Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4520
4520. MR ELVIN: There was a report. The
report of March 2001 rejected it. There were two difficulties.
One, was the incidence of the route with deep pile foundations
of buildings along the alignment and proposed new buildings (which
now include the Heron Tower and a new building which is currently
subject to an application under the safeguarding principles) and,
also, because it gave rise to difficulties with connecting into
Whitechapel Station. Whether you regard that as a study or not,
it was a report.
4521. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: It
was a report, yes.
4522. I have set out in paragraphs 33 and 34
of my response that the Environmental Statement on alternatives
then structures the consideration of alternatives in a way which
fits in with the history of Crossrail. You can see that from section
6.1 Section 6.2 is an overview of how Crossrail developed as a
concept and the main alternatives that have been considered. Section
6.3 is an outline of the alternatives Crossrail routes that were
considered. Section 6.4 is an overview of the route-wide stabling
and depot options and section 6.5 is an outline for reasons for
the selection of the electrification system. That is what the
chapter on alternatives deals with.
4523. Section 6.3 deals with the alternative
routes in the way I have set out. It deals with three categories
of alternatives: whole-route alternatives; central London route
alternatives; and the eastern and western corridor alternatives.
It divides it up as I discussed shortly with Lord Colville. We
say that is ample compliance with a requirement to give an outline
of the main alternatives which were studied by the Promoters.
4524. In any eventI set this out in paragraph
36, and this is more than icing on the cakein response
to a request we did set out further consideration of the southern
alignments in SES3I fully accept this was not a specific
consideration of Option B but a general consideration of southern
alignmentsand it was explained why they were unsatisfactoryagain,
because of the alignment and the foundation problems. To the extent
that one ever needed to consider the question of southern alignments
as a general issue and why they were rejected, it is already in
the Environmental Statement, so we did not need to go that far,
but, to be helpful to your colleagues in the House of Commons,
we added in a section in SES3.
4525. My Lords, there is no duty to consider
alternatives. There is no objective test; it is a pure question
of; have we given an outline of the main alternatives which were
in fact studied? Yes, we have done that and, for better or for
worse, we have also given a general account of why southern alignments
were rejected. There is no case to be made, we submit, on behalf
of the Petitioners to suggest otherwise.
4526. CHAIRMAN: Mr Horton, on the European
Directive point, what is your answer?
4527. MR HORTON: My answer, my Lord Chairman,
is that this is not the broadside directed at the ship on which
I am sailing, so it is of no use to me.
4528. CHAIRMAN: It is what?
4529. MR HORTON: This is not the broadside
directed at the ship in which I am sailing and so it is of no
use to me. It is directed at some argument that I have not presented.
4530. CHAIRMAN: Then I do not think we
understand in which ship it is that you are sailing.
4531. MR HORTON: My Lord Chairman, that
is my fault of course, my failure as an advocate. Yesterday, with
great respect, your Lordship did appear to understand it. It is
a very simple point.
4532. CHAIRMAN: I thought we did. But
evidently we do not.
4533. MR HORTON: The transcript makes
clear what we had all understood on behalf of the Petitioners
yesterdayand, indeed, the Petition this morning is from
that positionbut something has gone wrong overnight and
I know not what. The position is this: I make a very simple point,
that it is not for the Promotersin principle of any scheme
and certainly not a scheme as important as thisto be the
sole judge of what should be examined as a main alternative because
that is a recipe for abuse. It is an objective test. Mr Elvin
does not deal with that. The authorities on which he relies do
not deal with it. Because, as far as I am aware, the point has
never been taken before. It is an entirely new and very important
4534. Perhaps I can address myself briefly to
certain specific parts of my learned friend's written submission.
At page 3 he refers to "Was the issue of the southern alignments
raised as part of the EIA process?" Of course it is right
to say that consideration was given at an early stageas
you know from the 2001 report I showed you yesterdayto
southern alignments. In particular, you will remember that on
the map I showed you there was a B and a C. B was not rejected
because of Heron Tower; C was. B does not affect Heron Tower.
In case your Lordships are in any doubt about that: as a matter
of fact, Heron Towerand we have photographs we can show
you this morningis not in the way of route B. Objectively,
therefore, all you have as the reason for having refusedas
is conceded by the Promoterto consider route B as a main
alternative is that at the time it was rejected there had been
planning applications on Staple Hall and another property which
have subsequently been withdrawn and, therefore, it cannot possibly
be judged at today's date, as your Lordship indicated to meand
I agree it was the only sensible approachit cannot possibly
be a basis for rejecting considering it as a main alternative.
Mr Elvin's approach is simply rendered down to say in response
to mealthough he does not say it in terms, bizarrelythat
it is not an objective test, it is a matter in the sole discretion
of the Promoters.
4535. CHAIRMAN: I do not think he is
saying anything of the kind. Anyway, that is not what we are saying.
I do not understand your objectivity point. Presumably it is for
the Promoters rather than the EIA Directive to choose some alternatives.
Is it not?
4536. MR HORTON: Strictly speaking, it
is for the Promoters to consider in the first alternative whether
there are any alternatives that the Promoters wish to considerto
put it at its lowest, certainly.
4537. CHAIRMAN: Whoever is the decision-making
body could not possibly carry out that function at that stage.
4538. MR HORTON: Correct.
4539. CHAIRMAN: It would have to be the
5 Crossrail Ref: P26, What is the obligation under
the EIAD with regard to the alternatives? (d) SES3 (SCN-20080313-008) Back
Crossrail Ref: P26, Was the issue of the southern alignments
raised as part of the EIA process? (SCN-20080313-001) Back