Dutch parliamentary complex to close for five-year revamp: AD

Dutch parliamentThe entire Dutch parliamentary complex, known as the Binnenhof, is to close for 5.5 years in 2020 for a major programme of renovations, the AD says on Tuesday, quoting confidential sources.

Another plan for a 13-year phased renovation programme which would not involve total closure has been ruled out because it would be too expensive, the paper says.

The closure means the Dutch parliament will have to move to a new location in the foreign affairs ministry building. It will cost €40m to prepare that building to take 150 MP and all their support staff, the paper says.

The prime minister’s offices, the senate and the Council of State advisory group will move to the high court building on the Lange Voorhout, the AD says.

MPs still have to vote in favour of the plan and a number are known to oppose complete closure of the complex. The renovations are necessary to meet current fire and safety standards, according to a report drawn up on behalf of housing minister Stef Blok.

The renovation work is set to cost up to €600m. The alternative, 13-year plan had a price tag of €125m.

Many of the buildings in the complex date from the 17th and 18th centuries, with the Ridderzaal (knights’ chamber) dating back to the 13th century. Parliament itself currently meets in a modern building, opened in 1992, but since then there has only been limited repair work carried out.

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