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A hybrid Bill is legislation promoted by Government in Parliament to secure powers to construct and operate major infrastructure projects of national importance. This allows the Government to seek the full range of statutory powers and authorisations that a project of this size and complexity requires. This may include revisions to the rail regulatory regime and the planning regime, as well as provisions to enable the making of subsequent orders and regulations by way of statutory instrument. Hybrid Bills have been most recently used for Phase One and Phase 2a of HS2, as well as projects such as CrossRail and the Channel Tunnel (HS1).
A hybrid Bill will not only grant deemed planning permission to build the HS2 network, but will also give it powers to:
build, operate and maintain HS2 and its associated works
compulsorily acquire interests in the land required
affect or change rights of way, including the stopping-up or diversion of highways and waterways (permanently or temporarily)
modify infrastructure belonging to statutory undertakers (e.g. utility companies)
carry out work on listed buildings and demolish buildings in Conservation Areas
carry out protective works to buildings and third-party infrastructure
Hybrid Bill is comparable with outline planning permission. It will not be possible to alter HS2 proposals after hybrid Bill receives Royal Assent.
The Royal assent of the sovereign to a Bill which has been passed by Parliament, and which then becomes an Act of Parliament. Royal assent by the sovereign (in person or through commissioners of the Crown) is required before a Bill (or a Measure passed by the General Synod of the Church of England) can come into force as law, but it has not been withheld since 1707.