The Urban Assessment and Planning Commission of the town of Etterbeek near Brussels agreed with the approval, subject to conditions, of the planning application for a partially pedestrian zone on Place Jourdan by town authorities, revealed the council on Wednesday. The demands of retailers opposed to the project were heard. The commission recommends that 30 parking spaces be kept available. An underground car park with 70 spaces will be built under Parc Jo Heyne (Maelbeek carpark) before work on Place Jourdan even starts. Between 30 and 60 parking spaces will also be available in the Forte dei Marmi car park and 18-20 extra spaces will be made available at the Brulabo carpark. New signage will be put up locally to make car parks more easily identifiable.
As requested earlier by retailers, traffic will be allowed both ways in front of the hotel. The junction between Avenue du Maelbeek and Chaussée d’Etterbeek will be accessible by car as well. One of the conditions imposed by town authorities is efficient liaison between the various sites of road works to keep nuisances to a minimum. However, the fountain, which retailers disapprove of because it divides the square, will not be removed as it is a landmark pointing to the Maelbeek waterway below ground.
New premises will be found for the chip shop, which will remain a prominent feature in the square. The Sunday market will take place in the centre of the square. The Chaussée de Wavre will be extended towards Rue Froissart. There is also talk of planting 39 new trees on Place Jourdan and Rue Froissart. The 30 plane trees which currently encircle the square will be replaced by smaller trees.
Town authorities opted for a principle of reversibility which they have confirmed. If the new design negatively affects the income of retailers, plans are in place to revert back to the previous situation after a trial period of at least one year.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)