HC Deb 16 June 1989 vol 154 c569W
Mr. Ray Powell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress had been made in implementing the recommendation in the Services Committee's report, "New Parliamentary Building Phase 2: The Next Steps", HC561, that the Property Services Agency should undertake a feasibility study for the development of the phase 2 site; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope

Since the House approved the report in December, the agency has undertaken a wide-ranging search to identify an architectural practice with the talent and expertise to undertake the development of this highly sensitive and technically difficult site. Following interviews by a panel chaired by Bryan Jefferson, CBE, past president of RIBA and special advisor to the Secretary of State on architectural matters, a short-list of suitable practices submitted fee bids. I am now able to announce that, with the agreement of the New Building Sub-Committee, Michael Hopkins and Partners have been commissioned by the Department to carry out the studies on the Palace Chambers site, Nos. 1 and 2 Bridge street and the proposed subway in accordance with the Committee's recommendations.

I am grateful to the hon. Member and his colleagues on the New Building Sub-Committee for their advice and support in making this recommendation and look forward to a close working relationship between the Department and the Sub-Committee in developing the proposals for the benefit of Parliament.

I hope to be able to report the results of the studies before the end of the year.