Acquisition of rights and imposition of restrictive covenants

High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:27 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 consider the following:

That schedule 8 be the Eighth schedule to the Bill.

That schedule 9 be the Ninth schedule to the Bill.

That schedule 10 be the Tenth schedule to the Bill.

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

Clause 5 provides the Secretary of State with the power to acquire rights in land, such as access over it, or to impose restrictive covenants over land for the purpose of phase 2a, rather than acquiring the land itself.

Subsection (2) introduces schedule 8, which specifies land where powers of acquisition are limited to the acquisition of rights or the imposition of restrictive covenants for the purposes specified in column 3 of the table in that schedule. In particular, the restrictive covenants can be imposed for the preservation of ground re-profiling. This will ensure that no future changes are made that detrimentally affect the ability to deliver, maintain or operate phase 2a. Subsection (3) makes it clear that the Secretary of State can acquire rights or impose restrictive covenants for the benefit of another person, such as a statutory undertaker.

The clause also gives the Secretary of State the power to provide that a specified person may exercise the powers under the Bill to acquire rights to impose restrictive covenants. For example, it may be prudent to give a statutory undertaker the rights to impose restrictions so that they can maintain their own equipment on that land.

Subsection (6) introduces schedules 9 and 10, which contain provisions about the application of compulsory purchase legislation in relation to the acquisition of rights over land or the imposition of restrictive covenants. Subsection (7) amends section 5 of the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act 2017—the phase 1 Act—to make it clear that the Secretary of State can apply rights or impose restrictive covenants under that section for the benefit of another person, such as a statutory undertaker.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 5 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules 8 to 10 agreed to.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Conservative, Redditch

On a point of order, Ms Buck. Is it in order to have a second shadow Minister kneeling on the floor during the Committee’s proceedings? I would be grateful for your guidance.

Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Labour, Westminster North

I understand the point, and normally that would not be acceptable, but my understanding is that the hon. Lady in question would have been a member of the Committee had she not lost her voice. With the leave of the Committee, perhaps a bit of flexibility would be acceptable in this case.