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Doel is/was a town near the port of Antwerp and the government once decided to expand the port a bit more. The only problem was that there was a town in the way.The government expropriated the entire town but got caught up in a endless web of legal bullshit. As a result, almost everybody left the town (they where compensated well enough to buy a nicer house then the one they had to abandon) but the government isn’t allowed to start building the dock yet.
Due to the endless back and forth between the government and the courts and how much media attention it got/gets, the town became very famous in Belgium. Thats probably how OP knew about it.
TL;DR: If you want to find a deserted town, look for a place that has a government as terrible in long term/big projects as Belgium.
Fun fact: the town is 400 years old.