Clause 18

Part of Crossrail Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 22 November 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport) 2:00, 22 November 2007

I beg to move amendment No. 14, in clause 18, page 12, line 7, at end add

‘, and is subject to the conditions set out in subsection (3)’.

Clauses 18 and 19 quite rightly deal with trees, because overhanging trees could delay the scheduled works, and it is understandable that they might need to be trimmed or removed so that they no longer obstruct the construction or operation of Crossrail. Clause 18 allows the owner of a tree to appeal against any such action and entitles them to receive compensation for loss or damage. One would be hard-pressed to disagree with the general provisions. The amendment is not designed to revise that purpose, or the general principle behind it, but to make the process slightly more watertight.

Subsection (4) enables the nominated undertaker to do the work himself, if the owner of the tree has not undertaken to do so within 28 days of being served a notice by the nominated undertaker. However, the clause would benefit if the words of the amendment were appended because there will undoubtedly be some cases in which the reason for the landowner’s inaction will be that he has objected to the proposed works in accordance with subsection (2). It may be that, within those 28 days, he has served a counter-notice and is therefore awaiting confirmation by a county court. When the 28-day deadline expires, he may still be waiting for that response. If that is the case, it will be prudent for the nominated undertaker to await the judgment of the county court before starting work on the affected tree. By making a reference to subsection (3) in subsection (4), we would ensure that the nominated undertaker would not start chopping off branches before he was sure that any appeal to the courts has been properly processed.