Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4500
4500. CHAIRMAN: We are the local planning
4501. MR ELVIN: You are the local planning
authority for these purposes.
4502. The fact that in some planning cases alternatives
may be a material planning considerationin contrast to
the normal rule that they are not and each case is decided on
its meritshas nothing to do with the obligation under the
Environmental Impact Assessment Directive which is directed to
the planning question of whether an application should be rejected
because there is a better alternative. In the Bill process it
is a matter for :Parliament whether it accepts the general alignment
in the Bill, or whether to seek its amendment, but that is a matter
for the democratic parliamentary process. It is also possible
for the Promoters to advance an amendment and to justify it to
Parliament. However, once the principle of the Bill (whether as
originally deposited or as amended) has been fixed, it is not
for the Petitioners to seek to advance a case against it before
4503. Could I interpose there with regard to
the Command Papers, to remind the Committee that Lord Bassam at
second reading in this house drew the attention of the House to
those Command Papers . The reference in Hansard is 9 January,
House of Lords/Commons 89-5.
4504. CHAIRMAN: I sat through the whole
debate, so I heard it. I dare say others of my colleagues did
4505. MR ELVIN: I am grateful. The next
point to arise is: Was it a main alternative? Clearly it was not
and Mr Horton accepts we did not consider it a main alternative.
Perhaps, however, I could put it in context for your Lordships,
as I have done from paragraph 30 onwards.
It was not a main alternative but an early discarded alternative
to one aspect of one route window of the project. Even in the
March 2001 report referred to by the Association it was one of
several options. We had A; a variant of A: A1; B; a variant of
B: B1; and C.
4506. The main alternatives to Crossrail emerged
through a lengthy process, and it can be seen in this context
how minor the consideration of Option B was. First, the early
history of the Crossrail proposals you will find in IPA1, which
sets out how the Bill proposals were developed. It is also described
in detail in the alternatives chapter, in the ES, Chapter 6. The
process included the London East-West Study (LEWS) in 2000 which
considered several strategic options, and from 2001 the CLRL began
the process of refining the options which are summarised in IPA1.
That process, of course, include the March 2001 report. It was
an earlier report looking at the various options for one of the
route windows. This led eventually, in September 2003, to Crossrail
producing its benchmark scheme in its business case. That benchmark
scheme was then the subject of detailed examination by Mr Adrian
Montague, who was appointed by the Secretary of State to examine
the business case for Crossrail. Mr Montague, in his report which
he delivered in July 2004, looked in considerable length at the
various alternatives to Crossrail. He looked at the cost-benefit
of the various options that were available and to advise the Secretary
of State as to what the best approach should be. He did that by
reference to the benchmark case and to alternatives across the
route. It is fair to say, looking at the Montague Report, that
it never goes down to the sort of detail that is looking at one
small option for one route window. They are major options looking
across the site. As we say, of course, "main alternatives"
are main alternatives to Crossrail not to one part of one route
4507. CHAIRMAN: Yesterday you presented
it in three packages.
4508. MR ELVIN: And Montague did the
4509. CHAIRMAN: Very well. But it is
not three packages; it is one scheme.
4510. MR ELVIN: It was divided into three
simply to make it easier.
4511. CHAIRMAN: It is unhandleable, otherwise.
4512. MR ELVIN: It is very possible to
put all these alternatives on to one plan but it becomes less
easy to read.
4513. CHAIRMAN: It would go on to the
end of the room.
4514. MR ELVIN: Quite. Montague made
various recommendations, which I am sure you are familiar with,
and on 20 July 2004, following the Montague report, the Secretary
of State announced in Parliament, government support for Crossrail
and that he would be introducing the Hybrid Bill and that he was
asking CLRL to develop the route proposals in the light of the
4515. CLRL then refined the Montague recommendations
to produce the Bill schemewhich of course has been subject
to some amendment as it has proceeded, but that is how the Bill
scheme came into being.
4516. The main alternatives then and the way
this process came forward are set out not only in IPA1 but also
in Chapter 6. In paragraph 32 of my response you will see that
Option B was eliminated in March 2001, two-and-a-half years before
the benchmark scheme had been produced by CLRL. It was eliminated
at a very early stage. It was eliminated three-and-a-quarter years
before the Montague report was published considering the main
alternatives so far as cost-benefit analysis was concerned. It
therefore was rejected nearly four years before the Bill was introduced
at a very early stage. We simply say that in that context there
is no credible case for suggesting that you could regard Option
B as a main alternative. You can see what a minor part of the
process it formed in that context.
4517. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I
understand that it was not considered as a main alternative but,
because it surfaced so many times, we have seen a study which
shows why it was eliminated at an early stage. Could you remind
me why it was eliminated.
4518. MR HORTON: With great respect,
my Lord is wrong. There is no study. That is quite wrong. There
is a line or two explaining why it was rejected.
4519. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I
withdraw the word "study". We saw a plan.
4 Crossrail Ref: P26, What is the obligation under
the EIAD with regard to the alternatives? (c) Was Option B a main
alternative (SCN-20080313-006 to -007) Back