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7 Feb 2005 : Column 1285W—continued


Llew Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what environmental impact assessment was carried out in connection with his five year plan on sustainable communities; and what evaluation was made of increased threats posed by flooding in earmarking sites to develop these new communities. [214235]

Keith Hill: All additional housing referred to in Homes for All will be delivered through the planning system, and will therefore be subject to both Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in line with the SEA Directive and Environmental Impact Assessment. In addition, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has awarded a major research contract as part of our response to the Barker review to consider the economic, social, environmental and fiscal implications of additional housebuilding. The contract runs to June 2005, and has been awarded to a consortium led by Entec UK Ltd.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is, in accordance with PPG25 on flood risk, encouraging planning authorities to undertake Strategic Flood Risk Assessments to support development planning in the growth areas. New growth areas will be identified to make best use of existing and committed infrastructure, including flood defences required to protect existing historic settlements.


Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many homes have been constructed in Romford, Essex in each of the last five years. [213745]

Keith Hill: Figures for Romford are not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The annual numbers of new build completions reported for the London borough of Havering since 1999–2000 are tabled as follows:

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many new homes have been built in rural areas in each year since 1997. [213134]

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Keith Hill: The annual numbers of new-build completions since 1997–98 for English local authorities defined as rural by the Countryside Agency are in the following table.

The complete list of the local authorities classified as rural is published in the Planning Statistics section of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website (under Urban and Rural Area definitions; Table Bl) =3331&l=2.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many new houses have been built in each local authority area in Sussex in each of the last five years; and what percentage that represents of the new-build targets set by his Department. [214711]

Keith Hill: The annual numbers of new build completions reported for each of authorities in East and West Sussex since 1999–2000 are in the following table. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not set new-build targets. Information on current planned housing provision is available in the county structure plans of West Sussex and East Sussex.
Numbers of new-build completions

Brighton and Hove539330572117150

Returns (P2) to ODPM on building control completions.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much money Sefton received in 2004–05 for repair and refurbishment of council homes; and how much is proposed for 2005–06. [214592]

Keith Hill: The following table shows Sefton's maintenance and major repairs allowances per dwelling within Housing Revenue Account subsidy for 2004–05 and 2005–06. The final volume of these allowances will depend on changes in the size of Sefton's stock.
Sefton: allowances per dwelling within HRA subsidy

Maintenance allowance730.72837.32
Major repairs allowance563.21581.12

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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people owned their own homes in Crosby in each year since 1997. [214685]

Keith Hill: Results from the last Census show that in 2001 there were 24,017 households in the parliamentary constituency of Crosby who were owner occupiers—out of a total of 29,484 households.

Of these owner-occupiers 11,089 owned their home outright; 12,825 were buying with a mortgage; and 103 were in shared ownership schemes.

Annual figures from 1997 are not available.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the level of Sefton's housing debt was for each year since 1997. [214686]

Keith Hill: The estimated share of Sefton's debt attributed to housing is tabled as follows. The estimate is used for the calculation of the Council's Housing Revenue Account Subsidy:

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which recommendations of the Barker review of housing supply the Government intend to implement; and if he will make a statement. [211163]

Keith Hill: The Government's initial response to Kate Barker's report was provided by my right hon. Friends the Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister alongside the budget on 17 March 2004. We said then that we intend to bring forward a package of measures to address the recommendations of the Barker review by the end of 2005.

Kate Barker's proposals build on the approach adopted in the Communities Plan, launched by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister in February 2003. Her analysis has reinforced our case and strategy for more growth. In particular, the Government have accepted Kate Barker's central recommendation that there should be a step change in housing supply and intends to set a national market affordability goal, by the end of 2005, as part of the package of measures in response to the Barker Review.

In advance of the wider package, and in response to one of Kate Barker's recommendations, the Government recently consulted on proposals to strengthen regional integration by bringing together regional planning bodies and regional housing boards and to provide the merged bodies with independent advice. Following that consultation, we will be announcing decisions shortly.
7 Feb 2005 : Column 1288W

In the 2004 Spending Review, we made a start on infrastructure investment in creating a Community Infrastructure Fund, as recommended by Kate Barker. An extra £50 million in 2006–07 and £150 million in 2007–08 will be available to finance transport projects needed to sustain housing growth. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor also allocated funds which, with additional Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding, aims to provide an extra 10,000 new homes for social let annually, together with resources that will help deliver the 200,000 new homes identified in the Sustainable Communities Plan in Thames Gateway and the other growth areas by 2016 and go further by responding to new proposals for growth.

Licensing Hours

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what requirements there are on local councillors to declare an interest when considering applications for the extension of licensing hours. [214029]

Mr. Raynsford: Under the terms of the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001, members of local authorities with a personal interest in a matter under discussion at any meeting of the authority must disclose to the meeting the existence and nature of that interest.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures his Department plans to introduce training for local authority councillors who will sit on the new licensing boards that will grant extension to licensing hours. [214030]

Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no such plans. The Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)—a central body created by the UK local authority associations including the Welsh Local Government Association and funded by top-sliced revenue support grant—is providing advice, guidance, and developing training courses for councils' officers and members on the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 (Part 2).

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