Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 5060 - 5079)

  5060. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: I think we are finding the difficulties that do arise on the issue of communications and participation and one of our problems here on our side has been trying to understand why at least one body which seemingly has been established following the Commons hearings, the liaison panel, is not communicating formally in the sense of sitting down and getting on with the business and dealing with some of these topics with Crossrail and the borough council. Would you participate in that?

  5061. DR PEDRETTI: I would participate in any attempt to make things better for the community as a whole. I would not participate in something which has, to the say the least, its difficulties. There are structural problems with that thing, terrible structural problems. I do not know how to put it. I tried to address those by writing to them, saying that I did not feel I could represent a community but I would like to participate. Even that statement was misrepresented on their list of people that they were, so if you cannot actually put things through and say there is a problem about the community and they will just assume that you are --- I can only speak for myself is the bottom line on that.

  5062. CHAIRMAN: Yes, you are very lucky to be able to do so because you are not a Petitioner. Which is your house?

  5063. DR PEDRETTI: Thank you. 25 Princelet Street.

  5064. CHAIRMAN: I do not know whether that was mentioned by Mr Wheeler.

  5065. DR PEDRETTI: It was mentioned as the only one that had an internal survey. If I may add to the whole survey thing my house is only one room deep. It is a double-fronted, one room deep house. Even though we had this supposed internal survey, the communications between Alan Baxter's survey and the Mott McDonald survey was such that they could not convey that my house is only one room deep. Therefore, I get a structural historic building survey which assumes this kind of a structure with a tunnel approximately here (Indicating). Sorry, this kind of a structure with a tunnel approximately here, when in my fact my house is only half of this book wide with the tunnel approximately here (Indicating). To me, all this effort that has gone into discussing highly detailed structural surveys has never meant anything whatsoever simply because the level of guesswork, at its best, or uninterestedness at its worst is such that --- I trained as an architect and my Petition was about the design process and about how in order to design something that will stand up and work we learned at architecture school, you look at this way, you look at this way, you find out the best possible solution. You reject five possible solutions before you come up with the sixth one. I find that this process—one more second—that I have had to look at for the last four years, it has wasted a great deal of my time, is designed to get railways through the houses before designing the railway. It is designed to get the Bill passed before they actually start making the railway work and that just does not make sense and a whole lot of the things like this inaccurate survey of my building or the fact that I have been addressed as living in a vacant property, although I am there, there are contradictions because they do not make sense.

  5066. CHAIRMAN: There are limits to how long somebody can go on who is not a Petitioner. We have got the details of 25 Princelet Street. It is in one of the papers that has been discussed. Mr Wheeler presented it.

  5067. DR PEDRETTI: It is very strange because I did not get those details.

  5068. CHAIRMAN: It says your house is one-room deep. Since then, there has been a great deal of explanation about what the process of investigating all the listed buildings—and indeed the other ones—is going to be, quite apart from what it has so far been. Also there was the opportunity, if anybody wanted to, to ask Professor Mair, who is a worldwide expert on settlement, what might be the effect on particular buildings. That was the opportunity to put points about a particular house.

  5069. DR PEDRETTI: I was not aware of that.

  5070. CHAIRMAN: You would not have been allowed to ask questions because you are not a Petitioner but Mr Wheeler could have done. We would have been very pleased if he had come and asked questions. But he did not.

  5071. DR PEDRETTI: He probably was not aware of it either.

  5072. CHAIRMAN: Oh, yes, he was. Yes, he was. There is nothing much more I can do about this. The message—

  5073. DR PEDRETTI: I am sorry, one-room deep may be in the Alan Baxter report.

  5074. CHAIRMAN: No, it is in his own document.

  5075. DR PEDRETTI: I was referring to the calculated, Mott MacDonald, supposed structural surveys of buildings.

  5076. CHAIRMAN: Yes, that is what it is.

  5077. DR PEDRETTI: The depth of my building is at least twice the depth of my actual building. They calculated something which is entirely not the same ground plan.

  5078. CHAIRMAN: They have not calculated anything. That is a process that can be done by the use of expert opinion when the structure has been looked at. That is what we were talking about with Professor Mair. That was the whole point about having him here, so that people could ask questions. There it is.

  5079. DR PEDRETTI: We are now into a difficulty to do with time, in terms of: Do we survey things to know that it is safe to put a line through there or do we survey things to fix them after they have been cracked? What are we doing?

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