HC Deb 11 February 1998 vol 306 cc249-50W
Mr. Edward Davey

To ask the Minister without Portfolio how many times he has visited the Millennium Dome Project site in Greenwich since 2 May 1997. [28024]

Mr. Mandelson

I visited the site of the Millennium Experience on 19 June and 23 September 1997.

Mr. Sheerman

To ask the Minister without Portfolio if he will estimate the reduction in the cost of the Millennium Dome if it had been built on a green field site. [26724]

Mr. Mandelson

The site for the Millennium Experience was chosen after an open competition conducted by the Millennium Commission. None of the four sites shortlisted by the Commission was in a green field location. One of the main reasons that the Commission selected the Greenwich peninsula above the other shortlisted sites was the greater lasting legacy provided by the enormous regenerative benefits that the project would bring to one of the poorest areas of London and a site that had lain derelict and polluted for over 20 years.

The costs of bringing the Millennium Experience site up to an acceptable condition for redevelopment are being borne by English Partnerships, the Government's regeneration agency. This forms part of their overall regeneration plan for 300 acres of the Greenwich peninsula. The infrastructure costs specifically associated with the Millennium Experience site, including services, landscaping, a new pier and other works fall to the New Millennium Experience Company. These are in the region of £30 million.

It would however be misleading to seek to compare these costs directly with the costs associated with developing a green field site. All sites have individual characteristics that affect planning requirements, their amenity value and the costs of development.