Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4580 - 4599)

  4580. MR HORTON: Yes, it is, new in this sense: the Promoters say they made a judgment early on that B did not have sufficient prima facie attraction to warrant even being ranked as a main alternative, and that is why it was never taken forward and never considered in the ES, so in that sense I am saying it is new, but of course we know that the Promoters identified it as a possibility but dismissed it out of hand.

  4581. CHAIRMAN: I do not think they dismissed it out of hand. They dismissed it for reasons.

  4582. MR HORTON: They did give reasons, reasons which, as your Lordship knows from judicial experience and experience in the past, sometimes are not intelligible, proper or adequate, to use the language of Mr Justice Megaw in the Poyser v Mills arbitration.

  4583. CHAIRMAN: I think that is a fairly robust statement.

  4584. MR HORTON: It is.

  4585. CHAIRMAN: I thought there were very substantial reasons given by the Promoters.

  4586. MR HORTON: With great respect, that it went through a couple of sites which had had a planning application and the applications had been withdrawn?

  4587. BARONESS FOOKES: That is not my understanding. I thought there was considerably more to it than that, which has been explained to us.

  4588. MR HORTON: With great respect, my Lady, I am not aware of what else has been explained to you and I would be grateful for assistance if I have misunderstood. We can look at the 2001 report to see it. Would it help if I were to re-read it? "Alignment B and C would pass below known piled buildings in the proposed developments just east of Bishopsgate. A planning application has recently been submitted but subsequently withdrawn for a site including Stone House and Staple Hall. This site is directly over the westbound tunnel of alignment B", and that is an end of the matter because it then goes on to consider alignment C in the context of the Heron Tower. We have an email, which has been referred to before, I think, and I can ask for it to be put up on the screen, from Mr Mantey at Crossrail.[7] These are exhibits prepared by my instructing solicitor, Pat Jones.

  4589. CHAIRMAN: I have seen the name Tom Mantey but I have forgotten who it is.

  4590. MR HORTON: You will see under the heading "Alignment Report", "Maps of tunnel alignments B and C were not—"

  4591. CHAIRMAN: Who is Mr Mantey?

  4592. MR ELVIN: He was the local petitioner negotiating for this area at the time.

  4593. MR HORTON: "Maps of tunnel alignments B and C were not prepared", so not even a map prepared to examine these alternatives. For some reason they were dismissed—I am sorry, my Lord, but the duty of advocacy sometimes is to be brave—on the face of it out of hand for reasons that make no sense.

  4594. CHAIRMAN: And you now say that we ought to reinstate a full-blown consideration of an alternative which includes route B and recommend that the House should treat it as a main alternative?

  4595. MR HORTON: Yes, my Lord.

  4596. CHAIRMAN: Despite the fact that this has never been raised either in the House of Commons or so far here?

  4597. MR HORTON: May I say that that consultation which Mr Elvin has referred to from time to time—I do not say this critically but purely factually—has not been everything that might have been desired and certainly neither the Spitalfields Small Business Association nor the present Petitioner, the Spitalfields Society, knew that this alternative had been given any consideration—

  4598. CHAIRMAN: Have you not read the papers.

  4599. MR HORTON: With respect, may I just finish?— until these reports were released shortly before the second hearing in the Commons relating to AP3. That is the first that the public, particularly the public concerned about the precious area of Spitalfields, was ever told about it, I am instructed.

7   Committee Ref: A27, Correspondence from CLRL to Woodseer and Hanbury Residents Association, Crossrail questions, 29 January 2007 (SCN-20080313-009) Back

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