A temporary home for the Lords
The House of Lords is expected to move to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, opposite Westminster Abbey, which will be redeveloped to provide a Chamber and associated offices. Together with the House of Commons move to new accommodation on the Northern Estate, this will be the first essential step to enable the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster to take place.
Choosing the QEII Conference Centre
The QEII Conference Centre is already owned by the government, is not a listed building and meets the key parliamentary requirement for the temporary Lords to be located close to the Commons and government departments. This choice of location is in line with the recommendation by the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster in 2016 and was agreed by the House of Lords Commission in September 2018. The proposed works to this 1980s building will involve internal changes to create a new temporary Chamber, committee rooms and offices for Members and House staff as well as maintaining public access. Security requirements are being designed to minimise the impact on surrounding properties.
The Sponsor Body is engaging with the Lords and House officials to ensure that their essential requirements for a working Parliament are met. The designs will be subject to a full public consultation prior to a planning application being submitted to Westminster City Council with the work complete and the building ready for occupation in the mid-2020s. Both Houses are expected to return to the Palace around the early-2030s.
The plans will ensure the continued functioning of British democracy while work on the Palace of Westminster is completed. At every stage we will ensure value for money for the taxpayer and be subject to stringent audit and assurance processes.