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Campaigners launch petition against Scottish Parliament extension

A petition has been launched against Lee Boyd’s controversial new security facility for the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood

Earlier this month, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) took a final decision to proceed with the project following a construction tender exercise and taking security and legal advice. The scheme won planning in January.

The £6.48 million addition to the Enric Miralles’ and RMJM’s 2005 Stirling Prize-winning building was previously criticised by architects and Edinburgh City’s design leader Riccardo Marini.

John Kinsley, project architect for RMJM on the original parliament scheme, raised concern the new scheme encroaches on a roadside blast-zone and could increase risk to people queuing to enter the building.

He said: ‘The proposals destroy the integrity of the original building whilst providing no improvement to the security of the building.

‘The parliament was designed at its inception with highly defined security requirements integrated into the building. These new proposals are ill considered - they will actually increase the risk to parliament visitors.’

The Campaign Group to Preserve the Architectural Integrity of the Scottish Parliament Buildings collected signatures outside the high-profile landmark last weekend.

Construction is set to begin next month and complete by summer 2013.

AScottish Parliament spokesperson said: ‘The clear and consistent security advice is that we should build an external security facility, as we have a duty of care to the 400,000 people who visit Holyrood each year.

‘The SPCB is satisfied that Edinburgh-based design team Lee Boyd has produced a design that is very sympathetic to the Parliament’s architecture and surrounding environment.  Construction will begin next month.’

Reponding to Kinsley’s remarks, the spokesperson said: ‘While we do not comment on the exact detail of our security measures, we are fully satisfied the design meets blast requirements at distance and close quarters.’

 

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