Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001

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Mr. Clifton-Brown: I have the associated documents to which the Minister refers. I accept that this was subject to a separate consultation process but standards, as opposed to the question of whether portable buildings will have to comply, are laid out in the statutory instrument. It therefore seems wholly legitimate to discuss the problem and to ask for an assurance on whether portable buildings will have to meet the standards laid out in the SSI and for the details of the cost to the public purse. The Minister has not begun to confirm whether the figure I cited of £200 billion to £300 billion is correct and we do not know whether the Government have even considered the matter. Has the Minister consulted colleagues in other Departments?

This is a serious matter. When the Department for Education and Skills is likely to be lumbered with such an enormous additional bill, it would be nice to know from the Minister whether there has been consultation on the statutory instrument that will impose that cost. If the Minister does not give us any answers to those questions, I will ask my colleagues to support me in opposing the statutory instrument.

7.9 pm

Ms Keeble: At some stage, I assume, we will have to move to a vote. We have been around the issue several times. There has been careful consultation and repeated discussion between the Department and various areas of the industry. The previous Minister did not accept the association's case for universal special treatment. There was proper consultation on the approved documents before a decision on them was reached. The documents have been in the public domain for a considerable time. We now have statutory instruments that will take standards forward across the board in the building industry. The fact that the association may be unhappy and is continuing a debate with the Minister is a completely different matter from that of ensuring improved building regulations for the whole industry.

Question put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 3.

Division No. 2]

Green, Matthew
Hopkins, Mr. Kelvin
Jackson, Glenda
Keeble, Ms Sally
Pollard, Mr. Kerry
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Walley, Joan
Woolas, Mr. Phil

Berker, Mr. Gregory
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Field, Mr. Mark

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee has approved the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001, No. 3335.)

        Committee rose at eleven minutes past Seven o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Hurst, Mr. Alan (Chairman)
Barker, Mr.
Clark, Paul
Clifton-Brown, Mr.
Field, Mr. Mark
Green, Matthew
Hopkins, Mr.
Jackson, Glenda
Keeble, Ms
Marshall-Andrews, Mr.
Pollard, Mr.
Sanders, Mr.
Stewart, Mr. David
Walley, Joan
Winnick, David
Woolas, Mr.

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