In reply to Lord Allen of Abbeydale's question, the Earl said that the inspector would be appointed jointly by the Secretaries of State for Transport and for the Environment. Lord Allen had queried whether the inspector would be able to reject the plan to widen the M25 between junctions 12 and 15. He claimed that the Department of Transport was treating the issue as cut and dried and was already discussing compensation terms with some of those affected.
Other members, including Lord Stallard, Lord Mishcon and Lord Tordoff, pressed the Earl to answer the question as to whether the department was already discussing compensation. His reply was that the discussions on the proposal within the department were within the law.