Permission granted for MolenWest temporary occupation

11 February 2020
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The Brussels Region’s Secretary of State for Urban Development, Pascal Smet, has confirmed that planning permission has been granted to the Urban Development Corporation (SAU) for the temporary occupation of land belonging to the Brussels-Capital Region right next to the Gare de l’Ouest railway and metro station.

‘The purpose of temporary occupations is to enable sites to be brought to life before they are redeveloped. This is a priority of this government. The project put forward by the municipality and the SAU meets the regional objectives and is of particularly high quality, so I am happy that this administrative step has been completed,’ says Pascal Smet.

Gilles Delforge, the SAU’s director, stresses that ‘while meeting the needs of a district, a temporary occupation can also help give a previously underused site a positive image – a point made in an article published only recently by The Guardian which enthusiastically discusses See U, the temporary occupation initiated by the SAU for the Usquare.brussels site in Ixelles’.

It will be recalled that the MolenWest project involves the creation of spaces for sports activities, containers converted for fun and creative activities run by local organisations for youngsters and a fablab accessible to local residents. This new temporary occupation, initiated by the SAU and the municipality of Molenbeek, will take place on a site owned by the Region, on the edge of brownfield railway land belonging to SNCB and Infrabel.

‘The granting of permission means that the project can begin, enabling our local organisations to start benefiting from these beautiful and original facilities this summer. They will be able to receive young people and residents of the neighbourhood around the Chaussée de Ninove there throughout the period of occupation of this large space near the Gare de l’Ouest metro station,’ said Catherine Moureaux, mayor of Molenbeek-Saint Jean.

The 4,500 m2 site is located at the corner of Chaussée de Ninove and Rue Alphonse Vandenpeereboom. The Region is currently working out how it will be used permanently in the future. Meanwhile, for a period currently planned to last three years, the SAU and the municipality of Molenbeek have cooperated to make a temporary occupation project possible there. The aim is to provide a response to the needs of the local area surrounding this key public transport hub. It has been decided to create temporary spaces where locally active non-profit organisations can carry out their activities, on the basis of the ‘Autour du Parc de l'Ouest’ Sustainable District Contract programme and the diagnosis of the ‘Gare de l'Ouest’ Urban Regeneration Contract (CRU 3).

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