some default text...

6.36 pm

Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) (LD): I shall try to be at least as economical as the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Wayne David).

On that theme, 90 minutes to debate the European equivalent of the Queen’s Speech, long after the event—the beginning of the work programme—is not adequate. Government business managers need to consider more effective scrutiny of the work programme in future. I would have liked more time to discuss the Commission’s interesting proposals to promote jobs and sustainable growth across Europe, including: the completion of the single market and important sectors such as digital services, which I am sure Conservative Members would agree with; the ambitious trade negotiation process; and—my personal favourite—the fourth rail package, to try to bring the stiff breeze of competition to our own rail industry, apart from anyone else, and to try to reduce some of our notoriously high rail costs.

I would have liked more time to look at the Commission’s programme on cross-border crime, including the attack on money laundering; at the Commission’s environmental measures, including the 2030 framework, bringing aviation into the emissions trading scheme, and a safe and secure framework for fracking; and at efforts to promote both the reduction of waste and resource efficiency in the European economy. I would have liked more time to look at consumer rights and the benefits to consumers across Europe of increased competition. I would have liked more time to discuss external action, including important action against piracy and to promote peace in the western Balkans and elsewhere.

I am disappointed that Members such as the hon. Member for Northampton South (Mr Binley) could find absolutely nothing good to say about the work programme, which is regrettable, but I do not want to fall into the opposite trap of saying that everything that comes out of the European Union is good. At the risk of my future career with the Liberal Democrats, I agree on a limited basis with the hon. Members for Clacton (Mr Carswell) and for Stone (Mr Cash), as there are examples of regulations that are a burden to business. A business in my constituency, Premiere Products, has pointed to the impact of the biocidal products regulation—a brand new regulation that should have been there to facilitate access to markets across Europe for small and medium-sized enterprises, increase competition and reduce authorisation costs, but seems likely to do the exact opposite. I say to Ministers that the biocidal products regulation is a prime candidate for inclusion in REFIT, as we must consider whether we can do more to lighten the burden of regulation, especially on small businesses.

22 Jan 2014 : Column 404

The Commission’s programme is a fascinating and important one. The modest motion before us asks only that we take note of the document and regard it as “a useful tool” for looking at that programme, so I am happy to support it.

Mr Speaker: I thank the hon. Member for his succinctness.

6.39 pm

Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): I had better make this my application to appear on “Just a Minute”, which is one of my remaining ambitions, Mr Speaker.

We have heard in this debate, over 90 minutes, the whole programme of the European Union for a year. I am in entire agreement with my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Martin Horwood) for once. We spend four days on the Queen’s speech. We have 90 minutes on this. What do we have in it? We have a directive on network and information security, to which the Government are opposed, but on which they can be outvoted; a regulation on data protection, ditto; a regulation establishing a public prosecutor, ditto; a directive establishing a financial transaction tax, ditto; a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, just at the time when people are realising that they want cheap energy, not more environmental regulation. We have, fantastically, regulations on European political parties coming through from the European Union, so perhaps they will limit what we can say in future and will not give us any money for it, because the European Union is taking charge. We have, just as the wonderful Romanians and Bulgarians have come in to free movement, a labour mobility package, to which even the Government are opposed, because they do not believe the scope of EU rules should be extended to cover long-term care, they are worried about unemployment benefits, etc., etc.

It is all going our way. It is absolutely amazing. I am so pleased. I speak as one of those dumb oxes who put his hoofprint on a letter to the Prime Minister. The letter went in and those very clever people in the Foreign Office did not like it, because they said it was going their way; they are pleased to tell us that hairdressers will be allowed to wear high heels when cutting our hair. There is rejoicing in all the barber shops across London at this news being relayed to us. They have given away so much. They lose so much, yet it is going their way only in their own minds. We are seeing in this programme 37 new laws that are coming into effect over the course of this year. We are in the process of a federal state being created. We ought to oppose it. If we oppose it rigorously, things really will go our way, and the dumb oxes will finally have their success.

Question put.

The House divided:

Ayes 330, Noes 20.

