Palace of Westminster gets its own restoration Act

The Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019 has received Royal Assent and the Palace of Westminster now has in place its very own process for the renewal of these buildings.

The Act establishes the statutory bodies that will be responsible for the works for (or in connection with) the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster. It also establishes the governance structure within which those bodies will operate.

On 31 January 2018, the House of Commons approved a resolution that work should commence on the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster. In particular, the motion required that “immediate steps be taken now” to establish a shadow Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority, and that their statutory successors be established by legislation in due course. That resolution was approved by the House of Lords on 6 February 2018.

The Act gives effect to Parliament’s resolutions by providing for the establishment of the requisite statutory bodies and processes to take forward the works (including substantive design works). The Act also enables those bodies to take on responsibility for such other Parliamentary building works as are designated from time to time by the House Commissions, in agreement with the relevant bodies. Two bodies will be established by the Act: the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, which will be empowered to form the Delivery Authority; and the Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission, which will lay the Sponsor Body’s estimates before Parliament, and will play a role in assessing the Sponsor Body’s proposed expenditure.

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