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In Brussels parking spaces make way for terraces

In Brussels parking spaces make way for terraces

Allowing for more space for outdoor consumption

The Government of Brussels will be simplifying the regulations on catering terraces, making it easier for restaurants and bar owners to install them and extend their establishments. The approved guidelines will be in effect in 2021 and 2022 and are regarded as key support to local entrepreneurs, helping them to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes after a proposal of State Secretary for Urbanism Pascal Smet and is another step in his ambition to make Brussels a city better suited for people than for cars.

Terraces will have a key role in the revival of the sector

Once the pandemic situation improves and the restrictions on non-essential commerce are lifted, Brussels residents and tourists will be able to enjoy more space for outdoor meals and drinks. According to the new regulation, flexible, modular, multifunctional and movable terraces will not require a planning permit, as long as they provide a free passage of at least 1.50 m. Terrace furniture can be stored outside if it is placed together in a secured way.

We provide clear and simple rules that are the same for everyone. In this way, many terraces will appear in Brussels this summer. Our bars and restaurants are going through difficult times and this way we are providing more perspective,” Mr Smet commented on the occasion.

The goal is to extend the space of catering establishments, allowing them to receive more clients since, due to the pandemic, indoor capacities have already been dramatically restricted.

Some rules to observe

Now, many more bars and restaurants in the Brussels-Central region will be able to install a terrace, without requiring a permit, through the transformation of parking spaces. However, there are certain rules to follow. These concern the timing and maintenance installation.

Among other things, terraces are seasonal (1 April – 31 October and/or during the holiday season). Their size is limited to the existing parking spaces and cannot exceed 50 square metres. They must be easy to dismantle, which should be done at least once a year.

The rules do not apply to protected sites, which require a planning permit. Catering licenses from the 19 Brussels municipalities remain mandatory.

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