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14 Tothill Street

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what (a) buildings and (b) rooms on the House of Commons part of the parliamentary estate are vacant; for how many months the offices at 14 Tothill Street have been vacant; and what the cost of (i) rent and (ii) utilities on the offices at 14 Tothill Street has been in that period. (309859)

There are no (a) vacant buildings on the House of Commons part of the parliamentary estate. The number of (b) vacant rooms fluctuates constantly as requirements change or maintenance work is carried out. At present there are 13 unoccupied offices on the estate with a total area of 216m2. Seven of these offices are vacant to enable major roof works to take place in the area known as the “Yellow Submarine” north of Speaker's Court. There are 2,100m2 of open plan offices leased in No 4 Millbank for use as decant space. Of this, 500m2 is currently vacant, awaiting fit-out.

There are also 2,800m2 of vacant, open plan space which is the House of Commons' area of No 14 Tothill Street, and this space has been empty since the building was leased in October 2007. This area will be fitted out and available for use by the Department of Resources in autumn 2010. The Commons share of (i) the total rent paid to date, including the current quarter to 25 March 2010, amounts to some £4.8 million (including VAT); and the Commons share of (ii) utility costs paid to November 2010 has been some £33,000 (including VAT).