The Council of State's decision to annul Uplace Machelen's environmental permit has been upheld by the Belgian Court of Cassation: now the question beckons what will happen to the huge complex near the ringroad around Brussels.
The Council of State had already annulled the environmental permit last year, because it thought there may be a conflict of interest in the regional government of Flanders. The Flemish Region and Uplace resisted the decision, but the Court of Cassation has now dismissed that complaint.
Environmental agency Bond Beter Leefmilieu now expects there will be a procedure to get a new environmental permit alongside a new public study, allowing citizens and organizations to object. "It would be irresponsible to hand out a new environmental permit without a new public study", according newspaper De Standaard quoted them.
The construction of the Uplace shopping center has been a hot topic for several years, but has encountered plenty of permit issues, delaying the project. Only yesterday, it became apparent that a traffic study, which was very positive towards the project, was created by one of Uplace's partners.