The Lediaan turns former sand quarry into a large public park with space for sustainable housing

The Lediaan is in the making

Project developer PSR worked out a vision for upgrading the former Desmedt site, in consultation with the relevant public authorities, to a publically accessible, gently sloping 4.5-acre park area with space for housing. To present its vision on the remediation and redevelopment of this area, PSR organises a first public information market on Thursday, 12 December. It concerns a pioneering project for the sustainable integration of former landfills in their environment.

After a 40 years’ standstill, the former sand quarry for ‘Lediaan stone’ (kind of calcareous sandstone), later on a landfill for construction waste, will be remediated and redeveloped by PSR, which became owner of the site in 2017. An information market about this project will take place in GC ‘t Kwadrant in Diegem. Local residents and other interested parties can visit the information market on Thursday, 12 December, between 6 and 9 pm. They can have a look at the draft master plan and ask their questions to representatives of the relevant stakeholders.    

The plans to redevelop this former industrial site, located between the Oude Haachtsesteenweg, the railway and the Kosterstraat, are circulating for some time already. Together with design office OMGEVING, PSR worked out a draft master plan within the confines of the RUP for the centre of Diegem. The area development project will be given the appropriate name ‘De Lediaan’ and is centred on the realisation of a large, easily accessible and gently sloping public park combined with compact and sustainable residential units. In De Lediaan, leisure activities, living together and housing go hand in hand, for both current and future residents.  

Pioneer in the sustainable upgrading of landfills

The figures published by OVAM indicate that Flanders alone has at least 3,300 landfills. Together, they cover an area comparable to that of two regional cities. The circular economy offers new opportunities to tackle these landfills in a completely different way. In 2015, the Flemish government approved the OVAM concept paper on a sustainable inventory management of landfills. This makes Flanders the first region across the world that manages landfills in view of their best possible integration in the physical environment (Waste to Land) and the potential valorisation of reclaimed content (Waste to Material).  After a 40 years’ standstill, PSR is now ready to finally give this derelict site a new destination.

Progressing through an integrated approach

The realisation of De Lediaan will be done in phases. This information market is an important step towards a final master plan, the permit application and the remediation of certain historically contaminated sections of the site.  Johan Geeroms continues: “We are eager to move on in close consultation with all parties involved. De Lediaan will bring new life to the Desmedt site, it will be a better place for all residents of Diegem. De Lediaan will become the green residential lung of Diegem with a public park of 4.5 acres as central meeting place.

Practical information for local residents and other interested parties:

Information market on Thursday, 12 December 2019.
Free entrance between 6 and 9 pm.
GC ’t Kwadrant – room ‘t Zand
Entrance via: Kosterstraat 2 in Diegem  

About the former Desmedt site

Already in the Middle Ages, the Lediaan sandstone, a white calcareous sandstone used as high-quality stone for the construction of churches and palaces in Brabant, was being won in the Diegem area, among others at the former sand quarry Desmedt (formerly Gebroeders De Kempeneer). The site with a surface of 28,174 sq.m, located along the Oude Haachtsesteenweg in Diegem, fully meets today’s definition of a brownfield. After the sand extraction activities were stopped in 1960, the former sand quarry was used up to 1977 as a landfill for construction rubble, after which the site became abandoned and underutilised. After having acquired the site in 2017, PSR started, in consultation with all stakeholders, with its redevelopment as densification project into a mix of public park, detached houses, urban villas and apartments.

About PSR

PSR (Partner in Site Reconversion) is a subsidiary of Jan De Nul Group. PSR is a project developer focusing since 1999 on urban renovation projects and the reuse and (re)development of existing un- or underutilised sites, often with an historical environmental pollution problem.  This fits within a forward-looking vision on urban planning and project development. PSR focuses on creative, innovative and sustainable projects, both in urban and rural areas in Belgium. Thanks to the synergies within Jan De Nul Group with, a/o, a civil works and environmental division, PSR can offer overall solutions through an integrated approach. |

Johan Geeroms, Managing Director of PSR, is proud of this pioneering role: “For the former landfill in Diegem, the potential of a possible reclamation has been examined and assessed. The material that has been dumped here over the years mainly consists of construction rubble and should therefore be easy to sieve. Where possible, the separated rubble will be used as foundation material for roads and buildings. As agreed with OVAM and in cooperation with our affiliate Envisan, we will not only treat the waste substances found in the soil but we will re-use both the historically dumped construction rubble and the site itself. As such, PSR entirely meets the circular ‘Waste to Land’ and ‘Waste to Materials’ principles.” 

Johan Geeroms, Managing Director PSR

Jan De Nul Group, projectontwikkeling, Diegem De Lediaan