HC Deb 16 July 1969 vol 787 cc123-4W
Mr. Peter Mahon

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what progress has been made in launching a competition for the new Parliamentary Building; what accommodation will be provided; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Silkin

In its Fourth Report for the 1967–68 session the Services Committee recommended that a new Parliamentary Building should be built on a site running the length of Bridge Street with access initially below Bridge Street through a broad entrance direct from New Palace Yard, formed by slightly raising the level of Bridge Street at this point. Since the debate on 20th January, 1969, when the House approved the Services Committee's recommendation, my Department has been pressing ahead with preparations for the Commonwealth competition for the design of the building. Progress so far made leads me to hope that we shall be ready to launch the competition towards the end of this year.

If the competition is not to be delayed all relevant documents must be in their final form by 1st October, including a statement of the accommodation to be provided in the new building. This question has been considered by the Services Committee whose recommendations are contained in their Third Report for the Session 1968–69. I propose therefore to use the accommodation require- ments set out in the Third Report for the purposes of the competition.

The Fourth Report from the Services Committee emphasised the desirability of a reduction of traffic in Bridge Street. The Government have been studying this and related problems with representatives of the Greater London Council and Westminster City Council, and I hope by the early autumn to be able to report to the House.

Forward to