Consecrated land

High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 25th June 2019.

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

Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Labour, Westminster North

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Clauses 24 to 27 stand part.

That schedule 21 be the Twenty-first schedule to the Bill.

Clause 28 stand part.

That schedule 22 be the Twenty-second schedule to the Bill.

That schedule 23 be the Twenty-third schedule to the Bill.

Clause 29 stand part.

That schedule 24 be the Twenty-fourth schedule to the Bill.

Clause 30 stand part.

That schedule 25 be the Twenty-fifth schedule to the Bill.

Clause 31 stand part.

That schedule 26 be the Twenty-sixth schedule to the Bill.

Clause 32 stand part.

That schedule 27 be the Twenty-seventh schedule to the Bill.

Clauses 33 to 37 stand part.

That schedule 28 be the Twenty-eighth schedule to the Bill.

Clause 38 stand part.

That schedule 29 be the Twenty-ninth schedule to the Bill.

Clauses 39 and 40 stand part.

That schedule 30 be the Thirtieth schedule to the Bill.

Clauses 41 and 42 stand part.

That schedule 31 be the Thirty-first schedule to the Bill.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

Clause 23 provides that works authorised by the Bill may be carried out on consecrated land without being affected by restrictions and obligations imposed by ecclesiastical or other laws. Burial grounds are dealt with separately under clause 22 and schedule 20, which set out how human remains are to be dealt with. The environmental minimum requirements control how the works are to be carried out. Similar provisions were included in the Crossrail Act 2008 and the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act 2017.

Clause 24 disapplies existing enactments that regulate the use of commons, town or village greens, open spaces or allotments. Similar provisions were included in the 2017 Act.

Clause 25 provides protection for trees subject to tree preservation orders or in conservation areas in relation to works to trees that are required for the purposes of constructing and maintaining phase 2a. Similar provisions were included in the 2008 and 2017 Acts.

Clause 26 allows for the installation and diversion of overhead lines as part of the authorised works, and grants the necessary consent for such works. The clause removes the need for the Secretary of State’s consent under the Electricity Act 1989 where the installation of the line is a work authorised by the Bill and has deemed planning permission under the Bill. Similar provisions were included in the 2017 Act.

Clause 27 introduces schedule 21, which provides for the disapplication of certain legislation relating to water abstraction, impounding and other matters relating to water and drainage. Similar provisions were included in the 2008 and 2017 Acts.

Clause 28 introduces schedules 22 and 23, which make provision for the disapplication of certain legislation relating to buildings and party walls. Schedule 22 provides for the disapplication or modification of various provisions of the Building Act 1984 and building regulations, including provisions on drain repairs and disconnections, the raising of chimneys, the construction of cellars and roofs below subsoil water level, and the control by local authorities of demolition works.

Schedule 23 modifies the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Among the modifications is an amended process for the resolution of disputes. Clause 29 introduces schedule 24, which disapplies various controls relating to works in or near streets and highways. Similar provisions were included in the 2017 Act. Clause 30 introduces schedule 25, which relates to the granting of permits for the use of heavy commercial vehicles on roads where there are heavy lorry restrictions. Similar provisions were included in the Crossrail Act 2008 and the phase 1 Act.

Clause 31 introduces schedule 26, which modifies legislation on construction noise and gives a defence to the nominated undertaker against statutory nuisance claims in respect to works carried out for phase 2a. As part of the modified appeals and arbitration process introduced by the schedule relating to construction noise, the Secretaries of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Transport may, in regulations, make provisions relating to the procedure for matters that are referred to arbitration. Regulations must be made by statutory instrument. Similar provisions were included in the Crossrail Act 2008 and the phase 1 Act.

Clause 32 introduces schedule 27, which disapplies various controls imposed by local Acts relating to Staffordshire and Cheshire. In the 2008 and phase 1 Acts, there were provisions of the same nature in relation to local Acts that had effect in the areas affected by the works authorised by those Acts.

Clause 33 provides that the community infrastructure levy, a charge that local authorities may impose on developers undertaking building projects in their area, is not payable in relation to development authorised by the Bill.

