Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Leeds Supertram proposals granted TWA powers
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Leeds Supertram proposals granted TWA powers
type Press release
The Secretary of State''s decision to make two Orders under the Transport and Works Act relating to West Yorkshire PTE and Leeds City Council''s planned Supertram light rail system was announced today by Keith Hill, Transport Minister.
The first Order will enable the PTE and the Council to acquire land necessary to implement the Supertram route planned from the City Centre to the south of Leeds authorised by the Leeds Supertram Act 1993. The other Order will give statutory powers for the construction and operation of proposed extensions from the City Centre to the north and east of Leeds. As the latter Order would authorise compulsory acquisition of open space land for which no land is being offered in exchange by the promoters, it will need to be subject to a Parliamentary procedure before it can be brought into force.
Commenting on the decision to make these Orders, Keith Hill said :
''After giving very careful consideration to these proposals, we are satisfied that it would be in the overall public interest for the statutory powers sought by the promoters of the Leeds Supertram system to be given. We have also decided to give the related planning permission and listed building and conservation area consents that were applied for.
''We believe that the high quality public transport system offered by the Leeds Supertram would have considerable public benefits in improving accessibility to the City Centre and by providing an attractive alternative to the use of the car. We see the Supertram as playing an important part in supporting the Government''s policy of promoting sustainable and integrated transport.
''However, granting powers to extend the Supertram to the north and east of Leeds would authorise compulsory acquisition of open space land for which the promoters have not provided any equivalent land in exchange. In our view, given the wider public interest of these proposals, we believe that such a loss is justifiable in this case. But the loss of any open space land in these circumstances has to be fully justified, and that is why the law in such cases requires the matter to be referred for consideration by Parliament before the powers can come into effect''.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Leeds Supertram Act 1993 authorised the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Leeds City Council to construct a light rail system between Leeds City Centre and proposed Park and Ride sites at Tingley in South Leeds and Stourton in South East Leeds via Hunslet and Middleton.
2. The powers of compulsory acquisition given by that Act expired on 26 July 1998. The PTE and the Council therefore applied to the Secretary of State in June 1998 for an Order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (''TWA'') to confer fresh powers of compulsory acquisition (''the Land Acquisition Order''). They also sought powers to construct and maintain two new works, being realignments of Chadwick Street and Waterloo Street in the City of Leeds, in connection with the works authorised by the 1993 Act. The works powers conferred by the 1993 Act, and the related planning permission for the development authorised by that Act, remain extant.
3. Objections to that TWA Order were considered under the TWA written representations procedure, under which interested parties were given an opportunity to submit written comments to the Department.
4. The PTE and the Council also applied to the Secretary of State for a TWA Order to authorise extensions to the South Leeds line of the proposed Supertram from Leeds City Centre northwards through Headingley to Bodington and eastwards to Seacroft (''the Extension Order''). Related applications were made for planning permission for these extensions, and for 10 listed building and 15 conservation area consents required in connection with the proposed extension to Bodington. These were considered at concurrent public inquiries held during the Spring of 1997.
5. The Inspector, Sir Norman King KBE, recommended in his report that the Extension Order should be made and that planning permission should be deemed to be granted. He also recommended that the listed building and conservation area consents should be granted.
6. Having carefully considered the Land Acquisition and Extension Orders in the light of all the available evidence, the Secretary of State has decided to make both of these Order, concluding in each case that the wider public benefits offered by the Supertram proposals outweigh the concerns expressed by objectors. In doing so, he has also granted the related deemed planning permission and listed building and conservation area consents in respect of the Extension Order.
7. As the Extension Order authorises the compulsory purchase of open space, for which no land is to be given in exchange, the Order will, under section 12 of the TWA, be subject to Special Parliamentary Procedure and be laid before Parliament. The Order will only come into force if Parliament is satisfied that it is acceptable for such land to be acquired without exchange.
8. Letters in respect of each TWA Order application, conveying the full reasons why the Secretary of State has decided to make the Order in each case, are being copied to all parties who submitted objections and other representations to those applications.
9. Details of the project can be obtained from the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Wellington House, 40-50 Wellington Street, Leeds, LS1 2DE, from the Chief Executive, Leeds City Council, Civic Hall, Leeds LS1 1UR, or from the promoters'' Parliamentary Agents, Messrs Winckwortth Sherwood, 35 Great Peter Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3LR.
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