London heritage campaigners criticize plan to wreck landmark building for temporary parliament

London heritage campaigners criticize plan to wreck landmark building for temporary parliament

LONDON, (Rahnuma): London heritage campaigners criticized Friday a plan to demolish a landmark building in London’s government quarter to build a temporary parliament, calling it state sponsored vandalism.

SAVE, one of Britain’s leading heritage campaign organisations, said the plan, estimated to cost 520 million U.S. dollars, is also “a grotesque waste of public money.”

Proposals have been unveiled to pull down Richmond House, the former home of the Department of Health, in central London to make way for a temporary House of Commons while the Palace of Westminster undergoes its biggest ever facelift.

The front facade of the building would be kept, while the rest would be flattened to create a temporary home for Members of Parliament for up to eight years.

“The proposals are extravagant, time-wasting and destructive,” said SAVE’s Executive President Marcus Binney. “The destruction of Richmond House is state sponsored vandalism of the first order.”

“We know there are alternative sites which could be cheaper, quicker and far less destructive,” said SAVE director Henrietta Billings, stressing that Richmond House is an “officially listed building.”

The facelift work of the World Heritage Site-listed Palace of Westminster has been given new momentum by the recent fire which severely damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

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