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    Banning KFC in Ixelles is ‘too random’, says union

    According to the Union of self-employed entrepreneurs Unizo, the decision to deny KFC's permit lacks any legal basis. Credit: Belga

    The decision by Ixelles to refuse to give a permit to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) lacks legal basis, according to the Union of self-employed entrepreneurs Unizo.

    The municipality refused an urban development permit to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), claiming that it would prevent the neighbourhood around Porte de Namur from becoming a “junk food corner”.

    On Wednesday, KFC will open its first Brussels restaurant at Gare du Nord, but the chain wants to open several more restaurants, including one on Chaussée d’Ixelles in the old ING bank building. That location would put it almost next to the Quick, and a little further is a McDonald’s, a Burger King, a Pizza Hut and a Hector Chicken.

    The arrival of KFC is a threat to the commercial mix and the attractiveness of the commercial district, according to the municipality. There are already 16 catering outlets on a 100-metre strip.

    The fast-food chain has since appealed to the Brussels Region against the decision, but Alderman for Urban Planning Yves Rouyet (Ecolo) expects the Region to agree with the municipality.

    However, Anton Van Assche of the Union of self-employed entrepreneurs (Unizo) doubts it. “I understand that the municipality wants to give the message that this type of catering business does not fit in that place, but the arguments cited do not form a sufficient legal basis. What is fast food? What is healthy? It is too random. Everyone must be treated equally. The Region will not be able to do anything other than allowing the permit,” he added.

    “There are all kinds of taxes, but we are not in favour of using those. These taxes say: we do not want it, but as long as you pay, you can do it anyway,” Van Assche said. “Taxing a huge fast food chain would also not be a solution, they just pay,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times