The city of Mechelen is upgrading its football stadiums… (Mechelen)

Football players from SK Rapid Leest and Leest United will play together in the future on the new stadiums behind the Kouter Sports Hall. © Dirk Vertumen

Reads, Mechelen

The city of Mechelen has appointed a designer to modernize the sports grounds behind the Kouter Sports Hall in Leest. The plans are in line with the ambitions of football clubs SK Rapid Leest and Leest United to work more closely together. The empty skating rink is being demolished.

Sven van Heisendonk

The city has been looking for a solution for Rapid Leest for some time. Zenne’s club grounds and accommodations are outside the area and near the Robbroek Nature Reserve, also in a spatially sensitive area. Due to an action related to a building violation, Rapid Leest is required to leave the current site in any event. It was impossible to adapt to this with the Spatial Implementation Plan (RUP) for out-of-area entertainment.

With the modernization of the sports grounds of the former VV Leest behind the Kouter Sports Hall in the center of the village, the city can now guarantee the club’s future. The city takes into account an investment of 2.5 million euros. The vacant ice rink gives way to a whole new building including canteen and changing rooms. The two football fields are taken care of. Parking is also getting an upgrade.

Breathing new life into an old site

says Greet Geypen (Vld-Groen-m+), an alderman at Spatial Planning.

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At the same time, the city is looking for a way to optimally coordinate the renovated infrastructure and the existing sports hall. It is not possible to connect both, because then it is an extension of the outer zone.

Abdel Rahman Labsir (Vld-Groen-m+), a local council member for sports, is happy with the solution that has emerged. Put his shoulders under the project. “With the massive renovation of the area behind the gym, the local association doesn’t have to look elsewhere, and we are creating a new destination for Lisz youth. We are currently looking into the possibility of placing other sports equipment there, so we can increase the sporting experience on the site and everyone can Do sports there.

Once the design is ready, the city submits it to the neighborhood. (svh)

Read also: Football clubs in Leest and Walem look to invest millions

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