§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
From whom the trustees of the Natural History Museum are obtaining advice concerning the propriety of inserting a mezzanine floor in the Bird Gallery, or whether, as the buildings are Crown buildings, they are excused from obtaining advice.
The Natural History Museum takes very seriously its responsibility for the historic buildings in which it is housed. The new Dinosaur Gallery, which is being constructed in the former Bird Gallery, is part of the museum's long-term programme for developing its exhibitions to the public, and will allow large parts of the original fabric of the gallery to be seen for the first time in many years. As the Museum occupies a Crown building, it follows the procedures for consultation provided for inCircular 18/84 issued by the Secretary of State for the Environment when making alterations which materially affect the character of the building. In the case of the Bird Gallery, the museum is not in fact inserting a mezzanine floor, but is putting in a narrow walkway to allow the public to view the exhibits. It has been advised by the eminent architect Ron Herron. The local planning authority has been provided with copies of its proposals and has informed the museum of its approval of them.