Division No. 190]

[

6.42 pm

AYES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Amess, Mr David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Baker, Norman

Baldry, rh Sir Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, rh Gregory

Barwell, Gavin

Bayley, Hugh

Bebb, Guto

Begg, Dame Anne

Beith, rh Sir Alan

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benton, Mr Joe

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berger, Luciana

Berry, Jake

Bingham, Andrew

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackman, Bob

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Boles, Nick

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brazier, Mr Julian

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burstow, rh Paul

Burt, rh Alistair

Burt, Lorely

Byles, Dan

Cairns, Alun

Campbell, Mr Alan

Campbell, rh Sir Menzies

Carmichael, Neil

Chishti, Rehman

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coaker, Vernon

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Connarty, Michael

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, Stephen

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Crockart, Mike

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Cunningham, Sir Tony

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, David T. C.

(Monmouth)

Davies, Glyn

de Bois, Nick

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Docherty, Thomas

Doran, Mr Frank

Dorries, Nadine

Doughty, Stephen

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Mr Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Durkan, Mark

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Esterson, Bill

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Jonathan

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Farron, Tim

Field, Mark

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Foster, rh Mr Don

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Gale, Sir Roger

Gapes, Mike

Garnier, Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

George, Andrew

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gilbert, Stephen

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Greatrex, Tom

Green, rh Damian

Green, Kate

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hamilton, Mr David

Hammond, Stephen

Hands, Greg

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harper, Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Harvey, Sir Nick

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heath, Mr David

Hemming, John

Hendry, Charles

Herbert, rh Nick

Hilling, Julie

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hopkins, Kris

Horwood, Martin

Howarth, rh Mr George

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

James, Margot

Javid, Sajid

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Graham

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lamb, Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Lansley, rh Mr Andrew

Latham, Pauline

Laws, rh Mr David

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lloyd, Stephen

Long, Naomi

Lord, Jonathan

Lucas, Ian

Luff, Sir Peter

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Malhotra, Seema

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McCartney, Karl

McGovern, Jim

McIntosh, Miss Anne

McPartland, Stephen

McVey, Esther

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, Andrew

Miller, rh Maria

Milton, Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morden, Jessica

Morgan, Nicky

Morrice, Graeme

(Livingston)

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

O'Brien, rh Mr Stephen

Offord, Dr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Opperman, Guy

Ottaway, rh Sir Richard

Paice, rh Sir James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, Mike

Penrose, John

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pugh, John

Reevell, Simon

Reynolds, Emma

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, Angus

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, Amber

Ruddock, rh Dame Joan

Russell, Sir Bob

Rutley, David

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Sheridan, Jim

Simmonds, Mark

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soames, rh Nicholas

Soubry, Anna

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stanley, rh Sir John

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Straw, rh Mr Jack

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Mr Graham

Stunell, rh Sir Andrew

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thornton, Mike

Thurso, John

Timms, rh Stephen

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tredinnick, David

Truss, Elizabeth

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vaz, Valerie

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Walter, Mr Robert

Ward, Mr David

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Watson, Mr Tom

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Whittaker, Craig

Wiggin, Bill

Willetts, rh Mr David

Williams, Mr Mark

Williams, Roger

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, Jenny

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Woodcock, John

Wright, Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Yeo, Mr Tim

Young, rh Sir George

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Claire Perry

and

Mr Sam Gyimah

NOES

Binley, Mr Brian

Chope, Mr Christopher

Cooper, Rosie

Cryer, John

Davidson, Mr Ian

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Drax, Richard

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Lewis, Dr Julian

McCartney, Jason

Nuttall, Mr David

Percy, Andrew

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Shannon, Jim

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Tapsell, rh Sir Peter

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr Douglas Carswell

and

Mark Reckless

Question accordingly agreed to.

22 Jan 2014 : Column 405

22 Jan 2014 : Column 406

22 Jan 2014 : Column 407

Resolved,

That this House takes note of European Union Document No. 15521/13 and Addendum, a Commission Communication: Commission Work Programme 2014; agrees that this document is a useful tool for planning the Government’s and Parliament’s engagement with the EU in 2014; and supports the Government’s view that measures which promote growth and jobs in the EU, including measures towards completing the Single Market, are the top priority.

22 Jan 2014 : Column 408

Convoys Wharf, Deptford

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Evennett.)

6.54 pm

Dame Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford) (Lab): I am extremely grateful to you, Mr Speaker, for granting me this Adjournment debate. My purpose in calling it is to share with the House one of London’s best kept secrets and one of its greatest opportunities.

