Investigation into reallocation of barracks enjoys Flemish support
the Minister-President of the government of Flanders, Kris Peeters CD&V, has confirmed his financial support for the reallocation of the military barracks sites in the East Brabant cities of Diest, Landen and Goetsenhoven Tienen. The allocated funds will be used to research possible economic options for these sites. “Reallocating deserted military sites for economic use may increase the number of business sites,” Peeters confirms. A total of eleven barracks in Belgium stand to gain financially from this reallocation cake with its estimated value of almost 770,000 euros. The Citadel barracks in Diest covers an area of 29 hectare, with 22 hectares consisting of a park which the Nature and Forestry division is keen to take over. The remaining built-up areas have been earmarked for economic development. Within the ranks of the municipality it seems obvious that the city would be the prime takeover candidate. “The expropriation process is on track,” the city confirms. In Diest the Leopold barracks, with its underground bunkers divided into smaller rooms, are being scrutinised but so far possible uses have not yet been clarified. The municipality of Landen hopes to take over the 3.5-hectare barracks site from the military to extend the city centre. “The site could serve as a communal area for community facilities with a cultural function, retail outlets and arts and crafts activities,” the city suggests. A number of existing hangars could be converted into a business centre.The Goetsenhoven barracks, which cover an area of 6 hectares, is linked to a landing strip. It currently accommodates a flying club, and the municipality is considering the option of creating a recreational cluster based on flying and smaller civil activities like helicopter repair facilities. According to mayor Marcel Logist, the sports administration of the Flemish authorities, Bloso, is considering for which sporting activities the site will suit.