Less and less political support for Uplace

Support among politicians for the planned Uplace shopping centre in the Flemish Brabant municipality of Machelen is melting away. The daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad” reports after first the liberals, then the Christian democrats, now support for the project is slipping away within the Flemish nationalist party N-VA.

Although, the Flemish Government (made up of nationalists, Christian democrats and liberals) approved the project a few months ago. Both the liberal and the Christian democrats had previous expressed opposition to the project only the nationalists still openly supported Uplace, until now.

The Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ that "The chance that Uplace will ever be built is becoming smaller and smaller.

"The forthcoming procedures are not going to run smoothly and the public’s perception of the project is worsening.”

"Suddenly we’re all alone”

The nationalists’ group leader in the Flemish Parliament Parlement Matthias Diependaele’s tone is similar to that of Mr De Wever.

"Our party was the only one that was not involved in the decision that was taken in 2009. It were the three traditional parties (the liberals, Christian democrats and socialists) that found that Uplace should be built”, Mr Diependaele told the VRT.

"Six year later it appears that we are the only party that still is respecting the agreement. This means that we are suddenly alone. Then you have to admit that support, political support in particular, is no longer there.

Public inquiry

A public inquiry into the impact Uplace would have on the surrounding area id currently running. On the basis of this the Flemish Government will make a final decision on whether the shopping, leisure and entertainment centre will be built.