Holyrood extension to go in ‘blast zone’

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A CONTROVERSIAL £6.5m security extension at the Scottish Parliament will be built in what was designated the “blast zone” in the event of a terrorist attack on the Holyrood building, campaigners claim.

They say that means senior MSPs who gave the go-ahead for the extension could find themselves legally liable if members of the public queuing at the new entrance were injured or killed in an attack on the main building.

Work on the extension is due to start on Monday, the eve of the eighth anniversary of the opening of the building.

The extension, at the front of the building, opposite the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is intended to ensure visitors queuing to be screened are not doing so inside the parliament. The cross-party Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) said it had approved the annexe based on advice from security and legal experts.

Earlier this week, the widow of Holyrood architect Enric Miralles said the extension would ruin her husband’s ­masterpiece.

Benedetta Tagliabue, who is also an architect and worked with Miralles on the parliament, spoke of her disappointment at not being involved and argued the planned changes came so soon after completion that they should be seen as part of the process of construction rather than a new project.