To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide a progress report on the design of the new parliamentary building; and what arrangements are being made to show the proposals to hon. Members.
I have kept in close touch with the development of the design of the new building, including making a number of visits to the offices of the architect Michael Hopkins and Partners to see the work at first hand. The design is making good progress, has received a favourable response from the Royal Fine Art Commission, and the informal consultations with Westminster city council and English Heritage are progressing well prior to making a submission for planning consent under DOE circular 18/84. The work is on target for completion of the final sketch design stage by Easter 1992 and I am confident that the design will develop to provide a building which, as the Services Committee said:
My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has announced that there will be a debate on the design proposals on Monday 9 March. I understand that, to enable right hon. and hon. Members to form their own view on the proposals, the Accommodation and Works Committee has arranged for the model of the building together with plans, perspectives and elevations to be exhibited in Westminster Hall for two weeks from 2 March. A brochure describing the scheme is also being sent to all right hon. and hon. Members."should come to be regarded world wide as an example of the very finest late twentieth century British architecture".