Crossrail Planning Forum

The Crossrail Planning Forum was established by the Crossrail High Level Forum (HLF) in October 2004 in advance of the submission of the Crossrail Bill, and has been meeting at regular intervals since its inception. The terms of reference for the Forum were updated at HLF in October 2008. Essentially the Forum is the main place for discussion on planning matters between the local authorities affected by the scheme and the promoters, and deals with matters that are of line wide interest or affect more than one authority.

The Forum is attended by representatives of all Qualifying Authorities (ie those local authorities which have signed up to the Planning and Heritage Memorandum and can exercise the powers under Schedule 7 of the Act); the Nominated Undertakers - Crossrail Ltd and London Underground Ltd; Department for Transport and Transport for London; Network Rail; and the Complaints Commissioner among others.

Ted AllettThe Forum has an independent Chairman, Ted Allett, who has over 30 years experience in environment and planning. Ted was the Director of Union Railways, responsible for agreeing a new planning regime for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) and its implementation. He advised the Department for Transport on the environment and planning regimes for Crossrail, based as they were on those for CTRL (new High Speed 1).

He was appointed in May 2011, succeeding Chris Waite OBE, and reports to the Mayor and Minister for Transport at each HLF. He sees his role as encouraging all Forum organisations to work together to deliver Crossrail.

Throughout the Crossrail Bill stage the focus of the Forum was on seeking to reach as much agreement as possible on the planning powers to be included in the Crossrail Bill, particularly Schedule 7. Once Royal Assent was given in July 2008, the focus of the Forum has shifted to agreeing how the documentation and processes for submissions under the Act to build the rail line and stations are exercised. The Forum has agreed a number of Planning Forum Notes (PFNs) to assist this process.

In order that some aspects can be dealt with in more detail, the Forum has established two sub groups on Environmental Health and on Highways and Traffic Management. The sub groups meet on an ‘as and when needed’ basis.

The Forum currently meets every two months and minutes of the meetings are taken. It normally receives reports updating the submissions by Crossrail and London Underground and any issues that have arisen; a monthly report on Community Relations including updates on liaison groups and data on calls to the helpline; and a report by the Complaints Commissioner. It also receives papers/presentations on topics of particular importance as they arise.