Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12500
12500. CHAIRMAN: We cannot do that. It
has been given a Second Reading.
I would be recommending to Parliament, if I were allowed to, to
reject the Bill altogether. I hope that is fair. If it is possible
for Parliament to think again, I would wish it to think again
for good reasons and I hope to demonstrate those good reasons
respectfully. I would like to return to the item that I started
with, which is the picture of the building because I think everything
depends locally on this and I stress locally. I have already explained
the size and nature of the tunnels. If you look at the page which
is headed 632, which is the third or fourth page of this thing,
the one which shows the entrances going across the basement yard
12501. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: It
is the one with the pram in the photograph, is it?
Yes. Thank you. The outer walls of the building originally are
approximately where you see the retaining wall on the right-hand
side of the upper right picture. They have taken away part of
the building, which is the basements and there are vaults under
the pavement as well now. So people like Mr Payne who have a basement
or what an estate agent would call a lower ground flat have that
walkway or yard or whatever you want to call it between themselves
and the road. That used to be part of the building. Taking away
that part of the structure weakens the structure in some ways.
Equally, what else have they done? They have taken Georgian houses
which are vertically divided properly, which carried a certain
amount of loading on their floors and that were built as townhouses
for people of wealth in 1830. They were converted into a very
large number of flats, they were a bilateral conversion, according
to this 1953 article and I stress that because it is important,
it is nearly 60 years ago. Since that time the weight of stuff
in buildings has virtually doubled because of modern kitchens,
bathrooms and fitted furniture. Instead of having the servants
with next to nothing on the top floors and down in the basement
or wherever it was, what you have is very intensively used buildings
such as we all might live in if we can afford them and so on and
so forth and they are very, very heavily loaded, much more heavily
loaded than they might have expected in 1953 when they converted
it very, very well for the Church Commissioners for what I believe
was then some of their social housing originally. You have got
vertical houses with flats, some of which cut across. You have
got basements taken away. We should not be looking at a little
black bit in the middle of the plan, we should be looking at everything
to do with the entire block right up to the curtilage because
that is what is constituting the Grade II listed building, not
Mr Payne's flat nor just the block that they choose to show on
their minimizing drawing of the black core part. If you take away
structures right at the front and put staircases across, that
meansand you are on Georgian footingsit is much
more vulnerable from anything pushing from underneath than it
would have been if it had been left alone in the first place.
It is simple, basic surveying stuff is what I am saying. I am
not a structural engineer but I have done enough building surveys
in my time to know that this matters. I have also encountered
on the Jubilee Line very serious settlement cracks which Crossrail
choose to dismiss. I had a very serious case referred to me which
never got finished in the courts, but I have a pile of papers
this high where property was damaged on the Jubilee Line and the
livelihood of those in there was ruined and it was due to the
tunnel and it is a much smaller tunnel. The Jubilee Line tunnel
has a cross-section area of only 20 square metres and that is
without the compensation grouting around, which in their case
is about a three metre band. In this case we have a bore face
or cross-sectional area of 50 square metres and on everything
else it is similar. We have 12 coach-size trains going down these
tunnels, that is the same size as on the Thameslink Line. There
is only one station built which is similar to the stations that
will be on this route and that is the new St Pancras International
Station of the Thameslink Line where they built a concrete box
and then put the trains in afterwards. It was a much simpler engineering
exercise than this one by far. On the Jubilee Line there is nothing
comparable except for the fact that there is one shaft, but that
it is not a shaft, it is an emergency intervention point. I strongly
recommend that this Select Committee goes and has a look. It is
at Southwark, at a place called Warden's Grove and this is where
I dealt with this case that was referred to me to see whether
we could do anything more about the compensation.
12502. CHAIRMAN: Is this in Bermondsey?
Yes. It is the only example in London of an emergency intervention
point and it is on a smaller Tube line, as I have just explained.
It is far smaller, it is half the size in length straightaway
because you have got a seven or eight coach Tube train, you have
not got a 12 coach full-size train going there. What it is is
a permanently dimly lit island platform with two lines either
side and an entry shaft and all you can see on the outside in
an arch in Warden's Grove is that it is the London Fire and Emergency
Authority's access and it is private, there is a sign on there.
