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21 Feb 2005 : Column 341W—continued

Northern Way

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy min Minister pursuant to section C9 of Moving Forward: The Northern Way, First Growth Strategy Report, if he will list (a) the total number of houses proposed for demolition in each local authority area and (b) the streets where demolition s proposed. [217105]

Keith Hill: The Northern Way is an independently chaired, Regional Development Agency-led initiative. Moving Forward: The Northern Way" First Growth Strategy Report is a publication of its steering group. The report makes no proposals for the demolition of houses.

It is an essential pillar of the strategy that people living in the north, and the people the Northern Way Steering Group want to attract to the north, have real quality and diversity in housing that not only accommodates their needs when starting out but also provides real choice when they begin to prosper and their families grow.

The Northern Way Steering Group have made it clear that any proposals will be taken forward by working with the Regional Housing Boards and through the Regional Spatial Strategies, which are subject to formal consultation processes with stakeholders, at which heritage and conservation issues can be fully explored.

Parish Councils (Chorley)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Deputy min Minister what the percentage increase in the parish council precept in each parish council area in Chorley has been since 1997. [216559]

Mr. Raynsford: Information on amounts of council tax precepted by individual parish and town councils is not held centrally and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. The information requested should be available from Chorley borough council.

Park Homes

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Deputy min Minister if he will require local authorities which implement the six metre rule on park homes to make appropriate grants to the owners of such park homes; and if he will make a statement. [216428]

Yvette Cooper: No. It is for a local authority to decide whether to impose the six metre rule as a site licence condition and to decide whether to enforce a site owner to comply with any condition. The cost of compliance is normally met by the site owner who may seek to recover his costs from residents as part of the pitch fee review.
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Under the park home provisions in the Housing Act 2004 the Office of the Deputy min Minister is to lay secondary legislation on the pitch fee reviews. These provisions are expected to come into force in July 2005.

Planning Advisory Service

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister if he will make a statement on the (a) purpose and (b) estimated yearly expenditure of the Planning Advisory Service. [216274]

Keith Hill: The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) supports local planning authorities across England in improving their performance and promotes good practice. It also offers direct support to individual authorities to help them deliver key Government objectives, such as large-scale regeneration projects.

The Office of the Deputy min Minister has allocated £1.5 million to PAS in 2004–05, and £2 million in 2005–06.

Planning Appeals

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister what the longest time taken for the Planning Inspectorate to consider an individual appeal was, in each year since 1997. [216269]

Keith Hill: The information requested is tabled as follows:
Longest time taken to determine an appeal

1 April to 31 December 2004205

Information prior to 1998–99 is not readily available.

It is common practice for an applicant for planning approval, having had permission refused and having submitted an appeal, to submit an amended application to the local planning authority and to ask the Inspectorate for the determination of the initial appeal to be delayed. If the amended application is also turned down by the local planning authority, both appeals are determined together.

So far as can be ascertained, the appeals listed were linked to and decided with subsequent appeals. This would have been done at the request of the appellant.

Policy Initiatives

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy min Minister what (a) reports, (b) strategies, (c) five-year plans and (d) 10 year plans he has launched in his role as Deputy min Minister or Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. [211136]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy min Minister and the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions have published reports, strategies and plans reflecting the wide range of their
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responsibilities. Most recently this has included two five year plans: Sustainable Communities: Homes for All" and Sustainable Communities: People, Places and Prosperity". Together these plans show how the Office of the Deputy min Minister will take forward its agenda of creating sustainable communities, first described in the 2003 Sustainable Communities Plan". A full list of the Office of the Deputy min Minister's publications is available on its website at


Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy min Minister whether under planning policy guidance polytunnels which are placed on the same agricultural land each year for several months, while being removed during winter months, constitute a permanent fixture requiring full planning permission. [216350]

Keith Hill: It is for the local planning authority to decide if placing any structure on farmland would amount to development. Even where a polytunnel is regarded as development, it is likely to benefit from the general permission granted in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. The Office of the Deputy min Minister has issued no guidance on polytunnels as such, but we do encourage farmers always to have regard to the impact of their work on the environment.

Queen's Flight

Chris Grayling: To ask the Deputy min Minister (1) on how many occasions his Department's Ministers used the Queen's Flight in each of the past five years; [213704]

(2) how much money his Department has spent on chartering aircraft in each of the past five years. [213706]

Yvette Cooper: Travel by Ministers" makes clear that special flights may be authorised when a scheduled service is not available, or when it is essential to travel by air, but the requirements of official or parliamentary business or security considerations or urgency preclude the journey being made by a scheduled service. In respect of overseas travel by Ministers, since 1999 the Government has published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The list published in 1999 covers the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 1999. Where RAF/Private Charter aircraft are used this is shown in the list. The Government has also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2004–05 will be published in due course.

All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers", copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

Regional Assemblies

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy min Minister what guidance he has issued to regional assemblies on holding meetings in different locations around the region. [214157]

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Mr. Raynsford: My right hon. Friend the Deputy min Minister has not issued any guidance on where regional assemblies should hold meetings.

Regional Referendums

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy min Minister pursuant to his answer of 3 February 2005, Official Report, column 1087W on regional referendums, if he will place in the Library copies of the research undertaken on (a) the Your Say Information Campaign and (b) other groups' campaigns relating to the regional referendum in the north-east. [216427]

Mr. Raynsford: Copies of the research conducted on the Your Say Information Campaign have been made available in the Library of the House This research was conducted by NOP World and was designed to measure the effect of the information campaign in raising awareness of the referendums.

Six quantitative studies were undertaken between October 2003 and September 2004. These studies were undertaken in all three northern regions, with the exception of the last study, which was only undertaken in the north-east. In addition, a qualitative study was undertaken in October 2003 and June 2004 in all three regions.

The Office of the Deputy min Minister does not hold any research relating to any other groups' campaigns.

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