HC Deb 18 July 2001 vol 372 c186W
Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to comply with the provisions of the Osborne Estate Act 1902 pending the reintroduction of legislation to amend that Act; what proposals she has for the future use of rooms at Osborne House formerly occupied by the King Edward VII Convalescent Home for Officers; and what representations she has received on the future use of those premises. [3261]

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 10 July 2001]: The parts of Osborne House used formerly as the King Edward VII Convalescent Home for Officers which closed on 31 October 2000 will not be available for alternative use until repair and refurbishment of the exterior of the accommodation is completed. This is currently estimated to be in January 2002. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will be considering how to meet from that date the obligations under the Osborne Estate Act 1902 to devote part of Osborne House for the benefit of members of the armed forces and the civil service until such time as the statutory requirement is repealed. English Heritage, which is responsible for the maintenance and management of the Osborne Estate, have sent my right hon. Friend proposals for opening to the public a large part of the former convalescent home accommodation and the gardens previously restricted to convalescent home use. My right hon. Friend has not received any other representations concerning the future use of the accommodation.