The plaintiff challenged before the Conseil d’Etat a decision allowing the STIB to establish a tramways depot and a factory near his place of residence. He argued that he had standing to act against this decision as he was a riparian of the tramways depot and factory.
The Conseil d’Etat ruled that any riparian has a general interest in the proper functioning of his neighbourhood which implies the ability to challenge any project likely to change his environment or affect his quality of life.
In addition, in order to assess the interest of a riparian in challenging a permit dealing with a project likely to have urban and environmental impacts, it should be taken into account the proximity of his place of residence to the location of the contested project, taking into account the nature of the disturbance generated by the project, its size as well as the space configuration.
In the present case, the Conseil d’Etat ruled that the applicant did not have a standing to act against the contested permit on the basis that he did not reside in the immediate vicinity of the project site. It considered that even though it was a large-scale project, the only negative impact would have been the increase in the tramways traffic having possible negative consequences for the entire neighbourhood. In addition, the Court highlighted the fact that the applicant had the ability to participate in the public inquiry.