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Friday, 10 December, 1999, 00:11 GMT
Assembly HQ costs are 'nearer 30m'

Graphic of new assembly HQ The Lord Rogers design for the new Assembly building


Claims that plans for the new National Assembly building in Cardiff Bay could rise to as much as 30m have been raised by a senior Opposition member.

The Conservative Assembly finance spokesman Glyn Davies AM said he was concerned the eventual costs would be far in excess of estimates of between 17-20m.

"I have been looking at the plans and discussing them with people that have a fair idea and they say they will be nearer 30m," said Mr Davies.



At least we can have a debate out in the open.
Glyn Davies Conservative AM


Mr Davies said that his efforts to discuss the matter with First Secretary Alun Michael had not been successful.

"The Conservative Party is opposed to the plans," he added.

"The Assembly has taken a decision to build it in spite of our opposition.


Glyn Davies AM Glyn Davies AM: Claims costs are significantly higher


"But at least we can have a debate out in the open."



It is thought that revised plans for the glass building by Sir Richard Rogers, which will be located next to the Pierhead Building, will be made public later this month.

Pinning down costs

Robert Firth, president of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, said invariably cost estimates for buildings such as the new Assembly HQ were based on previous projects.

"The cost is difficult to pin down at the start," said Mr Firth.

"When you go into any details, such as costs of materials, rooms, changes to the site and conditions, inevitably the price changes."


Cardiff City Hall Cardiff City Hall was the Tories favourite to house the Assembly
Plans for other public buildings show that estimates can vary considerably.

Costs for the Scottish Parliament have also risen to 120m and the original plans for the British Library in London rose fourfold to 500m.

An Assembly spokesperson said the design brief had not been agreed with the Richard Rogers Partnership yet and an authoritive figure could not be given until they had.

Inspiration

Lord Rogers was the inspiration behind the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Millennium Dome and Lloyds Building in London.

The architects say the building "will symbolise democracy by encouraging public participation in the democratic process".

It is transparent at public level and aims to use daylight to its maximum potential.

The National Assembly HQ is temporarily based at Crickhowell House in the bay.

Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru politicians were keen to see the Assembly housed in Cardiff City Hall.

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See also:
13 Sep 99 |  Wales
Assembly becomes 'gallery' for national artwork
06 Apr 99 |  The Welsh Assembly
Building a new assembly

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