Victory for legal team in Chunnel reroute bid

COUNCIL lawyers and City firm Denton Hall combined in a successful bid to persuade MPs to extend an underground section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in East London.

Jack Welchman, solicitor at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, was advised by Sandra Banks' Denton Hall team when the authority presented a petition to the Commons select committee seeking alterations to the plans.

They persuaded the committee a further mile of the nine-mile section should be taken below the surface to avoid the inconvenience of building noise, dust pollution and future disturbance from trains.

MPs had been considering objections to plans for the £3 billion project, laid down in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill, since February.

The team for Barking and Dagenham and Denton Hall argued in legal and technical submissions that the alternative of a longer tunnel would be cost-effective by reducing disruption to local residents and businesses.

They put detailed evidence before the MPs in order to demonstrate the advantages of their proposal in engineering terms, and comparing noise vibration, economic issues and overall cost.

Banks, a partner specialising in transport, was joined by Ian Mulqueen, a trainee solicitor, and Peter Wright, head of economic planning at the authority.