​Political chaos must not delay plans to restore the Palace of Westminster

The Victorian Society has written to over 600 MPs and 60 Lords urging them to use debates this week on 12/13 July to push for a firm timeline for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster

The Victorian Society has written to over 600 MPs and 60 Lords urging them to use debates this week on 12/13 July to push for a firm timeline for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster – probably the world’s most famous Victorian building. The Society fears that failure to do so will see the condition of the building worsen, costs spiral and set a terrible example for the owners of historic buildings.

Victorian Society Director, Joe O’Donnell said: ‘The political chaos following the Prime Minister’s resignation should not be used to kick this decision down the road again. We’re now a decade on from initial discussions with cost estimates having risen from £4bn in 2015 to £7-15bn today. We cannot afford to delay further. It is all too easy to want to avoid the headlines of spending money on Parliament during a cost-of-living crisis. However, this World Heritage Site must be properly restored. Failure to do so promptly risks costs spiralling further and jeopardises the UK’s reputation for looking after world heritage sites. We need a clear timetable for restoration as soon as possible’.

A decade after the Victorian Society welcomed the Government’s commitment to the Restoration and Renewal programme following the initial pre-feasibility report in 2012, there is still no clear plan to bring it back into good and proper order. 

An independent options report in 2015 estimated the cost of the works at £4bn, current estimates are between £7bn and £13bn. Further delay will only increase these costs.  The Victorian Society briefing stresses that Parliament has a duty to ensure a clear plan is in place to bring the internationally renowned building in which it sits back into good and proper order.

The Palace of Westminster is a Grade I listed building and UNESCO World Heritage Site of enormous significance. Designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin and known across the world it is one of the United Kingdom’s greatest examples of Victorian architecture and design.  

The new Palace had an enormous effect on the imagination of the Victorian public and had a significant influence on the subsequent design of various public buildings across the country and internationally. 

Parliament will meet this week to on 12/13 July to discuss the buildings future.

Read the full briefing written to the Lords by Victorian Society Director, Joe O’Donnell here.

The timetable for the debates can be viewed here.


12/07/2022


© 2017 The Victorian Society

1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT. T 020 8994 1019. E [email protected]

Charity No. 1081435. Company No. 3940996. Registered in England. Office as above.

This website uses cookies. Please see our privacy page for details.