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I have now announced the locations of the eight new English regional fire control centres outside London, including the one in the South East. On 16 August I made a very interesting visit to Hampshire fire and rescue authority, within whose boundaries the South East regional fire control centre will lie. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister recognises the importance of elected members as key partners in delivering this project, and will be holding a series of meetings for elected Members for every region from November 2005 into early 2006 to deal with any issues they may wish to raise. Dates for these will be published shortly.
25 Oct 2005 : Column 329W
Jim Fitzpatrick: London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) have supplied the information in the following table on the number of fires attended in each London borough from 19992000 to 200405. Data prior to these dates is not available.
|Barking and Dagenham||567||481||610||516||605||546|
|City of London||100||116||120||98||112||107|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||513||489||454||422||504||467|
|Kensington and Chelsea||513||480||477||385||471||400|
|Kingston upon Thames||336||312||302||281||363||272|
|Richmond upon Thames||330||261||309||271||428||270|
|Barking and Dagenham||1,269||1,457||1,839||1,539||2,344||656|
|City of London||25||12||15||16||16||89|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||257||300||292||313||327||389|
|Kensington and Chelsea||175||154||187||129||197||345|
|Kingston upon Thames||230||241||309||245||346||273|
|Richmond upon Thames||254||248||229||254||326||257|
|Primary fires||Secondary fires|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what planning guidance and publications the Government have published since May 1997 that relate to the development of Traveller sites on (a) green field and (b) Green Belt sites. 
The draft Circular 'Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Sites' was issued for consultation in 2004, and includes guidance on development in the Green Belt which is in line with the policies in Planning Policy Guidance 2, published in 1995. Planning restrictions in the Green Belt are the same for Gypsies and Travellers as they are for the settled community.
25 Oct 2005 : Column 332W
The Government have published various Planning Policy Statements and Guidance since May 1997 that support the general policy presumption of development of appropriately located, previously developed sites, for any purpose, in preference to development of green field sites.
Yvette Cooper: The Government have made clear that they remain committed to the green belt. We do not have any plans to change the existing policy in Planning Policy Guidance note (PPG) 2, Green Belts, that strictly controls development in the green belt. There is a general presumption against inappropriate development in the green belt which should not be approved, except in very special circumstances.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has been consulting on proposals to introduce a new Green Belt Direction that would ensure closer scrutiny of planning applications for inappropriate development that would significantly impact on the openness of the green belt, before approval could be given. ODPM is considering the responses it has received to the public consultation draft of the new Direction.
The Government have set a target for each English region to maintain or increase the area designated as green belt in local plans. Any proposals to establish new green belts, or to change the general extent of existing green belts, should be considered as part of a review of the regional spatial strategy, or the London Plan, in the first instance. This process will ensure that the proposals are subject to public consultation and discussion through an examination in public before an independent panel.
Similarly, any proposal to alter (exceptionally) a detailed green belt boundary should be considered through the preparation or review of a development plan document. This process is led by the local planning authority and is subject to community involvement and independent examination.
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