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Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, his final point applies equally to areas which are up-wind of London. Am I right in understanding that under the amendment to the Environment Act, areas which are not contiguous to Greater London but which might give rise to pollution that affects London are not required to consult the mayor?

Lord Whitty: My Lords, that is indeed the case, as it is under local authority legislation more generally. There is no overall requirement for a local authority to consult on the effects of its own air quality strategy except in specific circumstances in relation to particular pollution matters. The desirability of consulting is still there. But, as I say, the amendment would in any case provide a requirement to consult the other way round.

Lord Dixon-Smith: My Lords, I hear what the Minister says. With regard to the first two amendments in the group, I think I am content. I did not expect either more or less than I received. With

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regard to the third amendment, if I misinterpreted the clause, then I am at risk. However, I think I shall find it irresistible to attempt to return to the matter.

There is a very real problem. At present, not sufficient is known about atmospheric movement. Atmospheric movement takes place vertically as well as horizontally. What is presumed to be the prevailing wind on the ground is all too often not the prevailing wind at 5,000 or 10,000 feet. That can often be observed by standing and feeling the wind on your face and watching the clouds move in a completely different direction over your head. There is an issue here, and I shall consider it further. Whether I need to do anything about it at Third Reading remains to be seen. I do not wish to make the mayor's life difficult but in regard to atmospheric pollution we all need to be much more conscious of what we are doing and of the fact that it can have a surprising impact in locations that are not the ones we first think of. That said, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 544XA and 544YA not moved.]

Clause 324 [Consultation with the Mayor]:

[Amendment No. 544ZA not moved.]

9 p.m.

Clause 325 [The London ambient noise strategy]:

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 544A:


Page 179, line 26, leave out ("contain") and insert ("consist of").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 544B, 544C, 544D, 544DA and 544F. I shall refer later to the reason for not moving Amendment No. 544E.

Clause 325 requires the mayor to prepare and publish a "London ambient noise strategy". In Committee, we agreed to look at this clause again. The amendments tabled here are lengthy but are not as dramatic as they seem.

Our purpose is to clarify what is expected from the mayor's London ambient noise strategy so as better to reflect the intentions contained in the White Paper. The amendments also address concerns expressed during earlier stages of the Bill about transport being included in the strategy and consultation with the Environment Agency.

The sharp-eyed among your Lordships will have noticed that a typographical error has crept into Amendment No. 544E. The words "(e) or (f)" in line 1 of subsection (4A) should not be there, because if this amendment were agreed to there would be no paragraphs (e) or (f) in Clause 325(4). I shall not move Amendment No. 544E today and will come back with a correct amendment at Third Reading. We note that the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, is not in his place. I am sure that he would have enjoyed this moment.

A number of drafting changes limit what the strategy may consist of, remove reference to the spatial development strategy and ensure that the Environment Agency is consulted when the mayor prepares or revises

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his strategy. We have also provided that the mayor's strategy may contain information about the impact of noise on those living and working in London. By way of background, Amendment No. 544E deletes the existing subsection (4) and replaces it with a new form of words that detail the types of noise excluded from the mayor's strategy. They are the matters dealt with by local authorities under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and by local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This amendment would remove the reference to statutory nuisance so that if a local authority did not, on investigation, consider noise from premises to be a statutory nuisance it would not come within the remit of the ambient noise strategy of the mayor. There is a provision to ensure that noise caused by aircraft and traffic and from a fixed industrial source is not excluded from the strategy.

I turn to Amendment No. 544DA proposed by the noble Baronesses, Lady Hamwee and Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer. It is our intention that the definition of "ambient noise" in the mayor's strategy should be widened to include all transport. I agreed to consider the wording of the clause when the noble Baronesses tabled amendments in Committee. The amendments now brought forward by the Government respond to the change tabled here. I therefore ask that that amendment be withdrawn.

I apologise for going into the detail at length but I felt that, having given notice that there would be a further amendment tabled at Third Reading, it would be helpful for noble Lords to read it in advance. I beg to move.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I thank the Minister for accepting the point that I raised at the previous stage--Amendment No. 544DA--and dealing with it. I note her observation about noise that is not regarded as a statutory nuisance. I am rather disappointed by that approach. Ambient noise goes much wider than noise which comes from a particular source that is a statutory nuisance. I believe that the aim of the mayor should be to attempt to reduce the overall noise level, whether or not it is a statutory nuisance. Noise is an enormous factor in stress. From these Benches we have said a good deal about the role of the mayor in improving health. I remain unconvinced that the approach contained in Amendment No. 544E, and whatever may be its successor at the next stage, is the right one.

Baroness Hanham: My Lords, perhaps I may address two points. I appreciate that Amendment No. 544E is to be amended. First, will the provision cover amplified music? Reference is made to loudspeakers and amplified music. Secondly, as to Amendment No. 544G, no mention is made of helicopter noise. There is a good deal of civil as well as police helicopter activity. Is that covered?

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I appreciate that we may not have gone quite as far as the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, would have liked, and

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for that I am sorry. The noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, asks about the control of helicopter noise. It would not be appropriate for the mayor to exercise direct control since airspace planning and air traffic control are specialised tasks. As with other aircraft, the mayor will have the right to be consulted on any airspace changes that are liable to have significant adverse effects on the environment.

A query was raised about amplifiers. I betray my age and ignorance of more modern ways of making sound if I say that I would have thought it impossible to use a loudspeaker without amplification. I am not sure whether it is possible to amplify without the use of a loudspeaker. I believe that both points are covered, but if I am wrong about that I shall write to the noble Baroness.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Skelmersdale): My Lords, I suggest to the noble Baroness, Lady Farrington, that Amendments Nos. 544B to 544D should be moved en bloc. However, I point out to the House that if Amendment No. 544D is agreed I cannot call Amendment No. 544DA.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendments Nos. 544B to 544D:


Page 179, line 27, at end insert ("and the impact of such noise levels on those living and working in Greater London").
Page 179, line 29, leave out from ("above") to ("on") in line 30.
Page 179, line 36, leave out subsection (3) and insert--
("(3) In this section--
"ambient noise" means--
(a) noise related to transport, including road traffic, rail traffic, aircraft and water transport; and
(b) noise of such other descriptions as the Mayor may consider it appropriate to include in the matters dealt with by the London ambient noise strategy,
but does not include noise falling within subsection (4) below; and
"noise" includes vibration.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendments Nos. 544B to 544D en bloc.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 544DA not moved.]

[Amendment No. 544E not moved.]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 544F:


Page 180, line 5, at end insert--
("( ) In preparing or revising the London ambient noise strategy the Mayor shall consult the Environment Agency.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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