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Monday, 27 March, 2000, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Parliament report offers price options
Holyrood site
Continuing concern over cost of the building
An independent report into the cost of the new Scottish Parliament building has offered two options on price, BBC Scotland understands.

Although confidential, BBC Scotland believes the report by experienced architect John Spencely has offered MSPs the option of a 'deluxe' model costing just over 230m or a slightly less amibitious parliament costing 190m.

It was also understood to contend that the building would not be ready until the end of 2003.


Miralles
Architect Enric Miralles (right)
Project officials were expected to dispute this - arguing that it would be ready by the end of 2002, with MSPs moving in early the following year.

The report has been presented to the parliament's corporate body - responsible for overseeing the matter - and has been scheduled for publication on Thursday.

The cost of the new building has been the subject of controversy since the Scottish parliamentary elections last year, when it was alleged the original 40m estimate for the building was highly inaccurate.

The independent inquiry was launched following allegations that the project, which has been spearheaded by Spanish architect Enric Miralles, had spiralled to 230m.

Devolved matter

Last week, the issue threatened to ignite a turf war between MSPs and their Westminster counterparts.

Members of the House of Commons public accounts committee said they wanted to play an active role in the investigation into the cost of the parliament - but leading MSPs said it was none of their business.

The convenor of Holyrood's finance committee, Mike Watson, said the Westminster committee could not get involved because since July last year everything relating to the new parliament building had been devolved to MSPs.

In Wales, First Secretary Rhodri Morgan has decided to put plans for a Welsh Assembly building on hold until June when a National Audit Office report on the assembly's accommodation needs is published.

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See also:

22 Mar 00 | Scotland
Holyrood bill put at 190m
20 Mar 00 | Scotland
Holyrood row sparks new 'turf war'
27 Feb 00 | Scotland
Building plan under threat
22 Apr 99 | The Scottish Parliament
Building for the future
22 Mar 00 | Wales
Assembly building 'on hold'
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