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Parliament will vacate Palace of Westminster during restoration

08 February 2018

Members of the House of Lords have joined MPs in voting to leave the Palace of Westminster during work to upgrade and repair the historic buildings.

Following the decision by both houses, a delivery authority and sponsor board, set up through legislation, will now be formed to manage the work.

"There is a clear and pressing need to repair the services in the Palace of Westminster", the Lords statement read, further stating "a full and timely decant of the palace is the best the most cost-effective delivery option".

Restoration and Renewal Programme director Tom Healey said the debates by both houses "represent an important milestone in the vital process of safeguarding the future of this iconic Grade 1 listed building".

The sponsor board and delivery authority will initially be set up in "shadow form", he continued, which needed to happen "as soon as possible" so that detailed planning and value for money tax payers could be ensured, said Mr Healey.

The announcement is the latest stage in the lengthy process in forming the strategy to complete the works, which began with a pre-feasibility study, published in October 2012.

Along with Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Church, the Palace of Westminster is part of the UNESCO Westminster World Heritage site.


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