‘Dockland’ industrial estate masterplan

Commissioned by GFS nv, Sweco Belgium has developed a master plan for the future sustainable Dockland industrial estate. The site clusters (chemical) companies that, because of external safety risks, are difficult to fit into the surroundings. The intensive co-siting of these companies and the related added value in terms of safety, logistics, infrastructural use of space, energy and raw materials is innovative.


Customer: GFS nv

Location: Ghent - Evergem

Period: 2016

Services: general environmental consultancy & environmental policy studies, industrial estate layout and environmental planning

Dockland is a site of about 17 hectares, situated in a larger historically grown cluster of chemical companies on the left bank of the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal (Kuhlmankaai site). The site has very good access to the higher road network, canal and is adjacent to a freight railway. This ensures a good connection with the surrounding business parks, the Ghent Canal Zone and neighbouring ports of Zeebrugge, Antwerp and Terneuzen.

The area was cleaned up and will eventually accommodate companies which, due to external safety risks or other aspects, are difficult to fit into the surroundings. Think of companies that because of the use of certain hazardous products fall under the Seveso regulations (or may be subject to these in the future). This primarily concerns the chemical sector: these companies have strict requirements relating to the storage, handling and use of certain products and are also required to have specific permits for their place of business.


Commissioned by GFS nv, Sweco Belgium developed a master plan for the future Dockland industrial estate. Central to the assignment was the ambition to create a sustainable industrial site and to look at the spatial possibilities in order to maximize partnerships between the participating companies The detailed basic structure shows a possible layout of the site - both in outline and detailed level - and at a later phase may be translated specifically into a development plan. Along with a first insight into the performance characteristics of the basic infrastructure, a cost analysis was also made of the infrastructure to be achieved in order to make the company grounds exploitable.

Basic level

  • access of the site
  • access roads on the site
  • other space for basic infrastructure
  • modular and phased layout of the plots ready for allocation
  • water and green structure
  • internal environmental and safety zoning

Detail level

  • order of magnitude of the sites ready for allocation
  • type of cross-sectional profiles and lengths of the basic infrastructure
  • order of magnitude of the water and green structure
  • indication of the desired image value and image of the site
  • possible profile of the access infrastructure


The ambition is to achieve a sustainable industrial estate while creating a partnership between the participating companies. This clustering and cooperation of companies focuses on the joint purchase of services and the sharing of facilities with a view to cost reduction, added value and more efficient usage of space. Specifically this translates for example, into communal waste management, shared parking areas, public services in water buffering and green structure. An intensive form of co-siting may also lead to mutual exchange of energy and raw materials.