The Oppuurs master plan is part of a broader context focused on the regeneration of the village centers of Oppuurs and Lippelo and the wide river valley of Vliet that connects the two villages.
The plans, which were presented to residents Monday evening, were first drafted by the Horizon design team. They collected suggestions from residents during a number of engagement moments in 2020. These suggestions have now been collected into a master plan with different components.
The new village square
Oppuurs Church will be partially given a secondary destination. The side corridors will be furnished as a banquet hall with kitchen replacing the existing narrow center which will be demolished. Instead, there will be a green space behind the church and a new village square with, among other things, a building for local associations, with a balcony in the square, a new kindergarten with childcare and an adjacent garden and playground. The old Chiro and KLJ buildings will also be demolished. The two societies will acquire new buildings a little further into the Fleet Valley.
A new building for local associations will be built in the village square. “We will look at how to organize this along with the associations,” says Mayor Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V). “There will definitely be a catering business with a balcony in the new arena.”
A new kindergarten and after-school childcare space will be built right next to this building. The Academy of Music will also have a space there. The redevelopment of Sint-Jansplein and the intersection with the Baroniestraat will create a secure connection between out-of-school childcare and the school.
The stream hidden behind the church will now be upgraded. The stream will return to normal again and a green park will be built on the banks. The garden is seamlessly connected to the environment of the church and stadium.
The municipality wants the elderly Oppuursen in the village to live as long as possible in a suitable home. Young families in turn ensure the quality of life in the village. So there will be a mix of housing types, but it will remain with a few new small-scale housing blocks. For example, one thinks of shared housing in the Baronie and kangaroo houses and apartments on Voortstraat. A number of residential areas will also be built on the sports fields and the new garden.
The football fields at Oppuurs are repurposed, creating more space for water, greenery and an experience of nature. There will be a new building with a canteen, changing rooms and storage space. A basketball court and petanque courts will be built at the front of the site. They will also be on Dorpsplein.
De Chiro and KLJ get new infrastructure near Vliet. A workable design is currently being finalized. The new location has many advantages: it is on the edge of the residential core, it is easy to reach by bike and there is a place to play in nature, near Vliet.
Mobility in the center is also addressed, among other things, by smooth traffic axes, a rolling width of parking, and a 30-wide area discouraging traffic. The Meirstraat – Voortstraat intersection will have an open character, making traffic safer.
The Vliet Valley connects the residential areas of Lippelo, Oppuurs and Puurs and provides a piece of beautiful nature. In the future, Vlietpark will be enhanced. There are three main ambitions: to develop a recreational path structure through nature and lans de Vliet, to focus on the fauna and flora of this wet nature and to open the park to gentle recreation, rest points and picnic areas. The park will also become a slow-moving road connecting the residential areas of Lippelo, Oppuurs and Sint-Amands.
“It goes without saying that such a master plan cannot be realized in a few years,” says the mayor. We hope to get approval after the summer so we can really start at the beginning of 2025 and be ready by 2027.” Village Core Renewal board member Els De Smedt (CD&V) sees a number of first steps.” Chiro and KLJ’s new youth rooms. Once they are ready, the old rooms can be demolished. A place will also be allocated for the parish hall in the church so that we can demolish the old hall. Only then can work begin on the new village square.”