Fifteen years ago, representatives of News International contacted me to announce the closure of Convoys Wharf. I met them on site, going down a narrow street in Deptford through an industrial gate set in high fences. I came upon a huge area of concrete peppered with massive sheds stretching to the waterfront. It was a vast, forlorn, windy expanse with a footprint similar to the whole of the south bank. My immediate fear was that the site was destined for millionaires’ housing, a gated community cut off from the rest of Deptford that would continue the hundreds of years of local people’s exclusion from their own Thames waterfront. Then I discovered that Convoys Wharf was the site of Henry VIII’s naval shipyard and the home of the great diarist John Evelyn. I sensed that this would be an historic battle, and so it has been, as I, with local people and Lewisham council planners led by John Miller, have sought recognition of the site’s supreme importance and of the imperative to secure a development appropriate to its unique heritage.

Let me outline the historical record, which I have taken—often verbatim—from the Museum of London archaeology report. The record goes back to the Domesday Book and the manor of Grenviz, the present-day Deptford. In the late 12th century, the manor passed to the de Says family, who named it Sayes court. The mediaeval manor house of Sayes court, which was constructed of wood, was certainly in existence in 1405.

Deptford increasingly felt the influence of Greenwich palace. It was given a great boost when Henry VIII decided to found a royal dockyard there. Lambarde wrote of Deptford:

“This towne was of none estimation at all until King Henrie the eighth advised (for the better preservation of the Royal fleete) to erect a storehouse, and to create certaine officers there”.

This Tudor storehouse was the nucleus of the shipyard. Erected in 1513, it survived in part until 1952. The great dock was probably built at this time, and the old pond at Deptford strand was adapted as a basin to accommodate ships in 1517. In 1581, Sir Francis Drake’s ship the Golden Hind was lodged in a specially constructed brick dock, becoming one of London’s very first tourist attractions. For 400 years, Deptford was the powerhouse of England’s navy. Local boat builder Julian Kingston has recorded:

“Hundreds of warships and countless trading vessels were built or refitted here including ships for exploration, science and empire. It was the ‘Cape Canaveral’ of its day and is associated with the great mariners of the time, such as Drake, Rayleigh and Cook”.

In 1653, John Evelyn took up residence in Sayes court. He modernised the house and laid out its vast gardens. He began with an orchard of 300 mixed fruit trees, and went on to create groves of elm and of walnut trees, a huge holly hedge, plots for melons, pears and

22 Jan 2014 : Column 409

beans, as well as a moated island for raspberries and asparagus, beehives and a carp pond. It was here that Evelyn carried out his planting trials, which formed the basis of his famous treatise “Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees”.

That other illustrious diarist Samuel Pepys recorded two visits to John Evelyn’s gardens in 1665. He saw

“a hive of bees, so as being hived in glass you may see the bees making their honey and combs mighty pleasantly”,

and Evelyn

“showed me his gardens, which are for variety of evergreens, and hedge of holly, the finest things I ever saw in my life.”

Samuel Pepys had major business at the dockyard, having been put in charge of Charles II’s great “thirty shipbuilding programme” in 1677. The Lenox, to which I will refer later, was the first of the ships to be built. In 1708, Master Shipwright Joseph Allin built a house on the site, and it remains intact today. It was bought in 1998 by William Richards and Chris Mazeika who are continuously restoring it. As shipbuilding developed, the slipways became vast structures of brick, concrete and timber and were then provided with cover buildings, an example of which is the Olympia.

7 pm

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 9(3)).

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Evennett.)

Dame Joan Ruddock: The Olympia was constructed from 1844 to 1846 and remains on site today.

Let me return to Sayes court. When John Evelyn moved out in 1694, it was rented to, among others, Tsar Peter the Great, who came to Deptford to study shipbuilding. He is reported to have trashed the house and garden during his wild parties. Specifically, he drove a wheelbarrow through the famous hedge. Sayes court changed ownership a number of times and became absorbed into the dockyard expansion of 1830.

In 1869, William John Evelyn, who was a descendant of the original John Evelyn, bought back part of the site. His attempts to preserve the park and museum for the public led him to contact Octavia Hill. Realising that there was no existing legal form that could secure such protection, Hill set about establishing the organisation that was to become the National Trust. Seventeen years later, the gardens were given to the public, only to face their final demise in 1914, when they were leased as a horse transport reserve depot. The gardens were built over and the house was used by the War Office. The last elements of Sayes court manor house were demolished at some time around 1930. It was the Ministry of Defence that eventually sold the site now known as Convoys Wharf to News International in 1979.

