AQUIND Interconnector

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

AQUIND Interconnector

Received 19 February 2020
From Dentons UK and Middle East LLP on behalf of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Representation

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited ("Network Rail") is a statutory undertaker and owns, operates and maintains the majority of the rail infrastructure of Great Britain. The Book of Reference identifies Network Rail as the freehold owner of plot 7-11, described as 4018 square metres Railway (Hilsea and Bedhampton) and woodland (Eastern Road, Portsmouth). The proposed onshore (underground) cable route will, if authorised, cross under Network Rail’s operational infrastructure in this location. Network Rail is carrying out a review exercise to confirm if it has any other interests (including historic rights) which may be affected by the proposals. The draft Order seeks powers to compulsorily acquire 'New Connection Works Rights' over Plot 7-11. Those rights are wide ranging, and include the removal of structures and items on the land. Plot 7-11 constitutes land acquired by Network Rail for the purpose of its statutory undertaking and is used for that purpose. If exercised the powers sought would seriously compromise Network Rail's ability to carry out its statutory undertaking. Accordingly Network Rail objects to the inclusion of Plot 7-11 in the draft Order and to the grant of compulsory acquisition powers in respect of this land. Network Rail also objects to all other compulsory powers in the draft Order to the extent that they affect, and may be exercised in relation to, Network Rail's property and interests. In considering this representation the Secretary of State should have regard to section 127 and 138 Planning Act 2008. Network Rail considers that the Secretary of State, in applying section 127 of the Planning Act 2008, cannot conclude that the New Connection Works Rights can be purchased without serious detriment to the carrying on of Network Rail's undertaking, nor can any detriment to the carrying on of the undertaking, in consequence of the acquisition, be made good by the use of other land belonging to or available for acquisition by Network Rail. In order for Network Rail to be in a position to withdraw its objection Network Rail requires: 1. Amendments to the form of protective provisions Network Rail welcomes the inclusion of the protective provisions in its favour in the draft Order. However, the protective provisions included in the draft Order need to be updated to: (a) Reflect modernised language that has been introduced by Network Rail since the earlier draft was shared with the applicant. These amendments include the use of gender neutral pronouns. (b) Incorporate all necessary cross-references (particularly in paragraph 4). Network Rail is in contact with the applicant's solicitors and will be sharing that revised form of wording with them and, if necessary, can update the position through their written representations. 2. Agreements to regulate the interface between the development and Network Rail assets. In particular Network Rail requires: (a) A commitment from the applicant that the requested form of protective provisions will be promoted as part of the draft Order, and adhered to when exercising powers under the Order. (b) Appropriate asset protection agreements and property agreements be put in place to govern the carrying out of works in the vicinity of the operational railway network to safeguard Network Rail's statutory undertaking. (c) Any commitments to be binding on any person to whom the benefit of the provisions of the Order, if made, are transferred Network Rail requests that the Examining Authority treat Network Rail as an Interested Party for the purposes of the Examination.