Parties renew proposal to open up royal grounds to public


Brussels’ green parties have resubmitted a proposal to make part of the royal domain in Laken public space

Walls come tumbling down?

Brussels political parties Groen and Ecolo have renewed their proposal to open up part of the royal domain in Laken to the public. The grounds, part of Laken Park and home to the palace where the royal family live, would be a welcome addition to Brussels’ green space, according to the parties.

Proposals have twice been submitted before, but with the new regional government, the parties found it wise to renew it. “We live on top of each other,” Groen MP Tinne Van der Straeten told Bruzz, “and open space is extremely important to our quality of life.”

While the western part of Laken Park is open to the public, everything across the Koninklijk Parklaan is fenced off, reserved for the royal family. At 186 hectares, it is the single largest green space in Brussels. “With respect for the safety and privacy of the royal family, it is certainly possible to open up part of it,” said Van der Straeten.

Widespread support

Specifically, the parties would like to see the wall demolished along the Vilvoordsesteenweg, from the Van Praet bridge all the way around the southern tip to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Church. Whether another wall or fence would go up to separate the royal family estate from this area has not been made clear.

The idea has been supported by several parties, including PS, N-VA and MR. The Brussels Capital-Region owns the grounds, and environmental agency Leefmilieu Brussel oversees the management. Groen and Ecolo hope that part of the park can be re-opened by next year’s National Day in July.

Photo: Part of the royal domain in Laken
©Patrick Lefevre/BELGA