In 1952 a debate ensued over the demolition of the Tudor storehouse. It was not listed, despite the existence of a Tudor arch that was 10 feet high and 6 feet wide and a foundation stone bearing the inscription,

“Henricus Rex annus Christi 1513”.

Twenty thousand Tudor bricks were disposed of—some, we believe, to help rebuild the buildings at Hampton Court—and the arch and stone were given to University

22 Jan 2014 : Column 410

college London, where they are housed today in the computing department. After a successful campaign by the community group, “Deptford Is”, UCL has agreed to return the artefacts. The campaign has now turned its attention to the clock that was part of the 18th-century storehouse, which currently resides in the car park of the Thamesmead shopping centre.

That is the extraordinary history of Convoys Wharf, which is now the subject of an outline planning application that has been handed to the Greater London authority by the current owners, Hutchison Whampoa. Over the past 13 years, we have struggled to persuade the various developers, architects and master planners to understand the huge responsibility that they have to honour the site’s heritage. Sadly, we have not been helped by the lack of interest from English Heritage.

In 1999, Alan Howarth conducted a ministerial review of royal dockyards to upgrade listing and scheduling. Deptford dockyard was omitted because it was believed at the time that the only structures of value were the Olympia and the Master Shipwright’s house. An application was submitted locally in 2002, which resulted in the scheduling of the undercroft of the 1513 Tudor storehouse a year later. In 2009, another application was submitted by local people to list the docks, slips, basin and mast ponds. English Heritage recommended not to list. There were many errors in the report and the decision was contested. English Heritage withdrew its recommendation. The Council for British Archaeology and the Naval Dockyards Society, supported by local historians, requested that the case be reopened in 2012. Again English Heritage recommended not to list. The Council for British Archaeology then initiated a freedom of information inquiry, which revealed errors and obfuscation resulting in further exchanges. Last year English Heritage recommended the statutory protection of the dockyard wharf wall and the upgrading of the Master Shipwright’s house. Many features remain without protection and await consideration of the final archaeological survey. I am, however, pleased to report that relations with English Heritage have much improved.

Given the GLA’s wish to determine next month, will the Minister activate an emergency listing and scheduling procedure based on the available archaeology? That would ensure that Hutchinson Whampoa and the GLA proceeded with the full knowledge of the heritage protections on the site and how they should influence design and construction decisions. That brings me to the most exciting part of this 21st-century saga. As developers’ plans have come forward, so too have local aspirations. We want to create a destination that both honours the past and creates a vision of the future that embraces the vibrant and dynamic community that is Deptford. Two projects would fulfil that ambition and demand incorporation at this stage of the planning process.

The Sayes court garden project, developed by Roo Angell and Bob Bagley and their architect David Kohn, seeks to create a new garden and a centre for urban horticulture. In their own words:

“The remarkable history of Sayes Court is filled with bold ideas which understood that contact with nature is an essential part of healthy urban life. Sayes Court Garden is a project inspired by this history of innovation. Combining stimulating design with a programme which brings together all stages of education, from primary schools and practical training to the latest research, Sayes Court is a garden for the 21st century.”

22 Jan 2014 : Column 411

A comprehensive archaeological survey has revealed the traces of early walls found below an 18th-century building on the site of Sayes court, and nearby garden walls have been confidently reconciled with map evidence of Evelyn’s home. Hutchison Whampoa has recognised the value of these remains and plans to make them viewable. It has also embraced the Sayes court garden project, but in its plan the new buildings will obliterate much of the original garden site and isolate the proposed centre. English Heritage shares our view that the centre for urban horticulture should respond to the archaeology and be set within an open space. Does the Minister support this view?

The second project, led by Julian Kingston, proposes to build a replica of the great 17th-century wooden ship, the Lenox. The Lenox would be built using modern techniques and enable apprentices to be trained in modern transferable skills. The project also intends to encompass research and training in heritage crafts. Once again, Hutchison Whampoa has recognised the groundswell of support for the Lenox project, but failed to place it appropriately in its plans.

The massive grade II listed Olympia building, which is 75 metres by 62 metres and 17 metres high, sits at the heart of Convoys Wharf and covers the recently excavated slips on which 19th-century ships were built. Internally, the building boasts wrought iron tied-arch roofs, two of the only seven remaining structures to survive nationally. It is the perfect location for the Lenox project and a host of supporting cultural activities.

