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Scottish Parliament’s £6.5m extension ‘contravenes official guidance’

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Campaigners have claimed Lee Boyd’s new security facility for the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood breaches RIBA stand-off distance guidance

Construction of the £6.5 million extension to Enric Miralles’ and RMJM’s 2005 Stirling Prize-winning building began today (8 October) with external hoarding erected around the building’s Horsewynd public entrance.

However opponents claim the structure, set back just 15 metres from the road, will ‘significantly increase risk’ risk to visitors from potential roadside blasts and cite RIBA guidance which recommends a 30 metre stand-off area.

In a statement, the Campaign Group to Preserve the Architectural Integrity of the Scottish Parliament Buildings claimed the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) could be liable for potential injuries caused ‘should it be proven that the SPCB have ignored advice on the roadside blast zones.’

Campaigner Ruairidh Moir said: ‘We have underlined several times to members of the Parliament’s Corporate Body that they have either ignored official guidance or they have been ill-advised and therefore should stop this planned construction.’

He added: ‘Aside from the insensitive design and the absence of public consultation, these revelations are incredibly alarming. It is imperative that parliament halts this construction and allows a full and impartial independent review as to the consequences of placing the entrance directly into a blast stand-off zone.’

In September, the 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.

A letter from the Scottish Parliament executive to members said: ‘The SPCB takes seriously its duty to safeguard the wellbeing of the Members, staff and 400,000 visitors who come to Holyrood each year and we appreciate your patience while this work is carried out.’ 

 

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