their patch.