In front of the Olympia building is the site of the great basin. Restored or rebuilt, this would provide a means of launching a completed replica ship into the Thames and could replace the water body that the owners currently plan to site elsewhere. Will the Minister confirm that English Heritage has no objection to these plans for the Olympia building and great basin? Will he also acknowledge that the experts believe that proper consideration of the heritage assets will necessitate changes to the master plan?

Finally, let me try to describe the overall development. Yes, it will provide hundreds of luxury waterfront dwellings in very high towers to which many have objections, and many issues will have to be debated and determined at later stages of the planning application about the massing and transport, but the site could also offer an amazing place for locals, new residents and visitors alike. The development would be approached through the extensive Sayes court garden, leading to the horticultural centre and the Olympia building with its myriad activities, and on to the water basin leading to the Thames. It would be a place of which everyone in Deptford could be proud, a place that would sit alongside the world heritage sites that are Greenwich, the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum, a place offering green lungs and riverside walks in the heart of the inner city, a place giving new hope to young people of training and jobs and to enterprising local artists and entrepreneurs. It would be not just for the people of Deptford and Lewisham, but for London and those way beyond this great city. Once again, Deptford and its dockyards could become a jewel in London’s crown.

7.12 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Mr Edward Vaizey): I am grateful for the opportunity to reply to the right hon. Member for

22 Jan 2014 : Column 412

Lewisham, Deptford (Dame Joan Ruddock), whom I congratulate on calling this important debate. I have listened with interest to her remarks on the historic importance of Convoys Wharf, and I certainly echo everything she said.

Convoys Wharf has been one of London’s best-kept secrets. I am not sure how far I should go in revealing my ignorance, but I am pleased that I am now in the position, thanks to her, of being full apprised of this heritage jewel sitting at the heart of our great capital city. At a time when London is once again one of the pre-eminent cities in the world, it is worth our recalling that one of the reasons it is so successful is its rich history and heritage. It says in my brief that Convoys Wharf is of historic interest—well, that has to be the understatement of the century. It is incredibly important. Henry VIII founded his dockyard there, Elizabeth I knighted Francis Drake there and John Evelyn’s house is there—Mr Speaker, you and I will recall the importance that John Evelyn played in our university life, as the diarist of the Cherwell newspaper.

The Master Shipwright’s house and the former dockyard office buildings are grade II* listed, which means that they are more than of special interest, and the Olympia building is grade II listed. We have scheduled as an ancient monument the remains of the Tudor naval storehouse, and more recently, in November, I was privileged to have the opportunity to list the dockyard river wall. And of course there might be further archaeological interest on the site, which is why English Heritage, my statutory adviser on the historic environment, is considering an interim archaeological report to see if anything substantial remains of the original Tudor dockyard.

On a wider point, it is important to say that heritage sits at the heart of many regeneration schemes. The most recent success is King’s Cross station and St Pancras, which is a great example of a Victorian station brought back to life. I was amazed and heartened to hear the other day that the French transport Minister had described St Pancras as the most beautiful railway station in Europe. It is important to put that on the record in the British Parliament.

Focusing on heritage is, as the right hon. Lady points out, not only important for our history—I am passionate, as she is, about heritage—but creates significant benefits for local economies and communities. It breathes new life into areas; it is essential to the economic and social revival of our towns and cities.

I was talking specifically about Convoys Wharf and I mentioned the archaeological report that English Heritage is carrying out for me. In a sense, that answers the first question put to me. The right hon. Lady asked whether I would activate an emergency listing or scheduling procedure. I expect English Heritage to report very soon on whether other parts of the site should be scheduled. I can give her an undertaking this evening that I will consider the report the minute it arrives, and take a decision based on its recommendations in short order.

Dame Joan Ruddock: I am extremely grateful to the Minister for his remarks so far. I was told, however, that the report and relevant information and advice would not be finalised until the end of this year. That was, of

22 Jan 2014 : Column 413

course, a great concern because we are in a period in which the outline planning application could be determined as quickly as next month.

Mr Vaizey: That is interesting. I was unaware that the right hon. Lady had been told that. My understanding is that I can expect to receive the report in February. If that is wrong, I will write to the right hon. Lady, but judging from certain nods I am being given, I am pretty certain that that is the case. I will let the right hon. Lady know as soon as possible if that is incorrect.