That is the only indication that it is there from the outside
because it is in a railway arch. That caused havoc to an adjoining
property that I personally dealt with and I had a series of files
on that. I am speaking directly from practical experience of a
very similar situation because I would direct your attention again
to that picture. You will see how the line of
12503. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Is
that a listed property?
No. It was a very ordinary industrial property used as a recording
studio which was ruined and a paltry amount of compensation was
paid because of the state of the law in this matter which I will
come to later. Now, if I can return, please, to the matters which
are on the drawings hereby the way, if I speak tersely,
my Lords, it is not tersely to you; it is tersely because of the
scheme. I hope that will be understood.
12504. Mr Winbourne, could we go through this
in the order that
(Mr Winbourne) I will try to do that but
I wanted to set the scene as to what I was talking about. On your
tab 10, JPA 10, I am not happy with the drawings that have been
put in, which is the next series of drawings, because when you
see a scale it is rare and it is very difficult to measure anything.
Crossrail have had 19 years to deal with this19 years to
deal with thisand they have not produced (and this is Mott
McDonald who I know can do better; they are eminent engineers
in the business and I am perfectly certain they can do better)
proper measured drawings scaled out correctly as they should.
These are not. My Lord Chairman, these would not pass muster in
an ordinary county court, in my opinion. Solicitors would ask
for further and better plans, and they would get them.
12505. CHAIRMAN: I dare say they would,
but so what?
(Mr Winbourne) So what? I think they are misleadingseriously
misleadingand I propose to show you why. They go to a conclusion
that there is "negligible" or "nothing", but
how do they get to their conclusion? If I look at the plan which
is the one headed "Section AA Details", that is that
one like that.
Perhaps we could have it up. I am pleased we have the coloured
version. First of all, I would make a point about the building
not just being the black bit but being the whole block going to
the entire curtilage. As you can see, if you look at the building
in the entire curtilage, both tunnels, as shown there, touch the
building in terms of vertical property ownership, if I can put
it that way, before we get on to structural touching. I have already
explained how the tunnels are minimised. In this case I have managed
to measure, because at least there is a scale on this sectional
plan, and according to that scale I find it showing the tunnel
as being about seven metres. That is all. In other words, it is
minimising the tunnel from the plan point of view. The tunnel
is, in any event, even minimised. Both tunnels are under the building,
which in my view does not stand a chance. Furthermore, there are
no scale drawings of the top. In the top section, as you can see,
Section AA Details, they say there is Made Ground and Terrace
Gravel, on the left-hand side. They do not say how much or what.
They have had ample time to do test-bores, and so forth, and I
know that TerraQuest have been all round doing that sort of thing
all over the place, with notifications to everybody in London.
So they must have done test-bores and yet we are not told what
the Made Ground Terrace Gravel is. It could be important here.
We talk about the integrity of the London Clay. Then, my Lord,
I can tell you that I have carefully made a little measurement
using a post-it note and a marker of their measurements on the
plan, and to my surprise I find that the bottom measurement, which
says 29 metres, turns out to be, give or take, the same length
as the one called 26.6 and the one called 26.9 vertically above.
There is no difference. This is purely a line drawing which is
indicative. Even the 20 metres. I would invite any personthis
is almost third-form stuff at schoolto check that themselves,
with respect to your Lordships, please. So I am saying that here
is a drawing which is unreliable, on which a conclusion is based.
If the drawing is unreliable the conclusion, therefore, must be
unreliable. I am simply saying, why on earth have Mott McDonaldwho
must know perfectly well what they are doingnot produced
a proper scaled drawing, scaled plan, every time, with a proper
scale on it?
12506. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Is
it not really not whether the scale is accurate but we are back
(Mr Winbourne) Yes, but I do not trust
12507. On what basis do you say that the metreage
from the basement of Stanhope Place down to the crown of the tunnel
is 14 metres?
(Mr Winbourne) Because, as I have explained,
the tunnel is not seven metres across, which is what those circles
show. Effectively, the structure is 18 metresit is much
12508. Have you asked the Promoters what their
precise figure is for the depth from the basement of the property
to the crown of the tunnel?
