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Scottish Parliament quells concerns over ‘life or death’ flaws at Holyrood

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The Scottish Parliament has played down reports that a faulty safety feature on Enric Miralles’ Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh has halted maintenance works

A report in the Daily Record claimed a corroded and unsafe safety-harness anchor point on the £414 million building was discovered causing maintenance contractor TRAC International to down tools.

The points are used to support roofers’ harnesses and a source told the newspaper: ‘This is really life or death stuff.’

The Scottish Parliament has however denied the claims while a spokesperson confirmed the company is continuing to work on the Stirling Prize-winning building.

They said: ‘There are no safety concerns regarding use of the Scottish Parliament building. There is no question of the Parliament needing to close to the public or building users.

‘Our contractors TRAC continue to work at Holyrood using alternative access methods.’

The authority banned use of all roof access systems following the discovery of an ‘issue with fixings’ on one anchorage point, according to a statement. A check of the building’s remaining 201 points was undertaken with 14 of the posts identified with ‘cause for further investigation.’

The Scottish Parliament also played down safety concerns over granite panels which were claimed to have been dislodged from the building.

A spokesperson said: ‘The building’s granite panels are structurally sound and secured. They have never been a public safety concern.’

The building is no stranger to controversy. The Holyrood parliament project ran 10 times over budget, was completed three years late and became the subject of a major public enquiry.

The anchorage point concern is the latest in a long list of problems which have beset the building since its opening seven years ago.

During a debate a 3.6 metre-long wooden beam began to swing from the debating chamber ceiling forcing closure of the hall for two months in 2006.

Last month it emerged the Scottish Parliament had spent £75,000 this year maintaining oak louvers on the building which had deteriorated due to the city’s damp weather.

Architects Lee Boyd won a contract earlier this year to design a £600,000 visitor security screening centre at the Holyrood parliament.

The building won the Stirling Prize in 2005. TRAC International declined to comment.

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