Capital cost and timing
32. Further work will clearly be necessary on the
plans. Initial estimates of the capital cost of the new reception/security
building and the covered walkway towards the North Door of Westminster
Hall are in the region of £5 million. This figure does not
take into account the effects of inflation or the cost of any
additional related security works required once consultations
with security and heritage bodies have been completed. The final
figure is therefore likely to be higher. The relevant Committees
in each House, reporting to the House of Commons Commission and
the Lords House Committee, would monitor progress of the project
and its detailed development.
33. Planning for the new building, including the
time required for tendering under EU procurement rules, would
take 18 months. If the House were to approve our recommendations,
work would therefore be able to begin on the new building in the
summer of 2005. Taking into account the need to minimise disruption
during periods when Parliament is sitting, the construction would
take about one year to complete.
34. Moving the principal entrance for visitors from
St Stephen's Entrance would enable the reallocation of some security
staff to the new building. However, the consultants estimate that
the staffing of the new information point near St Stephen's Entrance
and the extra searching capacity of the new building would require
additional staffthree full-time posts for the kiosk, and
six full-time posts of security officers for the search points.
This gives a total increase in revenue costs of £200,000
per annum. Some extra costs would also be incurred for lighting
and heating, staffing an information desk in Westminster Hall,
and for the production of information material.