As a result of the emergency measures adopted by the Federal State to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), on 2 April 2020, the Brussels-Capital Region Government adopted Emergency Decree no. 2020/001 on the temporary suspension of the limitation and appeal periods and all time limits where the expiry has a legal effect laid down in the Brussels legislation and regulations or introduced pursuant thereto.
This order suspends public enquiries relating to applications for planning or subdivision permits, organised in accordance with the provisions of the Brussels Regional Planning Code (CoBAT), which were held or were due to be held, in whole or in part, within the period covered by the suspension, i.e. from 16 March 2020 to 15 April 2020.
The deadlines are now suspended until 15 May 2020 by virtue of the Decree of 16 April 2020 extending the deadlines provided for in Article 1 of Decree no. 2020/001 of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region on special powers relating to the temporary suspension of the limitation and appeal periods laid down in all Brussels legislation and regulations or adopted by virtue thereof.
When the suspension of these periods is lifted on the expiry of the lockdown measures, the public inquiries that were in progress on 16 March 2020 will resume up to the unexpired part of the time limit on 16 March 2020.
Public enquiries due to start on 16 March 2020, will also begin when the suspension has been lifted by the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, and therefore at the earliest on 15 May 2020, for the entire duration of their enquiry period.
In concrete terms, this means that public enquiry notices in progress on 16 March 2020 in the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region, in accordance with the decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 25 April 2019 on public enquiries relating to town and country planning, urban development and the environment, mention dates that are no longer relevant during this suspension period.
When the deadlines resume, notices of public inquiry, including the dates of the beginning and end of the public inquiry, will again be affixed by the municipal administrations of our Region, even if the remaining time limit is limited to one day of inquiry.
These adaptations will allow citizens to comment on applications for planning or subdivision permits without being prejudiced by the emergency measures adopted by the federal government to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
It should be noted, however, that any claim made regarding an ongoing public inquiry before or during the suspension period is fully valid.