Clause 26 - Ancient monuments

Part of High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 1 March 2016.

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Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 2:45, 1 March 2016

In many ways, this clause on ancient monuments is similar to clause 25, which was on listed buildings. Clause 26 introduces schedule 19, which disapplies or modifies controls on ancient monuments to allow the construction of phase 1 of HS2. The schedule allows a person authorised by the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England to enter on to land on which there is a scheduled monument to observe or advise on the carrying out of works to ensure the protection of such monuments. Similar provisions were included in the Crossrail Act 2008.

The promoter is in the process of agreeing a heritage agreement with Historic England in relation to ancient monuments such as Grim’s ditch in the Chilterns. The agreement will establish an approvals process to ensure that works subject to clause 26 and schedule 19 are carried out appropriately. If the Bill is passed, phase 1 of HS2 will have been approved by Parliament, and parliamentary approval will give all the consent necessary to construct the railway. Those are the powers that are being used in this way. Once again, all works must be done in accordance with the environmental minimum requirements.