Expatica news

Authorities have ‘abandoned’ Ixelles

1 March 2005

BRUSSELS – The Brussels commune of Ixelles stands accused of neglecting residents who have suffered from long-standing building works at Place Flagey.

On Thursday, it will be three years that builders have been on site at the Ixelles square, near the lakes, and work to protect the site from flooding won’t be finished until December 2006.

The redevelopment of the Place will then begin, with Brussels Region still to decide on the design of the new-look square.

Although the work is being managed by a developer and the Region, this week opposition politicians in Ixelles said the commune wasn’t doing its part in standing up for residents.

Mouvement Reformateur (MR) group leader Olivier de Clippele and councillor Delphine Bourgeois said there had been a lack of information given to Ixelles residents on the Flagey project and a lack of consultation.

In three years, there has been one meeting and one pamphlet sent through doors, the MR members claimed.

It had taken three years and many complaints before the pedestrian pathways had been repainted, said MR.

De Clippele also said it was poor that the commune had not helped residents whose homes had been damaged in flooding at the Place on 22 July and 25 October of last year.

“The commune has washed its hands of them,” said De Clippele.

There were 120 cases where water flooded into ground floors and basements, damaging water boilers, furniture and electrical equipment.

Ixelles’ emergency funds had not been used for any of the cases since it was involved in a legal dispute with the Region over the matter and felt giving assistance would suggest it admitted responsibility.

De Clippele argued that the commune could at least have offered a legal advisor for residents.

“If you have damage of EUR 1,500 to 2,000, you are going to hesitate to take on a lawyer,” he said, arguing one lawyer could represent all the cases.

The MR said many residents were still at risk of their homes flooding, even though the work at Place Flagey was advancing.

“Insurance premiums for residents are going to increase or, worse, companies are going to refuse to cover flood risks,” warned Bourgeois.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news