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17 Oct 2002 : Column 944W—continued

Scottish Executive

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many formal and official inter-ministerial meetings

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his Department has held with the Scottish Executive since May 1999, broken down by (a) Scottish Executive department, (b) subject and (c) date. [72715]

Mr. Leslie: Information is not available in the form requested. Ministers from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have frequent meetings with Ministers from the Scottish Executive, both formal and informal, covering a broad range of topics.


Andy Burnham: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to address problems with flooding in areas of new housing development. [72362]

Mr. McNulty: In July 2001 the Government published Planning policy guidance note (PPG) 25 Development and flood risk. This introduces a risk-based approach to planning for new development that gives priority to lower risk areas. Within high-risk areas priority is given to those areas that are already developed. Built development should be wholly exceptional within the functional flood plains that are essentially unobstructed by defences and existing development.

Those proposing new development are advised to carry out a flood-risk assessment. This should assess the risks of flooding to the development, its impact on flooding elsewhere (including the impact of increased

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run-off due to development) and identify any mitigation measures that may be required. Where flood defences or other mitigation is required because of a new development, its provision and future maintenance should be fully funded by the developer as part of the development.

In February 2002, DTLR published Preparing for floods. This contains interim guidance for improving the flood resistance of domestic and small business properties. It provides practical advice for existing property owners whose properties are at risk of flooding and for all those involved with construction of new properties or renovation of existing buildings in areas of flood risk. The Environment Agency, together with the Construction Industry Research and Information Association, has also produced guidance on temporary measures to protect against flooding (such as flood boards) and on what to do after a flood.

Green Belt

Bob Spink: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on development on green belt land. [72377]

Mr. McNulty: Government policy on the Green Belt remains as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG) 2, which states that protecting the countryside from encroachment is one of the main purposes of including land in the Green Belt. Since 1997 approximately 30,000 hectares of land have been earmarked for addition to the Green Belt.