Adaptation of the implementing decrees concerning the permit requirement and activities against destination prescriptions

Adaptation of the implementing decrees concerning the permit requirement and activities against destination prescriptions

On 29 November 2015, two amendment decrees relating to the building permit requirements entered into force.

A first amendment decree expands the scope of application for the changes of function that will require a permit.

This entails that more function categories are being created, for which it is obligatory to apply for a building permit.

The most important change is that the current main function ´trade, hotel-restaurant-café (horeca), office function and services´ is split up into three separate main functions: (1) retail trade; (2) dance halls, restaurants and cafés and (3) office function, provision of services and liberal professions. 

This means that a change of function – e.g. from horeca to an office function - requires a permit, which was not the case in the previous decree; municipalities could however intervene via ordinances. The objective of this amendment is to give more control in a uniform manner to permit-granting government authorities for function changes within the aforementioned function category, since these have a very different spatial (and mobility) impact on the environment.     

A second amendment decree constitutes the adaptation of the decree relating to the changes of function that are prohibited in the zone. One of the most important changes gives greater flexibility for organising the reception of asylum-seekers, homeless people or citizens whose residence is uninhabitable in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited in the zone and to be able to allow the temporary use of vacant buildings for purposes that are otherwise prohibited in the zone.

For more information about changes of function that require a permit, you can contact Kristof Hectors.