On 23rd December, the Brussels-Capital Region approved the new version of the Regional Plan for Land Development. This new version of the plan satisfies the comments made by the Council of State and now represents a solid base for continuing the development of the NEO project.
Indeed the new PRAS allows NEO to confidently continue its progress and start the concrete phase of planning permission.
It should be remembered that in December 2015 the Council of State issued a partial cancellation order of the ZIR 15 (zone of regional interest) of PRAS, following a motion deposed by 28 plaintiffs. The Council of State challenged the way in which the process of the ZIR in Heysel had been justified in the PRAS. The authorities were criticised for having allocated a precise programme (in this case the NEO project) to the ZIR – without having considered other alternatives in terms of location.
The Brussels authorities reacted rapidly by preparing an amended version of the document which now guarantees that the NEO project in Heysel can continue to move forward.
The NEO project in Heysel meets the principle of the ZIR perfectly: it is a multi-facetted urbanisation project for the Heysel Plateau which will benefit Brussels and its inhabitants. Indeed the project meets the demographic challenge and encourages new economic development in the north of the capital through, amongst other benefits, the creation of 3,000 jobs.