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31 Oct 2002 : Column 901W—continued


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the use of fireworks on (a) the environment and (b) wildlife; and if he will make a statement. [76958]

Alun Michael: I have been asked to reply.

The Government do take the issue of fireworks seriously. On 14 October 2002, Official Report, column 890W, my hon. Friend the Minister for Consumer Affairs announced a package of measures which the Government are introducing to address the problems that fireworks can pose to humans, to the environment and to wildlife.

In terms of air pollution, a burning firework may produce particulate matter, organic compounds (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans), and a variety of metal fumes and aerosols, depending on its contents. The effects of bonfire night celebrations can certainly be detected in local air quality, but is very dependent on local atmospheric conditions at the time, and the most significant source of emissions is likely to be bonfires rather than fireworks.

In relation to wildlife, there is little research evidence on the immediate effects of bonfire night on wildlife. Fires and loud noises can have a disturbing effect on animals of any kind, but bonfire night celebrations are short-lived and relatively localised in nature.

Housing (Enfield)

Mr. Andrew Love: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the amount of brownfield land in (a) the London Borough of Enfield and (b) Greater London for the construction of new dwellings; how many new dwellings could be constructed; and if he will make a statement. [78091]

Mr. McNulty: From the 2001 National Land Use Database of Previously Developed Land (NLUD-

PDL) an estimated 2,500 hectares of brownfield land were potentially suitable for housing in London. On the figures supplied by local authorities and current density assumptions they could provide 149,000 dwellings.

The most recent information for Enfield is from its return for the 1998 survey. This showed 49 hectares of brownfield land potentially suitable for housing. At densities current at the time they could provide about 2,300 dwellings.

In 2001 23 out of the 33 London Boroughs returned information to NLUD-PDL. The information has been grossed up to provide the estimates for London as a whole quoted above.

Housing Corporation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much was allocated in housing grants in each year since 1997 to the Housing Corporation; and how many houses were built as a result. [77869]

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Mr. McNulty: The table shows the amount of grant paid by the Housing Corporation to registered social landlords under the approved development programme (ADP) and local authority social housing grant (LASHG) together with the dwellings completed in each year for these programmes:

Approved development programme

Gross ADP expenditure # # millionDwellings completed

Local authority social housing grant

LASHG expenditure # millionDwellings completed

Because of the length of time to complete development, no comparison can be made between funding and completions in any one year.

Housing Developments

Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures he intends to bring forward to raise the density of new housing developments in London and the South East. [78711]

Mr. Prescott: In my Parliamentary Statement of 18 July on sustainable communities I announced the Government's intentions for tackling the housing shortage in London and the South East. The Statement explained that the Government expects the housing numbers already agreed in regional planning guidance for the South East to be delivered, working within the presumption of making better use of land by improving design, increasing densities and using brownfield sites to the full. In the Statement, I announced I would intervene in planning applications for housing that involve a density of less than 30 dwellings per hectare net. 1 am publishing today the Town and Country Planning (Residential Density) (London and South East England) Direction 2002 which gives effect to this announcement. From 2 December local planning authorities in London and the South East will have to consult me before giving planning permission for low density housing developments.

Local Authority Lettings

Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much his Department has made available to implement a more flexible lettings policy by local authorities; and how much each rural local authority received in (a) 2000–01, (b) 2001–02 and (c) 2002–03 to date. [78395]

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Mr. McNulty: We are currently funding 27 local authority pilots of choice based lettings. #13 million was allocated in April 2001 towards the pilots which are expected to finish in April 2003. Out of these, four rural authorities are being supported and payments to date are as follows:


Payments to all 27 pilots4,208,5321,724,377

Mobile Phone Masts

Mr Pike: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether (a) planning permission and (b) public consultation is needed in order for phone companies to erect antennae on buildings; and if he will make a statement. [78033]

Mr. McNulty: The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO) (as amended) grants a general planning permission for licensed telecommunications code system operators to install specified telecommunications apparatus without the need to apply for planning permission to the local authority, subject to certain conditions and limitations.

The installation of an antenna on a building, where the antenna does not exceed the height of the building by 4 metres or more, would normally be regarded as permitted development and would not therefore require an application for planning permission or statutory public consultation.

All mobile phone antennas are registered with the radiocommunications agency. Information on the location and ownership of the antennas is available on the Agency's Site Finder database at The site is updated every three months.

Mr. Pike: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Government has to introduce regulations restricting the ability of phone companies to erect base stations close to residential properties, schools and hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [78034]

Mr. McNulty: Mobile phone mast development close to residential properties, schools and hospitals is subject to the normal telecommunications planning arrangements in place throughout England, set out in Part 24 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO). Following publication of the Stewart report on mobile phones and health in May 2000, these arrangements were significantly strengthened and include improved requirements for consulting local people about mast proposals. The changes to the GPDO were underpinned by revised guidance, set out in planning policy guidance note 8, telecommunications, published in August 2001.

The Stewart report did not recommend that the erection of mobile phone masts should be restricted in such areas and we have no plans to introduce specific restrictions. However, in respect of masts near schools, PPG8 advises that before an operator submits an application for planning permission or prior approval

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for a mast near a school or college they should discuss the proposed development with the relevant body of the school or college.

Mr. Pike: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many representations he has received on health issues relating to mobile phone masts; and if he will make a statement. [78035]

Mr. McNulty: Between January and October this year, the former Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received centrally 166 letters from Members of Parliament and 165 letters from members of the public and local planning authorities about the amenity or health aspects related to mobile phone masts.

Neighbourhood Renewal Unit

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he intends to publish the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit's Annual Review. [78712]

Mrs. Roche: I have today published the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit's annual report, copies have been placed in the libraries of the House.

Parish and Town Councils

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list those parish and town councils which have reported to him that they have had councillors resign rather than sign the new Standards Code. [76993]

Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Standards Board for England together have been informed of 95 resignations of parish councillors who were unwilling to accept the new Code of Conduct. A list of those parish councils is as follows:

AuthorityNumber of resignations
Aiskew parish council1
Arborfield and Newland parish council1
Ashby Woulds town council1
Baschurch parish council1
Boddington parish council2
Bradworthy parish council1
Brenk Knoll parish council1
Brockdish parish council4
Bunwell parish council1
Butleigh parish council2
Chineham parish council1
Credebhill parish council2
Cutcombe parish council1
Easebourne parish council2
East Carlton parish council3
Epsom and Ewell borough council1
Fowey town council1
Frensham parish council1
Great Notley parish council1
Hampstead Norreys parish council2
Haversham cum Little Linford parish council1
Holcome Burnell parish council2
Holt parish council2
Hungerford town council3
Idmiston parish council1
Kings Ripton parish council2
Little Waltham parish council5
Melsonby parish council1
Mereworth parish council2
Midgham parish council1
New Romney town council1
Northchapel parish council3
Norton parish council1
Old Windsor parish council1
Over Haddon parish council1
Potton town council2
Purton parish council2
Ringmore parish council1
Shinfield parish council3
Snarestone parish council1
Speldhurst parish council1
St. Bees parish council2
Stebbing parish council2
Streatley parish council1
Sulhamstead parish council1
Swanton Morley parish council3
Tittleshall parish council1
Tiverton parish council2
Town council of Frinton and Walton1
Warfield parish council1
West Ilsley parish council (the whole council)6
Westleton parish council1
Wookey parish council1
Wysall and Thorpe-in-the-Glebe parish council3
Unnamed parish in East Suffolk2
Unnamed parish in Kendal1

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There is no requirement for parish councils to inform us of resignations, for whatever reason. There are over 8,000 parish councils in England.

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