The Rue Neuve project, which will develop what is already the busiest shopping thoroughfare in Belgium, should begin to take shape in March 2017. In any case, Brussels City Council is doing everything it can to meet this deadline. The Alderman for Urbanisation at the Council, Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène (Conservative-Liberal), confirmed this yesterday (Monday). He was responding to a question from Malijkka Abbad (of the Flemish Green Party – Groen!) at the last council meeting before the summer holidays.
This project has been on the agenda for four years. The plans were initially laid down in 2012, after an architectural competition. The works were originally planned to start in August 2014. It was subsequently thought that they would start last May.
When pressed on this point, the alderman acknowledged that he had sometimes been over-optimistic in council discussions. “However, in the meantime, we have been working constructively with the various actors and shopkeepers in the thoroughfare,” stated Mr Coomans de Brachène.
He went further saying, “At the moment there is an agreement with Beliris on the works to be completed. However, the nature of the works has caused a new delay over which we have no control. This is, in particular, because preliminary drainage works are still in progress. Beliris has told us that we should be able to start work in March 2017.”