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19 Sept 2002 : Column 210W—continued

Accommodation (Review)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library his Department's last accommodation requirements review. [70769]

Mr. Christopher Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is assessing its future accommodation requirements in the light of the Machinery of Government changes in June 2002 and will be reviewing the position in the Autumn. No documents are currently available.

Empty Properties

Bob Russell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many dwellings he estimates are empty in each local authority area in (a) Essex and (b) Suffolk. [71471]

Mr. Tony McNulty: The information presented in the table below is taken from the 2001 Housing Investment Programme Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix.

LARSLOther Public SectorPrivate SectorOf which owner occupied
Castle Point18001280#
Forest Heath130#585#
St Edmunds33001010788
Mid Suffolk325014371353
Suffolk Coastal547022821803

# = no figure returned

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Local Authority dwellings are those which the authority owns within the authority area

Registered Social Landlord dwellings are those owned or leased by landlords registered with the Housing Corporation.

Other public sector dwellings cover those owned by the authority for non-housing purposes and by other authorities inside the LA area. Housing Action Trusts, government departments and other public sector agencies (e.g. Regional Health Authorities, Forestry Commission and county councils).

Other private sector is defined as all privately owned dwellings

The total number of vacant dwellings in a district can be estimated using council tax records, or a local survey if available, and have the same coverage of dwellings except that second homes, holiday lets, dwellings in unlicensed accommodation, and flats and houses normally occupied by students should not be included. Vacants include dwellings that are empty between changing occupants or undergoing modernisation, repair or conversion, or awaiting demolition; or newly completed but not occupied.

These figures relate to those returned by local authorities in July 2002 as part of the annual Housing Investment Programme returns. This years round is now underway and local authorities are due to submit figures to OPDM by 31 July 2002.

Affordable Housing

Mr. Love: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what evaluation has been made of the potential of modular assembly in the construction of affordable housing; and if he will make a statement. [73542]

Mr. Tony McNulty: Modular housing has the potential to offer significant time savings and potential cost reduction in provision of affordable housing particularly in high density, urban housing schemes as illustrated by the Peabody Trust development at Murray Grove, Hackney. It is still a developing area and we will be taking a close interest in what it can offer as part of a solution to housing need.

Housing Corporation

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much funding has been granted to the Housing Corporation in each of the years 1990 to 2001. [71298]

Mr. Tony McNulty: The expenditure by the Housing Corporation for each of the following years 1990–91 to 2001–02 is shown below. The figures include capital and revenue grants to housing associations, and the Corporation's administrative expenditure.



Housing Corporation Annual Accounts (Income and Expenditure Account).

The Housing Corporation accounts for 2001–02 are due to be published shortly. A copy will be placed in the House library.

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Home Extensions

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what statutory restrictions there are on people who want to build extensions to their home. [72857]

Mr. Tony McNulty: A range of statutory consents may be required depending on the particular circumstances. These may include: planning permission, listed building consent, conservation area consent and building regulations approval. Other consents may also be required. For example, if the proposed development would obstruct a public path, it may require an order to divert or close it.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 sets out categories of permitted development, where an application for planning permission would not be required. This includes the building of a house extension in certain defined circumstances. The Department's booklet "Planning, A Guide for Householders" provides advice to home owners on the need for planning permission. (This is available on our website at householders/index.htm) Home owners are advised to consult their local authority before beginning any works.

Planning Application (Seller Properties)

Simon Hughes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he received the planning application submitted to the London Borough of Southwark on behalf of Sellar Properties by Healey and Baker, registered as LBS application reference 0100476 and granted planning permission by LBS on 11 March, subject to call in by the Secretary of State; when he expects to make a decision on whether to call in the application for public inquiry; and if he will make a statement. [72999]

Mr. Tony McNulty: This application was referred to the Secretary of State following approval by LB Southwark and was received on 19 March. The Secretary of State called this application in for public inquiry earlier today.

Out-of-Town Shopping Centres

Keith Vaz: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many appeals have been made concerning applications for out-of-town shopping centres; and how many have been successful since 7 June. [73244]

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Mr. Tony McNulty: The information requested on the location of appeals made and decided is not readily available and could only be made so at disproportionate cost.

Urban Allotment Land

Mr. Love: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what action is being taken to protect urban allotment land from development; and if he will make a statement. [73544]

Mr. Tony McNulty: Section 8 of the Allotments Act 1925 requires local authorities to obtain the Secretary of State's consent for the disposal of any statutory allotment site. In February this year, guidance was issued to local authorities clarifying and strengthening the criteria against which consent decisions are made.

In addition, we have recently published a revision of Planning Policy Guidance Note 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation, which provides enhanced protection through the planning system to all typed of open space, including allotments.

Local Government Expenditure

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the per capita central Government funding is for local government expenditure on (a) Surrey and (b) Durham. [72393]

Mr. Nick Raynsford: Local authorities, including police authorities, within Durham and Surrey budgeted to receive £920 and £630 government grant per head in 2002–03, respectively. Government grant here consists of revenue support grant, non-domestic rates, specific grants inside aggregate external finance and police grant. These figures do not include capital grants or grants paid to the Housing Revenue Account.

Budgeted revenue expenditure, financed from the grants referred to above, council taxes and reserves, was £1,246 per head in Durham and £1,052 per head in Surrey. For each area, almost all of the locally raised expenditure was budgeted to come from council taxes: £315 per head in Durham and £413 per head in Surrey.

The figures quoted above for Durham include grants receivable in Darlington, which is now a unitary authority. This is because Durham Police Authority covers the areas of both Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, and a separate figure is not available for the grant receivable by Durham Police Authority for the area of Durham County Council.

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