Parliament on Royal Mile site, say MSPs

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Indy Politics

The Scottish Parliament will be built at the foot of Edinburgh's Royal Mile, but under tight time and financial constraints, MSPs said yesterday.

They voted by a majority of nine to reject a proposal to mothball the project until June while other sites were considered. The original cost has quadrupled, but MSPs passed a motion capping the budget at £195m, to be completed by 2003.

The vote was a triumph for Donald Dewar, Scotland's First Minister, who has always backed the site close to Queen's residence in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and who has been blamed for the project's inflated costs. He told MSPs the site was "eminently suitable".

Sir David Steel, the presiding officer, said the price tag of £195m included extra demands for space from MSPs. Parliament is borrowing the building of Assembly of the Church of Scotland for its debates.