After good news from October now the proposed national stadium in Brussels has planning application officially filed. Within some 100 days from now we might see groundbreaking.
On Thursday Ghelamco officially filed the planning application in the Grimbergen borough for new national stadium at Parking C, just north of current Heysel. This step was made possible by last month’s positive environmental impact assessment.
Now the Grimbergen council has 4 weeks to evaluate the submitted files. By December 22 we’ll know if the documentation is complete and approved. If approved, it will be subject to an open public inquiry for further 30 days. Overall, proceedings connected to the planning application should last no more than 105 days.
This means that positive outcome might see construction launched in early March, 2017. This leaves enough time to deliver the 62,000-capacity stadium in 2019, well ahead of Euro 2020.
Still, the €320-million project continues to raise controversies. Leaders of Brussels’ Ecolo-Groen party ask for maximum transparency and access to the documents for residents, arguing that the extent of works is far too large to not offer full scrutiny.
Perhaps most importantly, there still seems to be an issue with RSC Anderlecht’s relocation to the new stadium. According to VoetbalNieuws.be within the club itself there’s lack of agreement on which option is better: moving north to the national stadium or finding a plot and building a private stadium for RSCA.
On the one hand, Eurostadion is a huge leap forward, but on the other it’s a major burden. With lease priced at €9.95 million annually and capacity well in excess of current potential, it’s not the perfect solution for Anderlecht.
Expansion of Constant Vanden Stock Stadion isn’t feasible, but Anderlecht is reportedly looking at the Neerpede ski slope (2km south-west of the current stadium) as potential “Plan B” site.