§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to move the Inland Revenue from Somerset House and, if any, for what overriding purpose, where to and to what timetable, and whether selling off the site for private development is one of the options under consideration.
§ Baroness Blatch
The Department of the Environment has invited imaginative proposals for alternative uses of Somerset House in keeping with the building's grandeur and location. Ideas and suggestions will be welcomed by the department's London regional office, which is based in Millbank Tower, London, SW1. Before any decision is taken to rehouse the Inland Revenue, the proposals will be fully evaluated to confirm their suitability and financial viability. Consultations will take place with all interested parties including Westminster City Council and English Heritage. As a Grade 1 listed building, Somerset House is fully protected from demolition and there is no intention to dispose of the department's freehold interest.