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New inquiry into multi-billion pound Parliament restoration

Houses of Parliament
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MPs have launched a further inquiry into the proposed £4 billion restoration of the Palace of Westminster

The Commons Public Accounts Committee will oversee the investigation but did not reveal any details of what would be discussed.

It is also unclear when the inquiry’s findings will be revealed, meaning a further wait for BDP, Allies and Morrison, Foster + Partners and HOK – the practices shortlisted for the project’s client adviser role back in late 2015 (see AJ 10.12.15).

However, it is increasingly likely the firms might also have to look again at the budget for the ambitious scheme. 

Valerie Vaz MP, speaking during a Commons debate on the restoration proposals last week, said there was no doubt that engineers, architects and consultants would need to readdress the costs of the project – which she said would be different from those submitted last year.

It has been five months since the joint committee, appointed in July 2015 to oversee the restoration project, issued recommendations for a full decant of the Palace of Westminster.

The recommendation came off the back of a report issued by a consortium including consultants Deloitte Real Estate, Aecom and HOK.

Scenarios outlined for carrying out the works ranged in cost up to £7 billion.

According to an industry source, firms that had submitted bids for the programme, project and cost management services contract were expecting to hear back by the end of July last year whether they had won the deal.

However, the insider told the AJ’s sister title Construction News there had been a ‘lack of communication’ regarding the progress of the procurement process.

The joint committee has been contacted for comment.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • The Palace of Westminster is an anachronism. It is not designed for 21st Century politics, we need a new build which would be considerably cheaper, would signal a change from the 'old boy's network' and look to the future instead of the past. We could then open the PoW to tourists.

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  • There has been no realistic Stage 0 appraising of the PoW refurbishment that has engaged with whether better value would be achieved with a new building located elsewhere in London or within another city. The procurement tanker once again has moved forward without appraising its destination and the process seems to have been fundementally flawed by a lack of imagination. The presumption that there is only one possible solution is not realistic.
    Architects hold considerable responsibility for not highlighting this.

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