Having set out the importance of heritage, it is also obviously important that London has redevelopment. Convoys Wharf is the largest redevelopment area in inner London. I cannot really comment on the specific proposals, particularly when I might be asked to consider further elements of the site for scheduling or listing. Echoing what the right hon. Lady said, I can say that English Heritage has been involved in discussions about the site for more than 10 years and is now fully engaged in the process. It has identified potential heritage significance and it will, in its statutory planning role, provide expert advice to the authorities on aspects of the proposals.

It is important to remember that, in preparing development plans and determining requests for planning permission, planning authorities, including the Mayor, need to have regard to the national planning policy framework, including its policies on conserving and enhancing the historic environment. Those policies look to control potentially harmful changes, seeking instead to deliver positive improvements in quality. The NPPF promotes quality in our built environment and balances conservation of the best of our past with support for innovative new design. With that in mind, schedule areas and listed buildings can be given the adequate protection they deserve from both the developer and planners. It is worth pointing out that listing does not amount to a preservation order. The listed building consent regime is built on the philosophy that the best way of securing the upkeep of historic buildings is to keep them in active use.

That brings me back to the proposals that the right hon. Lady has told us about today. Let me comment on some of the specific questions she put to me. She asked about the centre for urban horticulture and whether it should respond to the archaeology and be set within an open space. My understanding is that English Heritage considers that the proposed orientation of the blocks does not best reflect the archaeology in respect of the relationship of Sayes court to its garden landscape. It believes that the remains of Sayes court and its garden landscape would be better reflected by making the relationship more legible. The concept of a centre for urban horticulture, incorporating and presenting the remains of Sayes court, is a potentially attractive one—one that better reflects the historic relationship. I believe it is important to note the views of English Heritage in that regard.

22 Jan 2014 : Column 414

The right hon. Lady talked about the exciting Lenox proposal to rebuild one of Charles II’s ships within the Olympia—according to its plans, but obviously not to rebuild it with the original material—and to restore or rebuild the great basin in front of it. Because it has not seen the plans for the scheme, English Heritage cannot comment on it specifically. Obviously, if the scheme is viable and it is possible to secure a long-term reuse of the listed building, and if the impact on the archaeology and the historic fabric is likely to be minimal, English Heritage could, in principle, support it, but I understand that the developer thinks that it would be impossible to rebuild the basin without destroying the archaeology.

The right hon. Lady asked me whether I would acknowledge that the experts believe that proper consideration of the heritage assets should lead to changes in the master plan. I fear that, technically, I must duck that question, as it is clearly for the developers to take into account any listings and scheduling.

Dame Joan Ruddock: There is an issue about whether the basin might be renovated, or whether a new basin might be built within it. There is confusion over whether English Heritage thinks one thing or the other, but we understand that it would be able to approve some treatment of the basin that would not be harmful in any way and would meet our purposes. I wonder whether I might invite the Minister to examine that issue further, and then write to me.

Mr Vaizey: I will certainly seek clarification from English Heritage in regard to its understanding of what is proposed and of what may be possible, and also in regard to its attitude in principle. However, the overriding principle, which I think we all understand, is that the archaeology must not be damaged in any way.

I recognise the commitment that the right hon. Lady has shown to this project over many years in order to ensure that the architectural heritage was preserved and that we could work towards a better solution. I should also acknowledge the work of the volunteers and members of the local community who have brought their imagination and passion to bear in supporting the project. We should bear it in mind that they are supporting it not just for the benefit of their own community, but for the benefit for the whole of London and the whole nation.

Finally, let me put myself at the right hon. Lady’s disposal. If she needs me to convene a meeting with the developers, with the Greater London Association, or with anyone else whose views she believes are relevant, I stand ready to assist her in any way that she considers suitable.

Question put and agreed to.

7.22 pm

House adjourned.

Deferred Division

Legal Aid and Advice

That the draft Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2013, which were laid before this House on 25 November, be approved.

The House divided:

Ayes 304, Noes 231.

Division No. 186]

AYES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Alexander, rh Danny

Amess, Mr David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Baker, Steve

Baldry, rh Sir Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, rh Gregory

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Beith, rh Sir Alan

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Bingham, Andrew

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Mr Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brake, rh Tom

Bray, Angie

Brazier, Mr Julian

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Bruce, Fiona

Bruce, rh Sir Malcolm

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Burt, Lorely

Byles, Dan

Cable, rh Vince

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Campbell, rh Sir Menzies

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Carmichael, Neil

Cash, Mr William

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Clappison, Mr James

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Crabb, Stephen

Davey, rh Mr Edward

Davies, David T. C.

