Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 11000 - 11019)

  11000. CHAIRMAN: I think the Lands Tribunal is used to it.

  11001. MR DINGEMANS: Not to this bolt-on. That is the point. My Lord Chairman, I entirely accept the first point. I said if we were simply on the 1965 Act we could argue against it, but we won that argument in the House of Commons, for what it is worth, but, most importantly, for today's purposes my learned friend's side accepted that; they accepted that as it was insufficient. What they have done is then modified an inadequate statute in a way that is unprecedented. No one will be able to tell you exactly what that wording means because there are no precedents to help you work it out.

  11002. CHAIRMAN: Have you got a text for an undertaking which does not fall into all these difficulties?

  11003. MR DINGEMANS: Yes, my Lord. If one goes to paragraph 28 of the Petition, and if you look at page 16 of the document in the middle of paragraph 28 there should be a clause.

  11004. CHAIRMAN: This is the statutory clause.

  11005. MR DINGEMANS: Yes. The great thing about it is that it can be modified in the way I suggest.

  11006. CHAIRMAN: This is what I am asking. What is the modification?

  11007. MR DINGEMANS: I am just about to dictate it, my Lords. It is only two changes. If one looks at it, instead of "The Promoter", because of the way it would now be put into the deed it would be "The nominated undertaker", so you just delete "Promoter" and put in "nominated undertaker", and then: "shall pay to any tenant or trader", you delete the words "or trader" because the deed is "defined tenant".

  11008. CHAIRMAN: I am having problems with this. I have got what I thought was the Petition we were considering.

  11009. MR DINGEMANS: I think your Lordships have a different Petition. My Lords, for reasons I am not entirely sure about, you have got a clause which was, I think, drafted specifically for the Act itself. Can I give you the wording that I have—

  11010. BARONESS FOOKES: Can you read out what you want?

  11011. MR DINGEMANS: Yes, if that is all right.

  11012. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: At the moment, the screens, like our minds, have gone blank!

  11013. MR DINGEMANS: That is because I was looking at your Petition. Can I read it out and then one can see. This would actually work within a deed more appropriately. "The nominated undertaker shall pay to any tenant in the Smithfield Meat Market full compensation for all loss and damage including but not limited to loss of meat or marketable commodities and loss of business income which he sustains by reason of the construction of the scheduled and connected works."

  11014. CHAIRMAN: It sounds to me like an indemnity.

  11015. MR DINGEMANS: It is, effectively, the equivalent clause. Your Lordship is right; it is effectively adapted from the Midland Mainline provision, but with specific points. What it means is if you have suffered loss because of the works you will be compensated for it.

  11016. CHAIRMAN: You are going to have an awful lot of friends amongst the other Petitioners if you succeed in getting that indemnity.

  11017. MR DINGEMANS: If the other Petitioners were in our situation. My learned friend is very skilful with his "floodgates"—"dreadful, everyone else will want it; you will have to change all the statutory schemes; they are not unique at all, like a sandwich shop". Can I deal with each of those points head on and confront them?

  11018. CHAIRMAN: Yes.

  11019. MR DINGEMANS: First of all, in the House of Commons exactly that point was made: "Everyone else will want exactly the same thing. We cannot give them even this. We cannot even extend or modify undertaking 234". Well, did that work in the House of Commons? No. Was it right not to work in the House of Commons? Of course it was right that it failed because we are in a completely different situation from everyone else. Everyone else has been through this process once; no one else got a similar recommendation. So I entirely accept, my Lord, the Lord Chairman's point: "Is this the beginning of the floodgates?" Answer: no, because everyone has been through the process before and it is only us that have withstood the proper analysis of our claim.

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