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MPs back relocation during Houses of Parliament revamp

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A large majority of MPs believe that they should relocate for the duration of a mooted refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament, according to a new poll

In June, a study by a team including architects HOK outlined a range of scenarios for the restoration, ranging in cost from £3.5 billion to £5.7 billion.

Now, a survey of 100 MPs by political research firm Dods Polling revealed that 79 backed either peers or MPs relocating for the duration of the repairs.

This compared to just 17 who wanted to keep both on site for the duration of the work.

When broken down by party, 42 of 51 (82 per cent) of Conservative MPs favour relocation, 27 of 36 (75 per cent) of Labour MPs agreeing, along with six of nine (66 per cent) of SNP MPs.

The June study concluded that a rolling programme of works done around continued occupation of the Palace of Westminster could take 32 years and cost up to £5.7 billion.

A programme of works during which each House would move out in turn would take 11 years and cost between £3.9 billion and £4.4 billion depending on the extent of the revamp.

In 2012 the House of Commons Commission and the House of Lords House Committee commissioned a pre-feasibility study which concluded that unless significant conservation work was undertaken, major, irreversible damage may be done to the building.

The grade I-listed Charles Barry-designed building, which has been home to the House of Lords since 1847 and the Commons since 1852 has had no major restoration since it was built and currently has an annual repair bill in excess of £30 million.

The programme of work is expected to start before 2020.

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