Last month’s public inquiry revealed two camps, the pro and the anti project. The non-profit organization Educational and Cultural Center La Paix wishes to install a mosque-cultural center in a former garage at 101 du Dries in Watermael-Boitsfort. The November 8 consultation committee gave a positive opinion on the project, which notably provides for two prayer rooms, a meeting room and three multipurpose rooms.
In the notice, we can learn that the public inquiry strongly mobilized Boitsfortois with 339 reactions against the project. Some criticized the posting of the announcement of the public inquiry, others the absence of a study on noise or mobility or even the fact that the project would not be in line with the urban environment. 281 favorable opinions were also collected during the public inquiry.
Transforming a garage in Watermael-Boitsfort into a mosque: the project at the public inquiry
A project that “contributes to a harmonious living together”
In particular, the consultation commission considered the request to have a nearby Muslim place of worship to be legitimate. She also notes that the educational center already gives language lessons and that the project provides multipurpose rooms for socio-educational and religious activities open to all. In this sense, the project aims to “contribute to a harmonious living together and to fight against social exclusion.”
The municipality and the region gathered in this commission have therefore given a favorable opinion on the project. What conditions are however mentioned. The reception capacity will have to be limited to 100 people as planned in the project and recommended by the emergency services. Some urban modifications are also requested, such as the installation of a rainwater collector or two decompression chambers to avoid noise pollution in the street.
The center had also specified its desire to integrate a bicycle room and to have volunteer stewards to welcome and manage the public on busy days. As the project is aimed at a local public, travel to the site should be done mainly on foot, by bike or by public transport (bus 41).
The non-profit organization must now propose modification plans to comply with these conditions. His plans will not necessarily be the subject of a new public inquiry. “It will be decided upon receipt of the new plans depending on the importance of the changes made” tells us the alderman in charge of town planning Marie-Noëlle Stassart.