asked the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, If it be true that on a representation having been made by Mr. Mapleson of his inability to purchase two houses in Cannon Row, Westminster, the Metropolitan Board of Works allowed him to advance his building frontage for the new National Opera House to within about thirty feet of the roadway on the Embankment, thereby giving him, after allowing for a twenty feet road on each side of the building, a net additional area of nearly nine thousand feet; and, if so, what money payment was, or is to be made by Mr. Mapleson or by those whom he represents, for such additional ground and accommodation?
SIR JAMES HOGG
Sir, in answer to the hon. Gentleman, I beg leave to inform him that it is perfectly true, in consequence of his inability to arrange for the purchase of the two houses mentioned in the Question, Mr. Mapleson did represent to the Metropolitan Board of Works that, if he had not permission to advance his building frontage for the new National Opera House beyond the line of frontage originally arranged by the Metropolitan Board of Works, he would be compelled to place the building side-ways, which would mar the effect which would be produced by an approach and entrance fronting the Embankment. As 791 an inducement to the Metropolitan Board of Works to allow him to advance the frontage an average distance of 75 feet, he proposed to give up sufficient land to make roadways upon each side of the Opera House, and these roadways the Board have required to be of a width of 20 feet. The building will, therefore, be isolated from adjacent buildings, which will be in accordance with the wishes of the Lord Chamberlain, and is most desirable in the event of fire for a building of this description. So far from Mr. Mapleson having gained by the exchange, he gives up 11,920 feet and receives 11,560 feet, thus ceding 360 square feet; and, therefore, the Metropolitan Board of Works have not required him to make any money payment, and do not intend to do so. I should add that the consent of the Metropolitan Board of Works to the arrangement is dependent upon that of the First Commissioner of Her Majesty's Works being obtained.