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Government outlines thinking for a temporary relocation of parliament

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May 9 2019

Government outlines thinking for a temporary relocation of parliament

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has published their design proposals for a temporary debating chamber for the House of Commons ahead of a decant of government from the Palace of Westminster to accommodate vital renovations.

The designs sit at the heart of a consultation launched to inform the public of parliament’s plan to relocate functions to the ‘northern estate’, a disparate collection of office buildings further along Whitehall which are themselves in need of modernisation to accommodate relocated staff.

To that end, BDP has prepared a masterplan for the district, centrepiece of which will be a 650-seat temporary House of Commons Chamber, including an associated viewing gallery and offices. Situated within the listed Richmond House the project will retain the current Whitehall frontage while rebuilding the interior to meet the needs of MPs, staff and visitors.

At once respecting the heritage of the original chamber while opening up access the pared-down replacement will retain the adversarial style of opposing benches, each upholstered in familiar green leather.

The temporary chamber is expected to operate from the mid-2020s and will remain in use as the seat of government until the full completion of the £4bn restoration and renewal programme - which isn’t expected until the early 2030s.

Comments are invited on the plans via a dedicated consultation hub prior to 28 June, to inform subsequent detailed planning applications for individual buildings.
 

Much of Richmond House will be rebuilt to accommodate its high-profile new role
Much of Richmond House will be rebuilt to accommodate its high-profile new role
The Northern Estate masterplan alone is expected to cost between £600 and £800m to deliver
The Northern Estate masterplan alone is expected to cost between £600 and £800m to deliver

5 Comments

ffs
#1 Posted by ffs on 9 May 2019 at 11:23 AM
What a total waste of money. But then again the current government have great form on that front, so it shouldn't come as a surprise.
Neil McAllister
#2 Posted by Neil McAllister on 9 May 2019 at 11:37 AM
It looks very permanent for a temporary location. Some stacking seats in a big hall would work fine.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 10 May 2019 at 12:19 PM
Given the numbers involved for both the new / temp location and the refurb of the PoW you have to wonder.

Either projects like this are being used as cover to fund deep state / super secret 007 style shadow government builds -- Portcullis House and its hugely inflated budget must have included some form of bomb proof bunker / secret railway to Stansted -- or it is just some sort of jobs for the boys racket stealing money from the poor to give to the rich.

The costs being publicised are just grotesque.

The have all the hallmarks of the old joke -- why do public builds cost three times what they should?

One to me / one to you / one to the stupid sods who will actually do the work.
David K
#4 Posted by David K on 10 May 2019 at 12:57 PM
Scotland will have gained its independence by the time it is operational, so only 600 seats will be required in the chamber.
John Grant
#5 Posted by John Grant on 10 May 2019 at 15:59 PM
We in Scotland do not have great credibility in view of our £400m+ parliament (Estimate by the father of the nation at £10m to £40m) - and its energy efficiency credentials are a not widely enough known record in line with build cost.

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