Clause 34 relates to the duties of the Office of Rail and Road as set out in section 4(1) of the Railways Act 1993, and ensures that the requirement for the ORR to facilitate the construction of phase 2a is explicitly set out as one of its objectives. The ORR must consult the Secretary of State about how it should carry out that objective. That will ensure that HS2 is considered by the ORR in exactly the same way as any other rail project, and will ensure that the ORR balances the needs of HS2 with the needs of the wider network. Similar provisions were included in the 2008 and phase 1 Acts.

Clause 35 removes the need for an operating licence under section 6(1) of the Railways Act 1993 for the HS2 infrastructure or train operator when the line is being tested prior to opening. It also provides that this exemption is an appropriate licence exemption for the purposes of the 1993 Act. Similar provisions were included in the phase 1 Act.

Clause 36 provides that the Secretary of State may, before phase 2a is ready for commercial use, disapply the closure provisions of the Railways Act 2005 in the case of closures that are necessary or expedient because of the construction or operation of phase 2a. Similar provisions were included in the phase 1 Act.

Clause 37 introduces schedule 28, which sets out the application of general legislation relating to railways to phase 2a. This includes certain disapplications and incorporations. For example, paragraph 1 of the schedule disapplies the Highway (Railway Crossings) Act 1839, which requires the railroad provider to maintain gates at each end of a crossing and employ a person to open and close said gates. That, of course, is not required, as it is not proposed that level crossings for carriageways be provided in phase 2a. Conversely, the schedule also makes it an offence for a person to obstruct the lawful construction of the authorised works. All those changes aim to ensure that the HS2 railway can be constructed, maintained and operated effectively and safely. Similar provisions were included in the phase 1 Act.

Clause 38 enables the nominated undertaker to require the controller of the railway asset to enter into agreements to support the expeditious delivery of phase 2a. Similarly, the controller of a railway asset may require the nominated undertaker to enter into such an agreement. In default of an agreement between the parties, the terms of such an agreement will be determined by arbitration under schedule 29, which is introduced by subsection (4). Similar provisions were included in the phase 1 Act.

Clause 39 provides that if the Secretary of State acquires any land from a railway operator on which there are works that are already authorised, the Secretary of State may, by order, transfer the responsibility for those works to the Secretary of State or the nominated undertaker. Conversely, if a railway operator acquires land from the Secretary of State on which there are any works authorised by this Bill, the Secretary of State may, with the railway operator’s consent, transfer any responsibility relating to those works to the railway operator.

Clause 40 introduces schedule 30, which makes provision related to traffic regulation, to ensure that traffic regulation orders made or proposed by a traffic authority are consistent with the requirement of the Bill works, and that any TROs required for the Bill works are made in a timely way. Schedule 30 also gives a person authorised by the nominated undertaker the power to remove vehicles that are parked in contravention of a TRO, or on a road that is stopped up under the Bill, and that would obstruct the construction of the Bill works, or would be at risk of being damaged by the works.

Clause 41 allows the Secretary of State, by way of regulations, to appoint a nominated undertaker or undertakers to build phase 2a of HS2. The nominated undertaker would be able to draw on the Bill’s powers, on behalf of the Secretary of State, to deliver the railway. Delegating authority to a delivery body is common practice on major rail infrastructure schemes.

Clause 42 introduces schedule 31, which provides for the extension of planning permission for certain works carried out by statutory undertakers. The schedule disapplies certain limitations of permitted development rights for statutory undertakers, thereby allowing them to use planning permission granted under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 for works that form part of, or works in connection with, phase 2a. Paragraph 2 of the schedule sets out the condition of extended planning permission. It stipulates that the works should be carried out in accordance with any undertaking given by the Secretary of State to the Select Committee of either House during the Bill process, which includes the commitments given through the controls of the environmental minimum requirements.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 23 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 24 to 27 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 21 agreed to.

Clause 28 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules 22 and 23 agreed to.

Clause 29 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 24 agreed to.

Clause 30 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 25 agreed to.

Clause 31 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 26 agreed to.

Clause 32 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 27 agreed to.

Clauses 33 to 37 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 28 agreed to.

Clause 38 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 29 agreed to.

Clauses 39 and 40 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 30 agreed to.

Clauses 41 and 42 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 31 agreed to.