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Landfill

Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to commission research into the potential health effects of landfill sites; and if he will make a statement. [113288]

Mr. Mullin: Last year the Government commissioned the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) at Imperial College to carry out a national study to determine whether there is any pattern of adverse health effects around landfill sites. The results are expected later this

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year. A further programme of research was announced last year. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 7 December 1999, Official Report, column 487W.

Lord Levy

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on which dates Lord Levy has had meetings with (a) Ministers and (b) senior officials in his Department since 1 May 1997, giving in each case the purpose of the meetings; and if he will make a statement. [113501]

Mr. Mullin [holding answer 7 March 2000]: None.

Thames Gateway Regeneration Area

Mr. Paul Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list (1) the size of sites designated as previously developed vacant land sites within the three relevant Government regions in the Thames Gateway Regeneration area; [114069]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The Thames Gateway area is made up of parts of a number of boroughs and districts within the London, South East and East of England Government Office regions. The information is not therefore available in either the form or detail requested. However, the table provides an extract from the Supplementary Table on the National Land Use Database website (www.nlud.org.uk). It shows, for the core districts in the existing, non-extended Thames Gateway area, total amounts of previously developed vacant land, derelict land and land occupied by vacant buildings reported by each local authority. The portions allocated for housing use in the local plan or with planning permission for housing area are also shown. Not all of this land will be available for redevelopment. The table additionally shows amounts of land currently in use with allocation for redevelopment for any use or with planning permission for housing. The figures refer to the time of the survey in 1998, and have not been adjusted for some cases where the coverage was partial (as indicated by the footnotes). The estimates are a "snapshot" for 1998 and take no account of future supply of previously developed land.

Previously developed land that is unused or may be available for redevelopment(2) by land type and Planning Authority: England 1998
hectares

Previously developed vacant landDerelict land and buildingsLand occupied by vacant buildingsLand currently in use with planning allocation for any use or planning permission for housing
Planning Authority(3)Areaof which proposed for housingAreaof which proposed for housingAreaof which proposed for housingAreaof which proposed for housing
Thames Gateway
Thurrock UA187206(4)84--(2)--1010
Barking and Dagenham2119--5--7--
Bexley101010--3387
Greenwich461155534--3014
Havering40(4)--34(4)--1(4)--131
Newham95(5)29324953427
Dartford271976--69292975
Gravesham4(8)--852132
Swale8446(5)16(5)26159
The Medway Towns UA117745199634

(2) Ungrossed totals as reported by the authority. Comprises previously developed vacant and derelict land: vacant buildings (excluding single dwellings except where they could be developed into 10 or more dwellings); land or buildings currently in use, which are allocated in the local plan for any developed use, have planning permission for housing or with known potential for redevelopment.

(3) Local authority, district or unitary authority.

(4) Completion is less than 85 per cent.

(5) Figures have been revised against the May 1999 Supplementary Table because of duplicate sites; amendments made by the Local Authority; data resubmitted by the Local Authority after the May 1999 Supplementary Table; changes to assumptions used by the DETR to aggregate data.

(6) Partial returns.

(7) Nil or less than half the final digit shown.

(8) Completion figures have not been provided.


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Planning Policy

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance he is issuing to local planning authorities about the balance between (a) industrial and commercial development and (b) housing on brownfield sites. [114154]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Our newly published planning policy guidance for housing, PPG3, requires authorities to review their land allocations for employment and other uses to see whether they may be better used for housing.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance he is issuing to local planning authorities about height restrictions on new housing build in (a) urban, (b) suburban and (c) rural areas. [114153]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Planning Policy Guidance note 3, "Housing", requires local planning authorities, when considering design and layout to have regard not just to any immediate neighbouring buildings but the townscape and landscape of the wider locality. They are expected to adopt policies which create places and spaces with the needs of people in mind, which are attractive, have their own distinctive identity but respect and enhance local character.

The Government do not intend that PPG3's requirement to make more efficient use of land for housing should result in a return to 1960s-style high rise residential development.

Household Waste

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will issue guidance to local authorities asking them to collect household waste more frequently than once a fortnight. [113686]

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Mr. Mullin: Under section 45 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, waste collection authorities have a duty to collect household refuse. How this duty is discharged is a matter for local decision.

Gatwick Airport

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he has received from BAA the results of their feasibility study into a second main runway at Gatwick; and if he will make a statement. [114346]

Mr. Mullin: BAA did not complete their study, which the previous Administration had asked them to undertake, of less environmentally damaging runway options, such as a close parallel runway at Gatwick. We announced on 19 January 1998, Official Report, column 37, that we had asked BAA to put this work on hold so that we could review the issue in the light of the integrated transport White Paper.

The then Minister of Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton, North and Bellshill (Dr. Reid), announced on 11 March 1999, Official Report, columns 360-61, a study of airport issues in the south-east and east of England. This study will include consideration of runway capacity.

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the status of the agreement between the then Government and Crawley Borough Council which prohibits the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport until 2019. [114345]

Mr. Mullin: The agreement the hon. Member refers to is between the local authority, West Sussex County Council, and the airport owners, the then British Airports

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Authority. It was agreed in August 1979, under the terms of section 52 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1970.


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