Clause 10

Crossrail Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at on 22 November 2007.

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Planning: general

Amendment proposed [this day]: No. 11, in clause 10, page 7, line 7, at end insert—

‘(c) the development falls within the limits of deviation for the scheduled works.’.—[Stephen Hammond.]

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

As I predicted, inspiration has descended, and I wonder if I might elucidate and expand on the points that I was trying to make in response to the hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster. It may help if I explain what clause 10 does. In simple terms, it grants planning permission for two different categories of work. The scheduled works listed in schedule 1 have to be built within their respective limits of deviation. As long as other non-scheduled works fall within the scope of the various environmental assessments accompanying the Bill, they can be built anywhere within the limit of deviation or the limit of land to be acquired or used. In addition, safeguarding works to protect buildings can be constructed outside these limits, but within a specified distance of the works in relation to which the protection is provided.

The Bill plans show both the limit of deviation and the LLAU and together they are commonly known as the Bill limits, so the geographical extent of the works and the planning permission granted by the Bill is known. For example, the main railway and running tunnels are scheduled works, as are all the new stations to be built in the central section. Planning permission for those works is therefore granted within their limits of deviation, but some works are not scheduled works and so get planning permission only if they have been environmentally assessed. These include ancillary works such as station alterations within the LLAU or protective works to buildings outside the Bill limits. The proposed amendment would remove planning permission for that. I hope that that clarifies the position.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I have listened carefully to the Minister. Certainly the last few points clarify his comment about stations this morning which was of some concern. I am still not clear why he feels that the amendment is not relevant. It inserts the phrase:

“the development falls within the limits of deviation for the scheduled works”.

Is he saying that that is already covered by the clause as it stands?

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Perhaps the confusion can be explained by the fact that we are talking about two separate things. The limit of deviation is, in general, a narrower pathway than the LLAU and will essentially be where the railway itself must be built. By simply referring to the “limits of deviation”, the amendment does not take account of what is currently provided for in the Bill, which is the limit of land to be acquired or used. Although taking the same path and direction as the limits of deviation, the LLAU is significantly wider to accommodate the extra work that has to be done outside the construction of the railway. I hope that that clarifies matters.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I think that something has been lost in the gap between sittings. One of the things that we have been testing all morning is the limits outside the limits of deviation for which acquisition purposes are necessary. I am thinking about this carefully. I will not press this amendment, but I intend to read the Minister’s comments very carefully.

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Having discussed with officials the amendment and more general technical aspects of the Bill, I wish to take this opportunity to offer the hon. Member for Wimbledon—indeed any member of the Committee who wants them—meetings subsequent to our proceedings in Committee on some of the more technical aspects of the Bill that we might not be able to cover extensively. That is not to say that they cannot be returned to on Report, but it is an open offer to any member with concerns to sit down with the Crossrail team and Cross London Rail Links and discuss issues that we may not be able to resolve in Committee but on which they do not want to press amendments. It is an offer to be as open and helpful as we can.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I am grateful for that offer from the Minister. I had intended to divide the Committee on the amendment but, having listened to what he said and to his offer, which it may well be appropriate for myself or other members of the Committee to take up, I shall not. However, I give notice that I may wish to return to the matter on Report. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.