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Stonehenge

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussion his Department had with (a) English Heritage and (b) the Wiltshire county archaeologist about the proposal to build three houses inside the enclosure known as Vespasian's Camp in the Stonehenge world heritage site before planning permission was granted; what assessment he has made of the conformity of the permission with PPG15; what requests he has received to revoke it; and if he will make a statement. [2367]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Government office for the south-west received representations from English Heritage and the Wiltshire county archaeologist, as well as Salisbury district council and Chapman Warren, agents for the applicants. The planning permission was issued by Salisbury district council on 2 December 1994, including a condition which provides for archaeological investigation prior to development. On the same day, Wiltshire county council wrote to request call-in by the Secretary of State.

The land involved is not an scheduled ancient monument and in those circumstances the district council felt unable to refuse planning consent, which was consistent with the unchallenged housing provisions of the draft local plan, unless English Heritage gave an undertaking to meet the costs of any award against the council at appeal. No such undertaking was given and English Heritage did not press the Secretary of State to call in the application.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 729

I have received no requests to revoke the planning permission.

EAGA Services Ltd.

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the relationship between the energy action grants agency and EAGA Services Ltd. and on the role referred by EAGA Services Ltd. [2136]

Mr. Clappison: The energy action grants agency was recently renamed EAGA Ltd. EAGA Ltd. and EAGA Services Ltd. are sister companies within the EAGA group of companies. EAGA Ltd. works within the public sector, and its major contract is with the Department of the Environment to administer the home energy efficiency scheme. EAGA Services Ltd. tenders for work outside the public sector.

Rail Deregulation

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which Minister has ultimate responsibility for the deregulation of rural business. [2640]

Sir Paul Beresford: I report to the Secretary of State for the Environment on the deregulation of the burdens on business which fall within this Department's areas of responsibility.

Mr. Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what mechanisms exist to co-ordinate the rail transport policy with the Department of Transport. [2642]

Sir Paul Beresford: My Department is in regular contact with the Department of Transport on all policy issues affecting the environment.

Development Corporations

Sir Irvine Patnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the development corporations in the United Kingdom that were originally formed; how many are still in existence; what are their respective time limits; how much land each has reclaimed; how many jobs have been created by each corporation's activities; what value of private sector funding has been attracted by each; and if he will make a statement. [2518]

Mr. Curry: The information is given in the table:

UDC Wind-up date Land reclaimed Jobs created Private investment
(hectares)(gross)(£million)
London Docklands31 March 1998709.063,0256,084.4
Merseyside31 March 1998342.014,458394.0
Black Country31 March 1998257.713,357690.0
Teesside31 March 1998355.67,682837.3
Trafford Park31 March 1998142.316,197914.6
Tyne and Wear31 March 1998456.419,649758.4
Bristol 31 December 1995 60.0 4,250 200.0
Sheffield31 March 1997234.511,342553.1
Central Manchester31 March 199633.04,909344.8
Leeds31 March 199568.09,066357.0
Birmingham Heartlands 31 March 1998 54.0 1,773 106.8
Plymouth31 March 19985.580

All corporations except Leeds are still in existence.


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 730

Responsibility for the Cardiff bay and Laganside development corporations lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland respectively.

All outputs are cumulative to 31 March 1995.

Housing Corporation

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses the Housing Corporation has built in rural areas; and how many he expects to be built in (a) 1996 and 1997 and (b) in each year since 1992. [2641]

Mr. Clappison: Since 1989-90, some 10,800 new homes have been approved in rural areas--defined as settlements with a population of 3,000 or less--through the Housing Corporation's rural programme. Of these, some 1,660 new homes were completed in 1992-93, 1,700 in 1993-94 and 1,890 in 1994-95. Rural schemes can be more difficult to develop and take longer to reach completion. We have therefore enabled the Housing Corporation to enhance grants to housing associations from 1996-97 to recognise the higher costs of developing small schemes in villages.

Forecast figures for future years will not be available until early in the new year, when the Housing Corporation has finalised its approved development programme.

