Alderman Machelen will not challenge the new permit for Brussels Airport: “Many of our residents work at the airport”

Alderman Machelen will not challenge the new permit for Brussels Airport: “Many of our residents work at the airport”
Alderman Machelen will not challenge the new permit for Brussels Airport: “Many of our residents work at the airport”
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There is a crack in the coalition of five Northern Rand municipalities that are working together to combat nuisance caused by the airport. The council of aldermen of Machelen has already decided not to challenge the new environmental permit for Brussels Airport. It is not yet known what the four others will do.

Machelen, together with Wemmel, Meise, Grimbergen and Vilvoorde, had been litigating against the Federal State for some time regarding the inadequate distribution of night flights. There have already been several legal rulings that have resulted in the state having to pay penalty payments. These are in a blocked account.

In the meantime, a new permit for the airport has been approved by the Flemish government. Initially, the five Northern Rand municipalities had strong reservations about this.

Also read: Minister Demir extends the environmental permit of Brussels Airport

But the municipality of Machelen wants to separate the new permit from the distribution file. “We, together with the four others, submitted an objection during the public inquiry for that new permit. But mainly because we are the only directly airport-related municipality that is experiencing inconvenience,” Machels Alderman for Mobility Steve Claeys explains.

“There is now advice from the lawyers to go to the Council for Permit Disputes and have it annulled. As a municipality we will not go along with that. We have already given our advice in that objection.”

Better than the current one

“A fair distribution is something that little can be done at the Flemish level via the permit,” Claeys continues. “With regard to the other objections that are raised, we as a municipality do not believe it is appropriate to participate in an appeal. We have to take people’s health into account, that’s right. But we are also the only municipality of the five that is directly connected to the airport. 80% of Brucargo is located on our territory. I think that many people from our municipality also work at the airport and of course we do not want to jeopardize that.”

Also read: Voka is positive about the application for a new environmental permit from Brussels Airport

To put it bluntly: what the new permit entails would not make the situation for Machelen worse than it already is. “That’s right. We have analyzed this and the new permit is actually better for our municipality than the current one. Noise standards are being taken more into account.”

“We are not really leaving the coalition,” Claeys continues. “We want to continue working together for a fair distribution. Because Brussels is spared, just like a large part of Walloon Brabant, and all air traffic comes over the northern edge. We want to continue to fight against that.”

Due to other municipalities, no official decision has yet been made about a possible procedure against the permit. “We are still examining the file and will make a decision early next week,” Vilvoorde mayor Hans Bonte said.

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Alderman Machelen challenge permit Brussels Airport residents work airport

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