The Bill giving English Heritage freedom to bring back into use the parts of Osborne House formerly used as a convalescent home finally passed through Parliament last week.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill received Royal Assent (the point at which it becomes law) on Thursday afternoon. The Island’s MP, Andrew Turner welcomed the news.
Mr Turner said: “Seeing those historic buildings standing empty and not able to be used at all was very sad. I am grateful to English Heritage for taking so much care over the consultation process and they have given me an undertaking that they will keep the local community involved when discussing future plans. If any Islanders have ideas about the future uses of the buildings they can send them to me and I will pass them on to English Heritage.
“The Bill was first introduced in May 2012; it took almost a year before it was finally passed. Although the provisions relating to Osborne House were quite straightforward, much of this Bill was quite controversial and there were numerous committee meetings in both the Commons and the Lords to discuss the details. Agreement was reached between the two Houses in the nick of time – if that had not happened then the whole Bill would have been dropped in advance of the Queen’s Speech next Wednesday.”
Rob Flower, English Heritage’s General Manager at Osborne, said: “This is very good news and we would like to thank Andrew Turner for all his help in steering the bill through Parliament. We will now look at the best way of bringing this important part of the Island’s heritage back into use and back to life. We have already asked Islanders what they would like to see happen to these historic buildings and we will continue to seek their views. We will keep them updated throughout.”
Photo: Rob Flower at Osborne House