|Marcus Binney, executive president of SAVE Britain's Heritage says: “Historic England’s conclusion that Parliament’s proposals cause substantial harm are a game changer. It is extraordinary that this vast planning application running to hundreds of thousands of words is deemed inadequate on the main issue - the demolition of a highly prized listed building - which it certainly is.”
Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain's Heritage says: "The case for trashing Richmond House for a temporary MPs chamber has simply not been made. We agree 100 per cent with Historic England that the proposals do not meet national policy designed to protect our historic buildings. We urge the Secretary of State to call in these proposals for public inquiry.”
Under the plans drawn up by Parliament’s Restoration and Renewal committee Richmond House, is set to be entirely demolished apart from its Whitehall frontage to make way for a new temporary Chamber for MPs while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished. It is part of a publicly funded rebuilding programme of the ‘Northern Estate.’
The campaign to save Richmond House has been supported by noted architects Piers Gough, Andrew Arrol, Jonathan Louth and 11 other Cathedral architects of the Cathedral Architects Association, national heritage organisations including the Twentieth Century Society, Ancient Monuments Society, and architectural historians Andrew Saint and Roland Jeffrey. Almost 2000 people have signed an online petition against the demolition, and the proposals have been covered in The Times, The Sunday Times, RIBA Journal, The Guardian, Country Life and Private Eye, as well as Architects Journal and Building Design.
The plans have been submitted to Westminster City Council - see here to view them (application refs: 19/08220/FULL & 19/08221/LBC). A decision is due on planning permission later this year.