HC Deb 02 November 1954 vol 532 cc184-5
9. Mr. Stokes

asked the Minister of Works what estimate he made of the cost of leaving the temple of Mithras on the Bucklersbury site in situ before deciding not to purchase it for the nation; and what estimate he made of the value of the 1,200 square feet which it occupies.

Mr. Birch

The estimate of £500,000 for the cost of preservation took account of structural work, and compensation for delay and loss of accommodation. As regards the second part of the Question, the site is being developed as a whole and it would be unrealistic to make a valuation of the part occupied by the temple.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Minister aware that the "Daily Telegraph" of 25th September—a paper which is not given to exaggeration in these matters—stated that 1,200 square feet was worth £300,000? On that basis it means that an acre of land in that area is worth nearly £10 million. Will he bring that to the notice of both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Housing and Local Government?

Mr. Birch

I think that assessment of the site value was exaggerated. The main point was that if the owners had had to alter all the designs and bridge over the temple there would have been not only a long delay but the loss of a great deal of accommodation. That was the main item.