Rights of entry for further high speed rail works

High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 3rd March 2016.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Clause 53 concerns rights of entry for further high-speed rail works. It allows a person authorised by a justice of the peace or sheriff, for residential properties, or by written consent from the Secretary of State, for non-residential properties, a right of entry to properties within 500 metres of the centre line of future high-speed rail phases or projects, for the purposes of undertaking surveys or environmental assessment.

For future HS2 phases or other high-speed rail projects, this power is exercisable only if the Secretary of State has proposed to introduce a Bill promoting a high-speed railway by means of a Command Paper. The power is exercisable only within five years of the publication of that Command Paper. It does not apply to a railway wholly in Scotland.

The clause makes it clear that a warrant may be issued or authorisation given only where it appears that there is a genuine need to enter the land relating to the construction of the high-speed railway line, and all reasonable attempts have been made to obtain consent to enter the land.

The Secretary of State may, by order, change the distance of 500 metres. The order is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, unless it provides a different distance only in relation to a specified category, such as noise surveys, in which case the order is subject to the negative resolution procedure.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 53 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 54