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Palace of Westminster

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what representations the Commission has received from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment on the erection of temporary structures on the Terrace; what the Commission’s policy is on the erection and dismantling of such structures; and if he will make a statement. (227342)

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has advised that the erection of temporary structures on the Terrace is more a matter for the local planning authority advised by English Heritage rather than their organisation.

The House does not have a policy on the erection of temporary structures, the matter being delegated to the Director General of Facilities who will consult the appropriate authorities according to the sensitivity of the proposal.

Conservation bodies have expressed concern for some time about the appearance of the marquees on the Terrace. However, Members and their visitors greatly value the facilities they provide and they are in considerable demand. The existing structures are, however, coming to the end of their economic life. The question of their replacement will need to be addressed soon requiring wide consultation in both Houses before deciding on a way forward.