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11 Jul 2005 : Column 803W—continued

Household Projections (South-east)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his timetable is for publication of household projections for the South East. [8614]

Yvette Cooper: Publication of 2003-based household projections for England and the Government Office Regions is planned for September. These will be National Statistics with the release date pre-announced on the Office for National Statistics' website.


Lorely Burt: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what(a) legislation and (b) other safeguards are in place (i) to protect public open space and parkland from housing development in the urban environment and (ii)to stop councils selling off public open space and parkland for housing development to fund other council services. [8923]

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Yvette Cooper: National planning guidance set out in PPG17 (Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation) makes clear that open spaces that are needed by their communities should be protected and not developed for other uses. PPG17 indicates that planning authorities should undertake assessments of their communities' open space needs and only consider granting permission for development where open spaces are surplus to all requirements. PPG3 (Housing) complements this protection through the priority it gives to building new houses on previously developed land.

My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister must be notified of those major proposals for housing or that affect open spaces which are subject to relevant directions so that he can consider whether to call them in for his own determination. A local authority proposing to dispose of open space under the Local Government Act 1972 must advertise its intention in a local newspaper for two consecutive weeks and consider any objections.
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Disposal of land by local authorities is governed by section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972. Local authorities may dispose of land in any manner they wish: my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State's only involvement is to grant or withhold consent where authorities wish to dispose of land at less than the best consideration reasonably obtainable and the proposed disposal falls outside the scope of the General Consent set out in ODPM Circular 06/2003.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister who the zone agent is for West Sussex in the key worker living scheme. [10170]

Yvette Cooper: Moat Housing Group is the zone agent for the Sussex area.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what advice he has received from the Regional Housing Board on the amount of affordable housing needed inWest Sussex (a) in 2005 and (b) over the next 10 years. [10171]

Yvette Cooper: The South East Regional Housing Board has not given any advice to my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on the amount of affordable housing needed in West Sussex. The Board's role is to set out overall priorities for the region rather than to determine allocations between individual local authorities.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many key workers in West Sussex he expects to benefit from the (a) Social Home Buy and (b) New Build Home programmes. [10217]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 7 July 2005]: It is not possible to estimate at the moment how many people in West Sussex will benefit from the Government's proposals for low cost home ownership. The South East Region has been allocated £805.161 million of funding for housing for the two years 2006–08 and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently awaiting Regional Housing Board recommendations as to how and where this should be invested. Once priorities for investment have been established, housing providers will be invited to bid for funding. The number of people in West Sussex who will benefit will depend on which bids are successful.

With regard to Social HomeBuy it is a voluntary scheme and it will be up to the individual social landlords to decide whether to operate it in any given area.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many first-time buyers in West Sussex he expects to benefit from the First Time Buyers Initiative. [10218]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 7 July 2005]: It is too early to say how many first time buyers in West Sussex will be helped through the First Time Buyers Initiative. Our target for the initiative is to provide 15,000 affordable homes across England over the next five years to 2010. This target can be found in our Five Year Strategy, Sustainable Communities: Homes for All", published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in January 2005 (a copy of which is available in the Library of the House). English Partnerships is now developing a delivery plan for the First Time Buyers Initiative.
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Our consultation document HomeBuy; Expanding the opportunity to own" launched in April 2005 set out various proposals for simplifying, making fairer and expanding our low cost home ownership programme. The consultation process closed on 24 June, and the results will be fed into English Partnerships' delivery plan. English Partnerships will be working closely with stakeholders such as the Regional Housing Boards, local planning authorities and others to assess local demands and accommodate them where possible taking account of regional strategies and development plans. Regional Housing Boards will advise on groups to be given priority, reflecting the needs of the region.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people in West Sussex he expects to benefit from the Key Worker Living Scheme. [10219]

Yvette Cooper: [holding answer 7 July 2005]: Allocations are not made by individual counties. The Sussex area has been allocated over £8 million in 2004–05 and 2005–06 to invest in the provision of Key Worker Living Homebuy Equity Loans to help an estimated 250 households into home ownership by March 2006. In addition funding has been allocated to develop over 424 new homes to rent or buy through shared ownership in the area by March 2007.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much public sector land the Government have released for housing in West Sussex in the last five years; and how much further such land he plans to release. [10220]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 7 July 2005]: It is the responsibility of local planning authorities to identify and release land for housing as part of the planning process.

The Government have implemented a number of initiatives to assist with land supply in support of the Sustainable Communities Plan.

A register of surplus public sector land held by central Government bodies has been established. English Partnerships is currently reviewing the sites on the register to identify those which could have the potential for housing development. As at March 2005, there were 713 sites on the register. Sites are continually being added as they are identified as surplus by landowners and removed once expressions of interests are received after a site has been marketed. A list of the sites on the register, as at March 2005, can be found on the English Partnerships website at: English Partnerships will publish a quarterly update of sites on the register.

English Partnerships has also recently taken ownership of the first 67 sites from a portfolio of 96 surplus hospital sites. The sites are currently being assessed for their development potential and will then be taken forward in consultation with the relevant local planning authorities. English Partnerships and the Defence Estates have also signed a joint working agreement on surplus land. This sets out how the agencies will work together with the objective of maximising the potential of surplus defence sites to help deliver the Sustainable Communities Plan.
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The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and English Partnerships also maintain the National Land Use Database of Previously-Developed Land (NLUD-PDL). This covers vacant and derelict land and also land in use with potential for development. It covers land in both public and private ownership. Information on the sites is available from the NLUD website at

In addition, English Partnerships is developing the National Brownfield Strategy which will provide a coherent vision for the future development of brownfield land to underpin national, regional and local development aspirations. The strategy will help our targets for building new homes on brownfield land thereby reducing the pressure on the green belt.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what definition he uses of the term affordable housing. [10221]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 7 July 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in the other place on 9 June 2005, Official Report, column WA99–100 to the noble Lord Marlesford.

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many house (a) demolitions and (b) completions there were in (i) the public sector and (ii) the private sector in the last 10 years. [9835]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of demolitions and new build completions in each year since 1995–96 for England are tabled as follows.
Thousands of dwellings

(b) New build completions
(a) Total demolitions(91)Private sectorSocial (for rent) sector(92)(5508010093)

n/a=not available
(91)Figures are not available separately for private and social for rent sectors
(92)Social (for rent) sector covers activity by councils and registered social landlords
(93)The figures may understate new build by Registered Social Landlords as such dwellings may be classified as 'private' by building inspectors.
Demolitions: Local Authority Housing Flow (HFR/P3J) returns to ODPM, also HIP Business Plan Completions: Local Authority P2 (also NHBC) returns to ODPM

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