Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10500
10500. MR DINGEMANS: May I start off
by thanking you on behalf of the Tenants' Association for sitting
in the morning for them. As you know, they work overnight so the
witnesses, when they have given their short evidence, will, if
that is alright with you, disappear so they can get ready and
10501. I am very grateful for my learned friend's
introduction and I hope you will have seen from my note all the
concessions that they have made to the market tenants. We do respectfully
submit, though, that there is an important and missing element
from the provision and safeguards that, we submit, ought properly
to be given to these tenants, and it is simply this.
10502. As my learned friend has identified,
under the existing statutory arrangements if you have, for example,
escape of dustand you will have read enough and been told
enough to know that the market operations are acutely sensitive
to dust, effectively there are over a thousand inspections a year,
so running at over three a daythe moment you trigger dust
levels, perfectly understandably for health and safety reasons
and food safety reasons the market is closed and the meat condemned.
10503. Now, there will be escape of dust, notwithstanding
all the promises that have been made on behalf of the Promoter.
For example, if you look at clause 7 on the document in front
of you, you can see in relation to dust that the undertaker will
put in place Tier 3 mitigationand that is, as you know,
the highest that you can provideat the Lindsey Street worksite,
the East Basement worksite and the Fox and Knot worksite, and
"such Tier 3 Mitigation will include as a minimum all the
measures specified in Tier 1 and Tier 2 and ... will include the
provisions set out in this clause 7".
10504. And then, if one goes through, one can
see that various promises are made in clause 7 but what there
is not provided and could not be provided is any guarantee that
dust will not escape from the building works.
10505. The real point, for example, in relation
to dust, and there are other elements -for example, losing the
ability to have traffic pass freely around the market at all timesis
this: whether it should be the individual market tenants who should
bear that loss when we all know it is going to happenand
this is not a case, where it is in other compensation provisions,
where sometimes someone may be affected by works or may notor
whether we should be left to the devices of the compensation provisions
under the existing laws.
10506. I have in my noteand I am sorry
it was slightly dull and legal in that sense but one needs to
understand a bit of the statutory basis on which this undertaking
is supposed to be grantedset out some of the current judicial
criticisms of the 1965 Act as amended, and we do ask your Lordships
to consider carefully whether it is fair for these traders to
have imposed upon that unsatisfactory compensation scheme an undertaking
the effect of which, if one is being reasonable about it, you
can readily identify lawyers will disagree with.
10507. The great thing about the 1965 Act is
there are many cases that come to the Judicial Committee of the
House of Lords, great work for lawyers but not necessarily for
the poor people that have to fund it, and what we ask for on behalf
of market tenants is clarity, a simplified provision providing
for proper compensation; extending the law as it is recognised
it ought to be extended to cover those situations which are outside
economic loss and damage which is covered, where there would be
no claims such as escaped dust when there has been no failure
of the scheme.
10508. That is the short residual issue before
10509. Can I just ask, did the note on behalf
of the Smithfield Market Tenants' Association find its way to
10510. CHAIRMAN: Yes, we have it. We
have not had time to read it.
10511. MR DINGEMANS: I need not apologise
for it being boring then! What I will do is perhaps give an outline
of that now and then take you to the witnesses, who will be very
short; it is simply so that you can understand their concerns
as expressed by them, and then take you back, if I may, through
10512. Can I just introduce the note?
10513. Paragraph 1 is, I think, just introductory.
10514. The issue at paragraph 2, as my learned
friend has identified, is whether the nominated undertaker should
be directed to pay compensation to the market tenants for loss
and damage caused by execution of the works, and there is a bundle
10515. Just by way of introduction to the market
tenants, there are 35 members, they trade at Smithfield Market,
and at paragraph 5 there is a bit of history in relation to Smithfield
Market. I did not have to do any of that research because if you
turn over the page you can see that all comes from the judgment
of, as he was then, Mr Justice Hoffmann in Crown Estates Commissioners
v The City of London.
10516. More relevantly at paragraphs 6 and 7
is the continued current economic relevance of Smithfield. It
was extensively refurbished to provide for the six docking stations
that I think my learned friend referred to, use of which is mandatory
for certain deliveries. There is business at the market in both
boxed meat and carcassed meat. The boxed is, as you would expect,
in a box; the carcass is effectively exposed to the elements and,
therefore, more susceptible to problems.
10517. The traders, and this is important because
this is one of the reasons why the existing law is inadequate,
occupy premises pursuant to leases granted by the Corporation
of London, and they are ten year leases and are protected under
the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, but what that means is the value
of their land is very small, they have effectively residual benefits
to renew leases, so the existing compensation scheme, which is
aimed specifically at the value of land, simply would not help
them at all. They get nothing at all.
10518. Now, that has been partly addressed by
the undertaking which we will come to, but whether it is fully
addressed will be for your Lordships to decide.
10519. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Is
the business growing or contracting?
11 Committee Ref: P73, Draft Deed between the Nominated
Undertaker and individual Smithfield Market Traders-Farringdon
Station Eastern Ticket Hall-Dust (LONDLB-23-04-039) Back