(Mr Winbourne) Yes, and no, my Lord. Can
I explain? I went all through this, I thought, reasonably well,
not perhaps as vehementlymore politelyin the House
of Commons Select Committee. Mr Mould was there then. Although
he interrupted a couple of times when I was giving evidence at
various points, as barristers sometimes do, he did not cross-examine
me. Therefore, as far as the Commons Select Committee is concerned,
if it is like an English court, my evidence-in-chief stood. I
am simply saying this evidence has been known, except that I am
going further today, my Lord.
12509. So the Commons accepted, then, it was
(Mr Winbourne) I was not cross-examined,
my Lord. It was my evidence-in-chief.
12510. MR MOULD: My Lord, if I may say
so, it may help the Committee to know that Mr Winbourne, in the
Commons, covered a very wide range of topics. It is fair to say
that the burden of his argument was to do with the availability
of preferable alternative routes. Whilst he touched on a number
of matters which are more local to Mr Payne's property, they were
very much subsidiary to the main thrust of his case. It is fair
to say that the Commons made no findings about factual matters
but made no recommendations in Mr Payne's favour in their Special
12511. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Mould.
(Mr Winbourne) Perhaps Mr Payne can deal
with this. This is for him, not for me.
12512. MR PAYNE: Absolutely. On the floating
slab track issue, to save time I will dispense with the definitionsI
am sure the Committee is well accustomed to the term "floating
slab track". Suffice it to say it is inexcusable to use anything
other than the best construction practice when designing the underground
sections of the railway. The buildings and people living above
are not protected by normal planning regulations. The human cost
effect of building the track support to a lesser specification
will be permanent, not temporary. There are two main issues here:
one, the design should be better than 35 decibels, and, two, my
building satisfies the criteria as per the 15-metre rule which
was brought in by the House of Commons.
12513. CHAIRMAN: Mr Payne, as you are
on your feet, and I have looked at your Petition again, it does
not make it very clear what it is you want us to do.
12514. MR PAYNE: I am trying to explain
that now, my Lord, if I may.
12515. CHAIRMAN: I think it would be
a good thing if you did, because perhaps we can concentrate on
12516. MR PAYNE: There is a thread going
through here concerning the floating slab track in the design
specifications. Can I proceed?
12517. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
12518. MR PAYNE: Can I deal with the
two issues here? The first issue is that the design should be
better than 35 decibels, and here I have a report from an eminent
person, and I do not see a great deal of difference between the
requirements for recording studios and my situation. I am from
a special building; I live and work on the lower ground floor
and I need my sleep. A recent report by the scientists, which
is on the screen now (it is exhibit JP1 in the folder) from Imperial
College London, and other European institutions, including a Dr
Lars Jarup, has found that volunteers' blood pressure increased
noticeably after they experienced a noise event and noise louder
than 35 decibels.
This effect could be seen even if the volunteer remained asleep
and so was not consciously disturbed.
12519. The Promoters are, therefore, building
something which is potentially dangerous to health. This is unnecessary,
particularly in the scope of things when the marginal monetary
costs of floating slab track, or better, over and above what they
are designing anyway, is punitive. Currently, floating slab track
will be utilised on a stop-start basis. Surely a cost-saving could
be made being continuous, therefore saving on joints. This is
a fraction of the cost already racked up by the Crossrail team,
including salaries. The technology is available; why do they not
use it? Am I correct in interpreting that? What Crossrail are
saying with their design standards is that it is unfortunate that
our health is possibly going to suffer due to their proposed scheme.
Are they so correct in their allowances for error? Do they include
for such things as inclines, bends and braking? There is no possibility
to carry out noise-mitigating measures after the Bill, as you
can do for motorways and airports, for example, by providing hedges,
fencing and double-glazing.
22 Committee Ref: A67, 25-28 Hyde Park Gardens (including
22 Stanhope Terrace), Section A-A Details (SCN-20080507-017 and
Committee Ref: A67, Aircraft noise raises blood pressure even
whilst people are sleeping, says study, Imperial College London,
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk, 13 February 2008 (SCN-20080507-019
to -021) Back