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Precision piling

I was rather surprised by your article (NCE 17 January) headlined 'Crossrail in piling ban'. There is no 'piling ban' resulting from Crossrail and developments over the route appear to be proceeding at a normal rate.

The Crossrail alignment has been safeguarded for many years, the majority of the central section since 1992 and the whole route since early 2005. The effect of safeguarding is to ensure that any planning applications for buildings which will intrude into the safeguarded area are referred to us.

In cases where there are potential impacts, we negotiate with the developer to amend the design of the development to allow the building to go ahead. So far we have not had to direct refusal of any applications made.

Developers who need our information pack explaining the design criteria that they need to follow can obtain one from the Crossrail Safeguarding Team on 020 3023 9100 or safeguarding@crossrail.co.uk

It is true that there may be a short period of a few months, whilst TBMs are passing under a site, when piling is not permitted but this will not be before 2011. Closer to the time, details of tunnel progress will be available on our website. This allows people to plan for the period of this temporary interruption of piling well in advance.

KEITH BERRYMAN, managing director, Parliamentary Bill Team, Cross London Rail Links, Portland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5BH

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