Granite panel falls off Scottish Parliament building

MSPs have raised safety concerns after the cladding panel fell
MSPs have raised safety concerns after the cladding panel fell
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MSPs today voiced concerns over safety at the Scottish Parliament after it emerged a granite slab had fallen off the building in high winds.

The cladding panel, about the size of a paving stone, is said to have fallen about five feet into an enclosed garden space last month. No-one was injured.

Checks were carried out on other cladding on the building and no similar problems were uncovered. But Holyrood bosses have ordered an “enhanced inspection regime” as a precaution.

Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs said cladding panels had been a concern for some time,

In 2011 another granite slab became partially detached, leading to the temporary closure of the MSPs’ bar and restaurant. One of the three pins holding it in place was found to have failed.

Mr Briggs said: “Once you put these panels on the side of a building, what regular maintenance takes place to make sure they are attached and the attachments are not degrading? There are lots of places where these slabs are hanging over areas used by the public and they have the potential, if they fell, to threaten people’s lives.

“These are huge pieces of granite. There need to be regular safety checks.

“This building was designed with lots of quirks. We need to know they are safe.”

It also emerged that a technician at the parliament had to be taken to hospital after being electrocuted while changing light bulbs in the basement during the October recess.

A parliament spokesman said: “A low level cladding panel with a defective fitting detached from the building last month.

“After the incident, similar panels were rigorously inspected and no further faults were found.

“As a further precaution, an enhanced inspection regime will be followed going forward.”

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