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    Political change of heart on Brussels heritage welcomed

    © Belga
    Julie de Groote is delighted with the reforms to the law on heritage preservation.
    © Belga

    On Monday evening, the President of the Brussels French-speaking parliament Julie de Groote (cdH) was delighted with position achieved on urban heritage. She was pleased to learn that “the PS, and especially DéFI finally understood the full significance of the Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites (CRMS)”, within the overall policy for the protection of the Brussels regional heritage.

    She says that MR and DéFI deputies from the Commission were last week in favour of the original text original proposed by the Socialist Minister-President, and which reduced the CRMS powers to nothing.

    Ms De Groote says that for months she laid great emphasis on the necessity to retain intact the particularly precious binding opinion of the Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites, as regards preservation of the Brussels heritage.

    She commented in a communiqué, “Brussels has suffered greatly as a result of the stupidity of numerous property developers to risk new forms of ‘Brusselization’ in a city which has become a permanent building site. This is thanks to the excavators and the ferocious appetites of property developers and constructors of thousands of metres squared of property.”

    The reform of the development of the Brussels Code for the Development of the Area (known as “COBAT”) is preparing to take on a significant development phase as regards heritage protection. This is the upholding, subject to more stringent regulations, the binding opinion of the Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites.

    This opinion known as “compliant” is required for all construction projects, renovation or restoration involving protected elements of heritage (examples being buildings or statues). It was instigated at the beginning of the 90s in Brussels, after several decades of dismantling elements of sacrificed heritage with the focus on property speculation.

    The imminent announcement in favour of maintaining the binding opinion by the President of the Commission for the Brussels area, Ridouane Chahid (PS), was applauded on Monday by DéFI, a majority partner along with the cdH.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times