HC Deb 04 November 1997 vol 300 cc157-8W
20. Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State if he will make a statement on the proposed powers of the Scottish Parliament in relation to European Union matters. [12058]

Mr. McLeish

The Government's proposals for involving the Scottish Parliament in relations with the European Union are set out in Chapter 5 of the White Paper, "Scotland's Parliament".

Mr. Ernie Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on progress in choosing a site for the Scottish Parliament. [14674]

Mr. McLeish

We will select a site for the new Scottish Parliament as soon as possible, in the light of the best available information. This information must include independent costings of building construction or conversion projects on the possible sites. My Department has today commissioned design feasibility studies, an independent costing exercise and a transport and environmental impact assessment.

Page and Park Architects of Glasgow will look at how best to fit the needs of the Scottish Parliament into and around St. Andrews House on Calton Hill. Benson and Forsyth Architects, will look at how an appropriate building could best be placed on the site at Leith. RMJM (Scotland) will consider the design of a building for the Haymarket site.

The Glasgow office of quantity surveyors and cost consultants, Davis Langdon and Everest, is being asked to prepare comparative costings on the basis of the design feasibility studies.

Scott, Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners of Glasgow have also been commissioned to carry out a transport and environmental impact assessment on the sites under consideration.

The firms concerned have been asked to complete their work by mid-December. The total cost of the various studies is estimated to be about £250,000. This is a small fraction of the estimated cost of the building and will help the Government to reach a much better-informed view on the suitability of the possible sites.