Flemish real estate group Ghelamco hopes to obtain a construction permit for a second golf course in Knokke-Heist at the beginning of August. There is still a bunker to cross for Paul Gaines: a local is skeptical about the scale of the project.
Baron Flandrani Real Estate, Paul Jessens, He hopes to fulfill the dream he has cherished for ages: to build A new golf course in Knokke-Heist. Flemish environment minister saturn destroyer (N-VA) must already announce, no later than August 3, its decision on the application for an environmental permit glamco, the band founded by Paul Gheysens, introduced last year. Antwerp Football Club owner has reason to be optimistic: Opinions issued by the concerned authorities are all supported, although some come with conditions. Obtaining this permit would mark the end of an administrative process for nearly 20 years.
Obtaining this permit would mark the end of an administrative process for nearly 20 years.
The idea of a second golf course in Knokke dates back to beginning of this century. At that time, the current Royal Zoute Golf Club no longer met the high standards of international competition and the waiting list for nominated members grew longer. In 2006, the Flemish government approved the project.
Since 2001, Paul Gheysens, who was still unknown at the time, began buying land from dozens of owners. today, He claims to own 210 hectares He became a major landowner in Knokke-Heist.
While in 2010 Glamco announced on its website the launch of the golf course construction “next year”, Since then, the project has become mired in the great administrative machine. Glamco has even had to undertake, on two occasions, to prepare a report of several hundred pages on its environmental impact. The Flemish government proved unable to develop a spatial implementation plan (PES), Which forced the municipality of Knokke-Heist to carry the torch And the approval of the municipal PES in 2018.
Then it took three years Recreational property investment, another Gheysens subsidiary, has applied for an environmental permit. The related file, which we were able to reference, reveals the scope of the project. learn there that Billionaire used former American golf star Jack Nicklaus to design an eco-friendly golf course: An 18-hole course adapted to international competition standards and a nine-hole ‘executive track’, to which are added a clubhouse and a driving range.
This new golf course is also Huge real estate project. Area A will include the hotel, a Convention CenterAn area of 6000 square meters and 1350 parking spaces. “The new golf course is designed to host international tournaments‘, explains the Gheysens. For this, it is also necessary to add a large hotel and meeting rooms. Right next to the golf course, Ghelamco plans to continue Building dozens of villaswhich is not the subject of the above-mentioned permit application.
The mere acquisition of 120 hectares earmarked for the construction of the golf course in this way, for which Gheysens had paid an average of 13 euros per square metre, must have cost more than 15 million euros. According to entrepreneur Yprois, The total investment in the new golf course will range between 200 and 400 million eurosThis makes Knokke’s second golf course one of the largest real estate projects in Belgium.
But there is a catch. sether taverine, Former CEO of POC Real Estate, opposing the project On the grounds that golf would spoil the landscape for the 12-hectare luxury horse farm he built with his wife in 2018. The businessman notes that Glamco wants to convert the land into nearly a million square meters to build his field. However, the Taffeiren couple sold two plots of land to Paul Gheysens in 2020 on the previous condition that they would only be used to “play golf”. In their opinion, this requirement was clearly ignored in the final plans of the project.
“In fact, this is the largest real estate project in Flanders, targeting primarily tourists, but potential buyers of a vacation home.”
Peter Taverin generally questions the true nature of the project. Thus, the Gheysens spatial implementation plan allows the construction of a 350-room hotel. But the permit application indicates that the Golfhotel will have 150 standard rooms and 200 suites. These suites, with an area of 300 square meters, will be leased for the long term. And in the maintenance building, Glamco is still planning a merger 79 apartments for golf workers.
For Peter Taverin, It is clear that the project goes far beyond the creation of a second golf course. “In fact, It is the largest real estate project in Flanders, which is aimed not primarily at tourists, but potential buyers of a vacation home,” he wrote in his appeal. The plaintiff wants to build the finest land in Belgium so that he can get the most out of his own real estate project, sacrificing landscaping along the way.”
“A neighborhood agreement is always the best solution. I think we are close to it.”
Peter Taverin, unwilling to respond, pretends to want to cross swords to the end with Paul Gisens. But His intransigence may conceal his desire to receive several million euros in exchange for giving up his opposition for the project. In recent years, this approach has proven to be very profitable against major real estate projects, especially in Knokke and Antwerp. Paul Gheysens reveals in no way that negotiations are underway with Peter Taffeiren. “A neighborhood agreement is always the best solution”, He said. “I think we’re close to that.”
So Knokke-Heist is eagerly waiting for a happy ending to this endless affair. Paul Jessens clings to the positive opinions of the authorities who have ignored the objections of Peter Taverin. Glamco also benefits from the support of the municipal administration. Large event space and the expected arrival of thousands of (American) golf tourists are an asset to the seaside resort.
Until then, the grounds on which the golf course will be built will host other events. Paul Gheysens, who owns a horse farm, has organized an equestrian event there in recent weeks Knokke horses. This year, competitive contestant Ms. Tavren was told she was not welcome. But Paul Gissens denies his participation in this decision.
- By August 3 Paul Jessens He will know if he will get the environmental permit for New golf course in Knokke-Heist.
- Domain A must include the hotela Convention Center and one carpark. glamcoa real estate firm of Paul Jessens, is also planning Dozens of villas about golf.
- Peter Taveringwho runs a stately farm nearby, opposing the projectwhich invokes the disappearance of landscapes in Poland.
- Resident can get it Several million euros in exchange for abandoning his appeal.