Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4560 - 4579)

  4560. MR HORTON: Yes.

  4561. CHAIRMAN: Now, apply that to this case.

  4562. MR HORTON: In this case yesterday your Lordship, I think, was saying this Committee is the planning authority.

  4563. CHAIRMAN: Well, sort of.

  4564. MR HORTON: I suppose technically you are a committee of the planning authority, if we can try to continue the analogy, and it is for that reason that I submit that at this stage you are entitled to consider whether something which a non-statutory consultee has brought before you—your Lordship only referred to statutory consultees but I am sure you accept that non-statutory ones as well may bring something to the attention of the planning authority—is of such manifest prima facie merit that it should have been properly examined in the EIA. That is all I am saying.

  4565. CHAIRMAN: Yes, and therefore we could decide whether it is something that we ought to ask the House to look at again.

  4566. MR HORTON: Yes.

  4567. CHAIRMAN: That is what I think I said yesterday.

  4568. MR HORTON: I thought you did, yes.

  4569. CHAIRMAN: But you keep on saying "objectivity" and I want to know where it lies.

  4570. MR HORTON: I only say "objectivity" to get round what is at the essence of Mr Elvin's argument, simply that he has told you on behalf of the Promoters that the Promoters decided, for reasons of their own, that it was not worth considering as a main alternative and that should be the end of the matter.

  4571. CHAIRMAN: No, I do not think anything of the kind has been suggested. The only people who can look at the alternatives in the first place are the Promoters.

  4572. MR HORTON: Certainly.

  4573. CHAIRMAN: They have to present this under the EIA to the decision-making authority, have they not?

  4574. MR HORTON: Yes.

  4575. CHAIRMAN: And it is not until that stage that anybody can apply an objective test. Is that not right?

  4576. MR HORTON: Yes.

  4577. CHAIRMAN: And if that authority which is going to apply the objective test is us by way of making a recommendation to the House, it is for us to be satisfied that the main alternatives have been examined.

  4578. MR HORTON: That the alternatives which should have been considered as main alternatives have been examined.

  4579. CHAIRMAN: I am not so sure about that—the main alternatives which have been put forward in the process leading up to the situation where the decision has to be taken. You are trying to introduce new main alternatives. Is that right?

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