HC Deb 15 March 1956 vol 550 cc61-3W
50. Dr. Stross

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how soon he proposes to introduce legislation to permit the demolition of the Imperial Institute.

Mr. H. Brooke

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Education is consulting the trustees of the Imperial Institute on the Government's plans for the future of the Institute and, subject to their views, he will in due course be introducing legislation to authorise the transfer of the Institute to a new building on a new site, at the Government's expense.

56. Sir I. Horobin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give an estimate of the additional accommodation which could be provided in the Imperial Institute site by the demolition of the Royal College of Music.

Mr. H. Brooke

From 30,000 to 70,000 square feet, according to which of a number of treatments was adopted. This has to be compared with a net loss of about 200,000 square feet involved in the retention of the Collcutt Building; and the Royal College of Music would require a new building to be completed, on a new site, before any of its present building could be demolished.

57. Sir I. Horobin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will obtain the views of the Royal Fine Art Commission on the proposed new building to replace the Imperial Institute before a final decision is taken to demolish the present building.

58. Mr. Moyle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will reconsider his decision to demolish the Imperial Institute, in view of the representations which have been made to him by influential bodies, including the Royal Fine Art Commission.

Mr. H. Brooke

As I stated on 8th March, the Royal Fine Art Commission has made further representations about the development of the South Kensington site and members of the Commission have been invited to discuss with me and with representatives of the University of London and Imperial College further details of the College scheme.

62. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much he estimates it will cost to demolish the Imperial Institute.

Mr. H. Brooke

I assume that the hon. and gallant Member is referring to the main Collcutt building, very little of which is actually occupied by the Imperial Institute. The net cost of its demolition would be about £20,000.

63. Mr. Reeves

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the historical value of the Imperial Institute, if he will withdraw approval of the demolition of this building, in view of the adequate alternative building facilities for housing the Imperial College which have become available since his decision.

Mr. H. Brooke

There is, I am afraid, no present indication that any alternative building facilities in the neighbourhood would be adequate to enable the College to develop on the scale announced by the Government without demolishing the Collcutt building; but discussions are continuing between Imperial College and the London County Council.

83. Mrs. White

asked the Secretary to the Treasury what objections have been received to re-zoning certain residential sites which might be used for buildings for the Imperial College or for rehousing the Imperial Institute, in place of the site of the present Imperial Institute, which it is proposed to destroy.

Mr. H. Brooke

I have at present no knowledge of proposals for re-zoning. They would of course be a matter in the first place for the London County Council as planning authority. I have been asked if I will meet representatives of the council for a discussion, and I have gladly agreed.