Out-of-town Supermarkets

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations his Department has received from organisations representing small rural businesses expressing concern about the impact on their trade of out-of-town supermarkets in the last year. [2574]

Sir Paul Beresford: We have received a small number of representations from rural business interests and local authorities in response to the draft PPG6 and the consultation exercise on the rural White Paper.

Dearne Valley Partnership

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many ministerial visits have been made to the Dearne Valley Partnership since April 1992; and what has been the total cost involved of each visit. [2388]

Sir Paul Beresford: There have been 14 visits by sponsor Ministers and three visits by other DOE Ministers to the Dearne valley; information on the total cost of visits is not readily available.

Government Office for the East Midlands

Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in total and by individual department the number of staff who were at the Government office for the east midlands. [2764]

Sir Paul Beresford: At the start of this financial year, 247 staff were attached to the Government office for the east midlands. Departments are currently meeting the office's pay costs in the following proportions:

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 731


Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the annual revenue costs of the Government office for the east midlands. [2765]

Sir Paul Beresford: GOEM's pay and non-pay running costs totalled £7.3 million in 1994-95.

Local Government Reorganisation

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what resources he will make available to authorities that have been or are to be reorganised on 1 April 1994, 1996 or 1997 for reorganisation costs incurred by them in 1995-96; and if he will make a statement. [3687]

Mr. Curry: On 27 July I invited authorities that have been, or are to be, reorganised on or before 1 April 1997 to submit estimates of the amount of expenditure that they expect to incur on transitional costs of reorganisation in 1995-96. On the basis, inter alia, of the information provided by the authorities, I have decided the maximum amounts that it would be appropriate to allocate towards such costs in 1995-96. I have given priority to authorities that are to be reorganised on 1 April 1996 and within that group, to the shadow authorities that are to become the new unitary authorities, and to the redundancy costs of authorities that are to be abolished.

The amounts are as follows:

Maximum amounts: £000s rounded
Authority 1995-96 Total 1994-95 and 1995-96
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight council1,7503,494
Cleveland
Cleveland county council2,500--
Hartlepool borough council3,2003,748
Langbaurgh on Tees borough council2,5502,637
Middlesbrough borough council2,1602,354
Stockton on Tees borough council2,9303,428
Avon
Avon county council2,500--
Bristol city council3,000--
Woodspring district council3,250--
In Bath and North East Somerset,3,000--
of which:
Bath and North East Somerset council1,810--
Bath city council600--
Wansdyke district council590--
In South Gloucestershire,3,000--
of which:
South Gloucestershire council1,800--
Kingswood borough council650--
Northavon district council550--
Humberside
Humberside county council2,500--
Hull city council3,000--
In the East Riding of Yorkshire,3,200--
of which:
East Riding of Yorkshire council1,200--
Beverley borough council650--
Boothferry borough council300--
East Yorkshire borough council550--
Holderness borough council500--
In North Lincolnshire,2,900--
of which:
North Lincolnshire council1,800--
Glanford borough council550--
Scunthorpe borough council550--
In North East Lincolnshire,2,950--
of which:
North East Lincolnshire DC1,900--
Cleethorpes borough council450--
Great Grimsby600--
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire county council1,500--
Ryedale district council410--
Selby district council510--
In York,3,000--
of which:
York district council2,550--
York city council450--
Total49,31052,824


29 Nov 1995 : Column: 732

In addition, £0.2 million has been set aside, for distribution by the Home Office, for the reorganisation costs of combined fire authorities. A reserve of £0.49 million has been retained to meet any unanticipated, exceptional, costs incurred by shadow authorities.

I have considered carefully the bids submitted by authorities that are to be, or might be, reorganised in 1997. The arrangements make it clear that these authorities would have to make an exceptional case and that priority would be given to supporting expenditures that had to be incurred in 1995-96 if reorganisation were to be implemented by the specified date, and that were of a scale that could not reasonably be found from within the authority's budget. In my view, none of the bids established a sufficiently exceptional case to justify an allocation in the current year. These authorities have, however, been invited to submit bids for 1996-97.


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