|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Yvette Cooper: The requirements relating to environmental impact assessment of development falling within the planning system are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/293).
For some types of development environmental impact assessment (EIA) is mandatory. For others it is required if the local planning authority considers that the particular development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment. Where EIA is required, the developer must provide environmental information (called an Environmental Statement) which includes: a description of the development comprising information on the site, design and size of the development; a description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected including, in particular, population, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, including the architectural and archaeological heritage, landscape
20 Oct 2005 : Column 1113W
and the inter-relationship between all these aspects; a description of the measures envisaged to mitigate any significant adverse effects; an outline of any alternatives considered; and a non-technical summary of the above information. The Environmental Statement is circulated to statutory consultation bodies, and made available to the public, for comment.
The Regulations do not specify when the EIA has to be carried out. However, a planning authority is prohibited from granting planning permission unless an Environmental Statement has been provided. If the authority considers there are deficiencies in the Environmental Statement it can require an applicant to provide further information or produce evidence needed to verify any information in the Statement. In determining an application the planning authority must take account of the Environmental Statement, any further information provided, and any comments or representations made by statutory consultees and the public.
The VAT treatment of home information packs will depend on a number of factors. The exact nature of the packs, and how they will be provided, is still under consideration, and draft regulations are expected to be published shortly. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister are discussing the possible VAT treatment of these packs, and suppliers of home information packs, or parts thereof, will be able to contact HMRC for advice as required and separate guidance will be issued if appropriate.
Yvette Cooper: The number of households accepted by local authorities in England as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need during each quarter since JanuaryMarch 1993, and the number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by authorities under homelessness legislation as at the end of each quarter, is tabled.
The duty owed to a person accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available. As an alternative to the provision of temporary accommodation some authorities arrange for households to remain in their current accommodation (homeless at home), until a settled solution becomes available.
20 Oct 2005 : Column 1114W
Total priority acceptances during the quarter(3)
|Total in temporary accommodation at the end of each quarter(4)|
Yvette Cooper: The Government expects shortly to provide a response to the Report of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee on Ageing Populations, Recommendation 9.19 which covers the Lifetime Home Standards.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which 25 local authorities in England have (a) the largest number of people on the housing register and (b) the largest waiting lists for processing homeless applications; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Table A presents the 25 local authorities in England reporting the highest number of households on their housing register as at 1 April this year, and Table B presents the 25 local authorities with the largest number of households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty, and in temporary accommodation (with their households) arranged by the authority awaiting a settled home as at 30 June.
Local authorities do not hold a waiting list for homeless applications; as soon as they have reason to believe that a person is homeless or threatened with homelessness they must make inquiries to determine whether any duty is owed under the homelessness legislation. Information about the length of time taken by local authorities to process applications is not collected centrally, but The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Homelessness Code of Guidance recommends that wherever possible inquiries should be completed, and the applicant notified, within 33 working days.
The duty owed to an applicant, on behalf of the household, accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need is to secure suitable accommodation for the applicant and his or her household. In many cases, a settled home is not immediately available, and the local housing authority will secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available. In such cases, the applicant
20 Oct 2005 : Column 1116W
household will usually join the housing register for an allocation of housing under Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996 (although other housing options such as a qualifying offer of an assured shorthold tenancy can also bring the homelessness duty to an end).
The Government's homelessness strategy Sustainable Communities: settled homes; changing lives sets out the challenging aim to halve the number of households in insecure temporary accommodation by 2010.
|Local authority||Region||Number of households|
|1. Sheffield||Yorkshire and the Humber||72,604|
|2. Bradford||Yorkshire and the Humber||32,046|
|3. Leeds||Yorkshire and the Humber||30,699|
|5. Tower Hamlets||London||21,183|
|7. Sandwell||West Midlands||19,655|
|9. Manchester||North West||17,772|
|10. Birmingham||West Midlands||17,493|
|13. Sunderland||North East||16,222|
|14. Bolton||North West||16,096|
|15. Wirral||North West||15,524|
|17. Rotherham||Yorkshire and the Humber||13,903|
|19. Newcastle upon|
|20. East Riding of|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||12,163|
|21. Walsall||West Midlands||12,024|
|22. Doncaster||Yorkshire and the Humber||11,937|
|23. Bristol||South West||11,809|
|24. Sefton||North West||11,637|
|25. Leicester||East Midlands||11,482|
|Local authority||Region||Number of households|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||London||1,579|
|Kensington and Chelsea||London||1,053|
|Luton||East of England||945|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|