The Deregulation Committee has made further progress
in the matter referred to it and has agreed to the following Report:
THE DRAFT DEREGULATION (PIPE-LINES) ORDER 1999
1. The Pipe-lines Act 1962 ("the
regulates certain categories of onshore pipe-lines in Great Britain.
Under the 1962 Act, "cross-country" pipe-lines
(defined as those exceeding 10 miles in length) require authorisation
from the Secretary of State through a pipe-line construction authorisation
(PCA) which carries
deemed planning permission. "Local"
pipe-lines (those of 10 miles or under in length) must be notified
to the Secretary of State and require local authority planning
2. On 30 November 1998, the Government laid before
Parliament the draft Deregulation (Pipe-lines) Order 1999, together
with a Statement from the Department of Trade and Industry.
We have already reported on the Government's
original proposals for this draft Order,
which contains four proposals to amend the 1962 Act.
3. The proposed Order would amend the 1962 Act, as
(i) to provide for the use of a written representations
procedure for consideration of objections made to applications
for a PCA;
(ii) to remove the requirement that applicants
for a pipe-line notify the Secretary of State at least 16 weeks
prior to construction;
(iii) to repeal section 7 of the 1962 Act, which
requires a PCA for the construction of pipe-lines which either
connect two existing pipe-lines or are added to an existing pipe-line
to create a pipe-line of longer than 10 miles; and
(iv) to repeal section 3 of the 1962 Act which
requires a pipe-line diversion authorisation from the Secretary
of State if a "cross-country"
pipe-line is diverted from the course agreed in its PCA, or a
local pipe-line is diverted to the extent that its total length
becomes greater than 10 miles.
4. Following our consideration of the proposal, we
concluded that it should be amended before the draft Order was
5. We noted that the proposed Order did not allow
for the applicant for a PCA to object to use of the written
representations procedure for consideration of objections to an
application. We argued
that the applicant as well as the objector should have the right
to object to use of the written procedure.
The draft Order has been amended accordingly.
6. We also believed that, with the repeal of section
3 of the 1962 Act, a company might seek to obtain a PCA for a
cross-country pipe-line for one route with the deliberate intention
of diverting the pipe-line through a different route.
Although such a diversion would still require planning permission,
we believed that there may be circumstances in which an applicant
would expect a greater chance of success if an application for
a pipe-line to pass through a contentious area was made as a local
planning application rather than as an application for a PCA.
We also believed that it was anomalous for a local authority to
vary (through planning permission for a diversion) an authorisation
granted by the Secretary of State (through a PCA).
We recommended that the draft Order should be amended so that
the Secretary of State retained authority for the diversion of
cross-country pipe-lines that have not yet been constructed.The
draft Order has been amended accordingly.
7. The House has instructed us to consider the extent
to which the Minister has had regard to "any
other representations made during the period for parliamentary
Before the proposal was laid, the Department wrote to all those
who had been consulted to inform them of a number of consequential
amendments to be made to the 1962 Act that had not been referred
to specifically in the original consultation document.
Representations were received during the period for Parliamentary
consideration from 13 organisations. Substantive points were raised
by Scottish Hydro-Electric, BP Gas Marketing Ltd., Penspen Ltd.,
and the National Farmers'
Union. The Statement laid together with the draft Order outlines
the points made;
we believe that the Department has given adequate consideration
to these representations.
Report under Standing Order No. 141
8. We recommend unanimously that the draft Order
should be approved.
1 1962 Act, section 1. Back
section 2. Back
of these are available to Members from the Vote Office and to
members of the public from the Department of Trade and Industry. Back
Report, Proposal for the Deregulation (Weights and Measures)
Order 1998; Proposal for the Deregulation (Pipe-lines) Order 1998,
HC 939 of Session 1997-98. Back
paragraph 90. Back
Report, 1997-98, paragraph 71. Back
7 ibid. Back
4(1) of the Schedule to the draft Order, for insertion as paragraphs
4A(2) and 4 (a) of Schedule 1 to the 1962 Act. Back
Report, 1997-98, paragraph 84. Back
1997-98, paragraph 85. Back
11 ibid. Back
2(2) of the Schedule to the draft Order, providing new subsection
(1A) of section 1 to the 1962 Act. Back
Order No. 141(5)(B). Back
paragraph 9. Back
paragraph 10. Back
paragraph 11. Back