The reason given was that the stadium is too big and as such is not in keeping with the regional zoning plan for the area. The Council of State is the last port of call for Ghelamco to appeal.
Ghelamco has been trying to get planning permission for its Euro Stadium project since 2016. The stadium would be built on Parking C, adjacent to Brussels Expo. The land is owned by the City of Brussels, but is located within the boundaries of the Flemish Brabant municipality of Grimbergen.
The original intention was to have the stadium built in time for Brussels to become one of the host cities for next year’s European Football Championships. Euro 2020 will being held in 13 cities across Europe. The stadium would also be used for the home games of Belgium’s national football team the Red Devils. It was also originally the case that the First Division football team RSC Anderlecht would make the stadium their new home.
However, planning permission has not been forthcoming. Ghelamco’s application was first turned down by the municipal authorities in Grimbergen, then by the Flemish Brabant provincial authorities. The former Flemish Environment and Planning Minister Joke Schauvliege (Christian democrat) then also turned the planning application down. Recently the refusal to grant planning permission was confirmed by the Council for Licencing Disputes.
The reason given for the refusal is that the regional zoning plan only provides for 50,000m² of recreational facilities at the Car Park C site, while Ghelamco plans are for 100,000m² of recreational facilities at the site. Ghelamco’s reasoning that the corridors and changing rooms inside the stadium complex should not be counted as recreational facilities has thus far been dismissed by all the authorities that have dealt with the planning application.
In a last ditch effort to try and save the project, Ghelamco has now lodged an appeal with the Council of State. The appeal will not deal with the contents of the planning application, but will look at whether the correct procedures have been followed by the various authorities that have dealt with it.