The province of East Flanders has refused the permit application from the Walloon sludge processing company Regomef that wants to establish itself on the industrial estate in Grotenberge. On the Keistraat, near the border with Herzele. Earlier, the city of Zottegem and the municipality of Herzele already delivered a negative advice.
Following previous denials, the company filed a new, modified application earlier this year, which was subsequently subject to a public inquiry. However, that investigation showed that the file contained too many ambiguities and contradictions, after which Zottegem issued a new negative advice to the Province. The East Flemish Deputation has evaluated the advice of the city and other authorities and came to the conclusion not to grant a permit and to refuse the permit application.
“The reason for the refusal is the fact that the application is not compatible with the immediate environment from an environmental point of view. It was judged that the proposed activities do not fit in with the environment and that the spatial carrying capacity is also exceeded”, say the Zottegemse aldermen of the Environment Leen Goossens (CD&V) and mayor Evelien De Both (N-VA).
“It was clear to the city council that the sludge processing company had no place on the Grotenberg industrial estate”, gives Leen Goossens. “The location near a residential area, the possible impact on nearby companies and the size of the company and its activities, which far exceed the carrying capacity of the domain, would cause a lot of nuisance. A nuisance that we want to avoid for local residents.”
“We are pleased that the Province has followed our well-founded advice”, adds mayor Evelien De Both. “As a city council, we shared the concerns of local residents. We always ensure a correct balance between a flourishing local economy and a pleasant, liveable Zottegem. However, the arrival of the sludge processing company would not benefit that balance. That is why we share the relief of the local residents today.”