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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many hectares of designated green belt land there were in each local authority area, in (a) 1997 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. 
Data on the extent of designated green belt in each local authority area in England in 1997 and 2003 were published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on 16 September 2004. Copies of the
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publication are available in the Library of the House. The publication is also available on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment the Government have made of the number of park and ride sites proposed for development on green belt land since the revision of planning policy guidance 13 in 2001. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1)what estimate the Government have made of the cost to local authorities of implementing the new regulations on high hedges; and if he will make a statement; 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published the 'Regulatory Impact Assessment: High HedgesImplementing Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003' on 23 March 2005. It contains estimates of the costs to local authorities of implementing and enforcing the new legislation on high hedges, including set-up and ongoing costs.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress he has made in ensuring an adequate supply of trained inspectors to meet the requirement of the Housing Act 2004 for home condition reports. 
Yvette Cooper: National Occupational Standards for home inspectors have been approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. An awarding body has been approved for the new qualification in home inspection, and four assessment centres have been approved so far to assess courses offered by educational institutions and other organisations. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is assisting recruitment of home inspectors with awareness initiatives aimed at publicising this new career opportunity. A highly successful national conference and trade fair held on 25 November 2004 was attended by between 800 and 1,000 potential home inspectors. Four regional conferences have been well attended, and further regional events are planned. We expect to see the number of trained inspectors rise quickly in the second half of 2005 and during 2006, ready for introducing home information packs in early 2007 and we will work with the industry to this end.
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's proposals for social homebuy are set out in the consultation document 'HomeBuyExpanding the Opportunity to Own' (a copy of which is available from the Library of the House). Under our proposals, participating social tenants would buy as large a share of their home as they can afford, and would have to be able to afford at least 50 per cent. of the home's discounted value. There would be rigorous and transparent affordability checks to ensure that they can afford to sustain the ongoing obligations the home ownership brings. We have published an assessment of the income that would be required to purchase a 50 per cent. share of a typical starter home under social homebuy in 'HomeBuyExpanding the Opportunity to Own: Supporting Document' (a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, or at the following address on the internet:
Yvette Cooper: Social homebuy will be voluntary, with housing associations and local authorities able to choose whether or not to offer the opportunity to their tenants. We are currently consulting on the details of our proposals for social homebuy, as set out in the consultation document 'HomeBuyExpanding the Opportunity to Own' (a copy of which is available from the Library of the House). It is therefore not possible to provide an estimate of the proportion of housing associations expected to offer social homebuy at the present time.
Yvette Cooper: Our proposals for social homebuy are set out in the consultation document 'HomeBuyExpanding the Opportunity to Own' (a copy of which is available from the Library of the House). Under them, in most cases, buyers will have the option to purchase further equity shares in 10 per cent. tranches to 100 per cent. ownership.
In some exceptional cases, for example in particularly high-value areas or small rural settlements where replacing affordable housing would be difficult, buyers may be restricted to purchasing less than 100 per cent. of the property. Buyers would be informed of this restriction at the initial point of purchase.
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's proposals for social homebuy are set out in the consultation document 'HomeBuyExpanding the Opportunity to Own' (a copy of which is available from the Library of the House). The scheme will be voluntary, with housing associations and local authorities able to choose whether to offer the opportunity to their tenants. The consultation has not yet concluded and therefore it is not possible at the present time to identify which housing associations and local authorities will do so.
Yvette Cooper: Using data from the Survey of English Housing it is estimated that in 200304 in England there were (a) 473,000 households, and (b) 767,000 children under 16 living in households which do not pass the bedroom standard". This represented 2 per cent. of all households and 8 per cent. of all children.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his most recent estimate is of the number of households in overcrowded accommodation, broken down by (a) region and (b) property tenure; and what the figures were in 1991. 
Yvette Cooper: The most recent estimates of the number of households in overcrowded accommodation which fails the bedroom standard", broken down by (a) region and (b) property tenure, are shown in the following tables, alongside equivalent figures for 1991. These figures suggest a significant overall decline in overcrowding between 1991 and 200304 of 43 per cent.
|Standard Statistical Region||1991||200304|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||77||31|
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he (a) has published and (b) plans to publish to assist local authorities in the discharge of their new licensing functions under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004. 
Yvette Cooper: Advice to local authorities and landlords is available on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website www.odpm.gov.uk and a number of statutory instruments will be laid before Parliament shortly which will help define the framework within which licensing will operate.
Discussions are also under way with local government, landlords and other stakeholder organisations on the training required by key staff and on how best to disseminate information about the new arrangements and examples of good practice.
Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG9) makes provision for 5,240 new
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homes in Essex per annum. The final Regional Spatial Strategy for the East of England will be published by the First Secretary of State around the end of 2006.
In London, housing targets are set by the Mayor of London and the London boroughs. The Mayor's London Plan states that housing provision up to 2006 will be monitored against a minimum target of 23,000 additional homes per year. The target for Havering for the period 19972016 is 6,900 additional homes (350 per year.)
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