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Mr. Byers [holding answer 15 April 2002]: I will place a list of respondents in the Libraries of the House. Because of the large number involved, over 14,000, copies of the responses will be made available for public inspection in my Department's library once they have been analysed.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will assess the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of including demolition as part of the planning process. 
Ms Keeble: Demolition of buildings is already part of the planning process. Generally speaking, the demolition of non-residential buildings does not constitute "development" (as defined in section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990), and consequently no planning permission is required. However, the demolition of a residential building does constitute development for which a permitted development right has been granted by Part 31 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. This means that, instead of having to submit an application for planning permission for the demolition of a residential building, a developer has to apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether prior approval is required for the proposed method of demolition and any proposed restoration of the site. Planning authorities also have powerssubject to approval by the Secretary of Stateto require planning applications for demolition of residential property, where amenity would be seriously threatened.
In addition, listed building consent is required for the demolition of any listed building, and conservation area consent is required for the demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area.
We are considering whether to introduce any changes to the existing demolition controls as part of our current review of the planning system and in taking forward work arising from the Government's Heritage Statement "The Historic Environment: A Force for Our Future".
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Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make it his policy to require planning permission for buildings as part of the planning process; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Putting up a building usually amounts to "development", for which planning permission is required. However, Parliament has granted a general planning permission or "permitted development right" to carry out certain types of minor development without the need to submit an application. This removes a large burden of unnecessary planning work from local authorities.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much funding has been granted to the Leasehold Advisory Service in each of the last five years; and what the appointment arrangements are for members of the LEASE board. 
The Leasehold Advisory Service is a private sector company, limited by guarantee. The arrangements for the appointment of its board members are governed by its memorandum and articles of association, copies of which are available from Companies House.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many homeless people there were (a) in absolute terms and (b) as a proportion of the population in each local authority district or unitary authority in England and Wales, at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Ms Keeble: Summary information on activity under statutory homelessness provisions is reported to the Department each quarter by local authorities in England. This includes the number of households accepted under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 and 1996 Housing Acts as being eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need.
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National and some regional information on local authorities' activity is provided in a quarterly Statistical Release published by the Department. Key summary information at local authority and regional level is set out in associated supplementary table; this includes the number of households accepted, and this number is also expressed as a rate per thousand households living in the local authority area. Copies are available in the Library, and also via the Department's website. The latest version, published on 14 March, presents statistics for the period October to December 2001.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what funding will be available to local authorities in order to help them to implement the new duties imposed on them by the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Priority Needs Order. 
Mr. Byers: The Government have provided an additional £8 million per annum (through the local government finance settlement, with effect from 200102) to compensate local authorities for the revenue costs of implementing the Homelessness Act and the priority needs order.
In response to the homelessness report, 'More than a roof', I confirmed that the Government will allocate additional resources in order to help local authorities deliver the priority needs order. A further announcement on this will be made when the election purdah period is over.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what funding will be available to the National Homelessness Directorate over the next three years; and how much money will go to (a) the BBU, (b) the RSU and (c) the Hostels Inspectorate. 
Mr. Byers: The DTLR has allocated £35 million to the Bed and Breakfast Unit and £30 million to the Rough Sleepers Unit for this financial year. Funding from April 2003 onwards is dependent on the outcome of Spending Review 2002.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent representations he has received on the incidence of commercial property companies offering local authority tenants a cash incentive to exercise the right to buy their home; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: We are aware of concerns that the right to buy scheme is being exploited in various ways. We have commissioned research into what is happening, including the effect on the housing market. The results will be made publicly available when the work is completed.
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|Total sales completed under RTB|
(9) April to September.
Includes sales under shared ownership arrangements;
Excludes sales under rent to mortgage.
DTLR PI(B) quarterly housing activity returns, and new town returns.
Tables showing reported information on right to buy and other sales and stock transfers by each local authority in England, along with national and regional summaries, for each year since 197980, are available in the Libraries of the House.
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