Clause 4

Crossrail Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:15 am ar 22 Tachwedd 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Overhead lines

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

The clause deals with the Electricity Act 1989, which established the regime under which the consents for overhead lines are granted, and disapplies that regime within the deviation limits on other land on which it is intended to build Crossrail. It establishes schedule 4, which details the new consents regime, and  then makes provision for the expiry of the disapplication and the application of the consents regime in the 1989 Act.

There are a number of public safety and other concerns when dealing with electricity. The consents regime was put in place so that specialists would deal with the national electricity grid and its distribution. Will the Minister tell us why he feels, therefore, that it is necessary to disapply the normal consents regime in that highly specialised area? Why is that necessary given that many other construction projects are built complying with the 1989 Act consents regime? Why is Crossrail different? Why are these powers necessary? I look forward to him reassuring us that the powers are necessary.

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I am always happy to try to offer reassurance to the hon. Gentleman. However, I note that he has not tabled any amendments to clause 4.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I did table an amendment, but it was not selected.

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for that mistake.

As the hon. Gentleman said, the clause disapplies the provisions in section 37(1) of the 1989 Act in relation to overhead electric lines installed within the deviation limits, in exercise of powers conferred by the Bill or pursuant to any of the protective provisions in schedule 16. Furthermore, it introduces schedule 4, which makes alternative provision for consent of such lines, and enables the relevant Secretaries of State to grant deemed planning permission alongside that consent, with or without conditions. The construction of Crossrail will require a number of diversions of overhead electric lines, including the two specified in the table in paragraph 3 of schedule 2. Clause 4 and schedule 4 will provide a more tailored, detailed consent regime for the approval of works under the Bill. I had hoped that those provisions would be uncontroversial; they, too, are precedented in the 1996 Act.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 4 agreed to.

Clause 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.