Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7320
7320. MR CAMERON: Yes, it puts in place
a mechanism. If a Transport and Works Act Order is brought forward,
a specific mechanism which is precisely the same as that which
was proposed for Stratford station is in place and what it means
is that the hybrid-type procedure can be followed when it would
not otherwise be followed, my Lord.
7321. CHAIRMAN: I think that is a matter
for legal submission.
7322. MR CAMERON: Mr Berryman, I am going
to give you the last opportunity to identify any disadvantage
to Cross London Rail Links from introducing this provision.
I do not see that, purely from Cross London Rail Links' perspective,
there is any advantage or disadvantage through introducing this
provision. I think, as I said a moment ago, it is a matter best
dealt with by legal submission.
7323. MR CAMERON: Can I just have one
moment. I think those are all the questions I have for you but
I want to check. Thank you very much.
Re-examined by MS
7324. MS LIEVEN: There is one point I
wanted to clarify, Mr Berryman, so that the Committee are completely
clear on this. Does the fact that a scheme is safeguarded mean
that a decision has been made to build it is a good use of public
No, I would not put it as strongly as that, but it does mean,
as I think Mr Cameron said, that there are potential public benefits
which have to be weighed against the blighting impacts of a safeguarding
direction. Sometimes those benefits which arise from a thing which
is safeguarded can be a very long way in the future, but I think
if government felt there was no case ever likely to arise for
building something they would not be prepared to make a safeguarding
direction. In fact, I would go a bit further and say they would
need to be convinced that there was a probability or possibility
at least that some public benefit would accrue.
7325. MS LIEVEN: Thank you.
7326. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: How
rigorous is the sort of cost:benefit analysis then, at that stage?
You say they would not do it unless they felt there was some possibility
of public benefit accruing.
7327. They would weigh against it the possible
effect of blight. Would they also take into account any alternative
(Mr Berryman) I think they may do. It
rather depends on the circumstances. I think the best way of looking
at that is that a review of alternatives would be made before
a decision was even taken to go to the next stage, which is to
do safeguarding. Safeguarding is quite a preliminary stage in
a project. The works in the Bill which we are talking about now,
most of them were safeguarded in 1992. So there is potentially
quite a long time between a safeguarding direction being made
and the works actually being authorised. A safeguarding direction
would not be made if the Secretary of State felt there was no
hope of anything ever coming of it. Is that making sense?
7328. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I
think it does. There has to be a probability that it would take
There has to be a reasonable expectation that there would be some
benefit from doing it. Having said that, there are many examples
of safeguarding, even property acquisition, which have taken place
for schemes which have subsequently been cancelled. Perhaps one
that your Lordships might be familiar with in the recent past
is the widening of the North Circular Road in London, where large
swathes of property were safeguarded and then a decision was made
subsequently not to proceed with the scheme. That can and does
happen all the time. I do not think the safeguarding would be
made in the first instance unless the Secretary of State at the
time felt there was a reasonable prospect that the scheme would
be brought forward in due course.
7329. Do you take the view that it is worth
(Mr Berryman) In this case?
(Mr Berryman) I do. I am, obviously, influenced by my experience
on this and other projects. If the line for Crossrail had not
been safeguarded in 1992 it is very, very, very unlikely that
this proposal could have been brought forward because buildings
with piled foundations would have been built on the safeguarded
route. Getting railway tunnels through London now is a bit like
threading a needle; I do not think we would have been able to
do it very easily if that safeguarding direction had not been
made in 1992.
7331. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Thank
7332. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much,
The witness withdrew
7333. CHAIRMAN: Ms Lieven, perhaps you
would deal with the legal points about Option 1.
7334. MS LIEVEN: Certainly, my Lords.
That is what I was going to start with. In my submission, Option
1 should be seen as having two parts: the first part is that you
are being asked to recommend to the Secretary of State that she
establish powers under the TWA to bring the extension of Ebbsfleet
forward without delay and to amend the Bill as follows.
7335. In my submission, if the Committee made
that recommendation and the Secretary of State accepted it, then
there would be something close to an obligation on the Secretary
of State to bring such an Order forward without delay. That is
not to say that the Secretary of State could not resist doing
so, and one gets into difficult areas of public law as to the
circumstances in which she could not do so, but by the Committee
making that recommendation and the Secretary of State having accepted
that recommendation through this process there does come a very
strong onus, if I can put it like that, on the Secretary of State
to bring forward the Order.
7336. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: The
7337. MS LIEVEN: No, my Lord, this is
to bring forward the actual TWA Order to take it to Ebbsfleet.
In my submission, in opening Mr Cameron was rather playing down
what he was asking this Committee to do, because that recommendation
is a strong thing and although it does not legally oblige the
Secretary of State to bring forward a TWA it doesif the
Secretary of State accepts itput a very strong onus on
her to do so.
7338. The second part, looking at it in this
way, is the proposal for the amendment of clause 57, which effectively
deems the proposal to be of national significance. That does not
oblige, that part, the Secretary of State to bring forward the
Order, but it does mean that the scheme is accepted to be of national
significance. Again, that puts an onus or an added weight to what
would then be this TWA, which would clearly be used by the London
Borough of Bexley and others who were in favour of the extension,
to seek to push that Order further up any queue or any priority
list for funding.
7339. So, my Lords, the way my learned friend
is putting this Option is that it is really a fairly meaningless
thing and there would be no harm to anybody and it would just
be a nice kind of "icing on a cake". In my submission,
it is more than that because of those two limbs. I will come to
the merits or demerits in a moment, but in my submission there
is absolutely nothing that the Committee has heard today that
would justify a finding that going from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet
was of national significanceabsolutely nothing that would
support that case. My learned friend has cited the example of
the Stratford station on CTRLa wholly different case on
its merits, because we are talking about an international railway
there and a major new interchange that was to serve a very wide
area. Here we are talking about a relatively limited extension
which we quite accept has benefits to some of the people of south-east
London, but in my submission to suggest that it is of national
significance is really to stretch a point beyond its natural breaking