(Monmouth)

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Philip

de Bois, Nick

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorries, Nadine

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Mr Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Jonathan

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Featherstone, Lynne

Field, Mark

Foster, rh Mr Don

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Garnier, Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

George, Andrew

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gilbert, Stephen

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, rh Damian

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, Robert

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, Mr Mike

Hands, Greg

Harper, Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Oliver

Heath, Mr David

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Hemming, John

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Charles

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hopkins, Kris

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, Sajid

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kelly, Chris

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Lansley, rh Mr Andrew

Latham, Pauline

Laws, rh Mr David

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Jessica

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lloyd, Stephen

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Luff, Sir Peter

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

Main, Mrs Anne

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Maria

Mills, Nigel

Milton, Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Brien, rh Mr Stephen

Offord, Dr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Opperman, Guy

Ottaway, rh Sir Richard

Paice, rh Sir James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pugh, John

Raab, Mr Dominic

Randall, rh Sir John

Reckless, Mark

Redwood, rh Mr John

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reevell, Simon

Reid, Mr Alan

Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, Amber

Ruffley, Mr David

Russell, Sir Bob

Rutley, David

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Shepherd, Sir Richard

Simmonds, Mark

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soubry, Anna

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stanley, rh Sir John

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Mr Graham

Stunell, rh Sir Andrew

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Tapsell, rh Sir Peter

Thornton, Mike

Thurso, John

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Tredinnick, David

Truss, Elizabeth

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Walter, Mr Robert

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Willetts, rh Mr David

Williams, Mr Mark

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, Jenny

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wilson, Sammy

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wright, Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Young, rh Sir George

Zahawi, Nadhim

NOES

Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Ainsworth, rh Mr Bob

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Austin, Ian

Bain, Mr William

Balls, rh Ed

Banks, Gordon

Barron, rh Kevin

Bayley, Hugh

Begg, Dame Anne

Benn, rh Hilary

Benton, Mr Joe

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blears, rh Hazel

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Brown, Mr Russell

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burnham, rh Andy

Campbell, Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Jenny

Clark, Katy

Clarke, rh Mr Tom

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Connarty, Michael

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, Jeremy

Crausby, Mr David

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Cunningham, Sir Tony

Curran, Margaret

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

Darling, rh Mr Alistair

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

De Piero, Gloria

Denham, rh Mr John

Dobbin, Jim

Dobson, rh Frank

Docherty, Thomas

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donohoe, Mr Brian H.

Doran, Mr Frank

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Doyle, Gemma

Dromey, Jack

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Engel, Natascha

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gilmore, Sheila

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Godsiff, Mr Roger

Goodman, Helen

Greatrex, Tom

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Hain, rh Mr Peter

Hames, Duncan

Hamilton, Mr David

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harris, Mr Tom

Havard, Mr Dai

Healey, rh John

Hermon, Lady

Heyes, David

Hillier, Meg

Hilling, Julie

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hood, Mr Jim

Hunt, Tristram

Irranca-Davies, Huw

James, Mrs Siân C.

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Khan, rh Sadiq

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn

Long, Naomi

Love, Mr Andrew

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

Mactaggart, Fiona

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCabe, Steve

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McCrea, Dr William

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Alison

McGuire, rh Mrs Anne

McKechin, Ann

McKenzie, Mr Iain

McKinnell, Catherine

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Miliband, rh Edward

Miller, Andrew

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme

(Livingston)

Morris, Grahame M.

(Easington)

Munn, Meg

Murphy, rh Mr Jim

Murphy, rh Paul

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

O'Donnell, Fiona

Onwurah, Chi

Osborne, Sandra

Owen, Albert

Paisley, Ian

Pearce, Teresa

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Qureshi, Yasmin

Reed, Mr Steve

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Riordan, Mrs Linda

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, John

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Dame Joan

Sarwar, Anas

Sawford, Andy

Seabeck, Alison

Shannon, Jim

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Simpson, David

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Straw, rh Mr Jack

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry

Tami, Mark

Teather, Sarah

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, rh Keith

Vaz, Valerie

Walley, Joan

Watts, Mr Dave

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, Chris

Wilson, Phil

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Woodcock, John

Woodward, rh Mr Shaun

Wright, David

Question accordingly agreed to.

22 Jan 2014 : Column 415

22 Jan 2014 : Column 416

22 Jan 2014 : Column 417

22 Jan 2014 : Column 418