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17 Jan 2005 : Column 766W—continued


Dr. Pugh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the change in the number of planning appeals has been in the last three years. [207883]

Keith Hill: The information requested, which has been extracted from the Planning Inspectorate's Annual Report and Accounts, is tabled as follows:
Planning appeal receipts—England


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what was the estimated aggregate revenue from planning fees in England for each year since 1996–97. [207928]

Keith Hill: Aggregated receipts to local planning authorities for planning applications in England for the financial years 1996–97 to 2003–04 are tabled as follows.
£ million

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Government has to change the level of planning delivery grant in the financial years following 2005–06; and if he will make a statement. [207929]

Keith Hill: As announced in the Spending Review settlement, £255 million has been allocated to Planning Delivery Grant for 2006–7 and 2007–8.

Regional Assemblies

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what criteria he takes into account when determining whether or not an elected regional assembly would be appropriate for a region. [209294]

Mr. Raynsford: The reasons why the Government proposed that some regions would proceed to a referendum on establishing an elected assembly were set out in my right hon.. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister's statement to Parliament of 16 June 2003, Official Report, columns 21–23. The accompanying documentation—
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"Your Region, Your Say"—is available at:

Following the north east referendum, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister informed Parliament on 8 November 2004, Official Report, columns 587–89, that the Government would not be introducing the Regional Assemblies Bill and would not be proceeding with referendums in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West.

Regional Government Referendum

John Cryer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what guidance was issued to civil servants in his Department regarding their activities prior to and during the referendum on the North East Regional Assembly; [208561]

(2) what steps he took to ensure that information provided by his Department prior to the North East Regional Assembly referendum was politically neutral. [208562]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given in the other place by my right hon. Friend Lord Rooker on 2 December 2004, Official Report, House of Lords, column 17WA. The guidance is also available on the Cabinet Office website at:
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Information provided by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in respect of the North East Regional Assembly referendum was prepared in accordance with the requirements of Guidance on the Work of the Government Information and Communication Service. These requirements can be seen at: http://www.

Regional Spacial Strategy

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the regional spatial strategies will be finalised for each region. [207930]

Keith Hill: Section 1 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 provides that for each of the regions outside London there should be a regional spatial strategy (RSS). On commencement of the Act the Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister prescribed which regional planning guidance should become the RSS for each region. Thereafter, the Regional Planning Body (RPB) will prepare a draft revision of the RSS when it is necessary or expedient to do so. The timetable for finalising a draft revision is agreed between the Regional Planning Body and the Government Office. The latest estimated issue dates of the final RSS for revisions currently in process are tabled. It must be stressed that these are indicative dates only.

RSS Region
publication date of
RSS revision

Type of Review
East of EnglandDecember 2006Full Review.
East MidlandsMarch 2005Partial Review—Employment land, transport, retail hierarchy, waste, minerals, freight, environmental strategy for the northern coalfields, renewable energy, regional impacts of changes in information and communications technology.
North EastDecember 2006Full Review
South EastSummer 2005Partial Review—Waste & Minerals.
South EastEarly 2007Full Review.
North WestAutumn 2005Partial Review—climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency, waste management, aggregate minerals, strategically and locally important views, regional park resources
North WestSpring 2007Full Review.
Yorkshire and The HumberLate 2006Full Review.
Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub- Regional StrategyMarch 2005Sub regional detail on the nature, possible extent, and location of housing growth in the Milton Keynes South Midlands area.

Residential Rates

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what methodology was used to calculate local authority residential rates in England prior to their abolition. [207972]

Mr. Raynsford: Each unit of property was given a rateable value using a valuation, which for domestic property was usually based on rental evidence just prior to 1973 when the last revaluation on this basis was undertaken. Every year, district and London borough councils would make a general rate to meet the difference between the total of anticipated expenditure (including sums payable to other authorities by way of precepts) less any other income. The rate was expressed in pence per pound sterling. The rates payable were calculated by multiplying this poundage by the rateable value. Rates on domestic property were reduced by a domestic rate relief scheme and could be further reduced by national or local rate rebate schemes.

Right to Buy

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in the Right to Buy discounts and floors on take-up of the Right to Buy; and if he will make a statement. [207990]

Keith Hill: The School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol and the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham, carried out a thorough assessment of the impact of the changes to Right to Buy discounts that took effect in February
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1999. Copies were placed in the Libraries of both Houses in May 2003. The report is also available on the website of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, at:

In March 2003, the Government reduced the maximum Right to Buy discount available to tenants in 41 areas in London and the South of England that appeared to be under the greatest housing market pressure in terms of high levels of homelessness and high property prices. It is keeping under review the position on maximum discounts generally.

Shared Ownership Schemes

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what central Government funding has been provided to shared ownership schemes in England in each year since 1992. [207987]

Keith Hill: The information about what central Government funding has been provided to shared ownership schemes in England in each year since 1992 is being collated. I will write to the hon. Member with the relevant information and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House once the information is collated.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what changes his Department has made to the provision of shared ownership schemes in England since May 1997. [207989]

Keith Hill: 30,000 shared ownership units were provided between 1997 and 2004, largely funded by the Housing Corporation through grants to registered social landlords.

Since 1997 the Government has:

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