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7 Nov 2005 : Column 182W—continued

Fire-related Deaths (Leeds)

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many fire-related deaths there have been in dwellings in Leeds, north-west in each year since 1997. [25769]

Jim Fitzpatrick: West Yorkshire fire and rescue service have supplied the following information on the number of fire-related deaths in dwellings in Leeds north-west from 1997 to 2004.
Number of deaths in dwelling fires

All the fire deaths in the table were fires accidentally started in dwellings, there were no deaths in deliberate dwelling fires.

Green Belt

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 11 October 2005, Official Report, column 440W, on green belt, if he will list the type of development in each case that was (a) refused and (b) allowed. [19854]

Yvette Cooper: Further information about the cases referred to in the answer of 11 October has been made available in the Libraries of the House. This information relates to cases decided between 1 April 1999 and 30 September 2005 and indicates the type of development for each case that was refused or allowed.

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans his Department has to establish a national register of (a) the total area of land within the existing green belt and (b) applications for a change of use for green belt land. [22664]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 28 October 2005]: A national database has been established to monitor the extent of green belt in England based on digitising green belt boundaries in proposal maps in local development plans. The first results using this methodology were published in April 2000 based on local development plans in existence in 1997. An update was published in September 2004, based on local development plans in 2003. This approach, using digitisation technology provides much more reliable figures than those published prior to 2000. There are no present plans to monitor planning applications for change of use for green belt land.

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what total area of land within the green belt has had a change of use status since 1997. [21210]

Yvette Cooper: Estimates for average land area within designated green belt that has assumed a change of use each year are from Land Use Change Statistics as shown as follows.
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Annual average area of land within 1997 designated green belt that has changed use 1997–2003

New use
Previous useUndevelopedDevelopedTotal

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the Government plans to build houses on green belt land in east Tilbury, Thurrock. [25070]

Yvette Cooper: Any proposals for new housing in east Tilbury will have to be considered through the planning system in the normal way. Each individual planning application must be considered on its own merits and determined principally against relevant policies in an adopted development plan for the area, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. There remains a general presumption against inappropriate development within the green belt. Such development should not be approved except in very special circumstances, as set out in planning policy guidance note 2, green belts.

The Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation is currently developing a regeneration framework which will set the context for the likely range of regeneration activities in the for the Thurrock area. It is expected to consult on this shortly.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2005, Official Report, column 15W, on Highbury, what monitoring his Department has undertaken of section 106 agreements relating to the Arsenal stadium, Lough Road and Highbury Square developments. [23290]

Yvette Cooper: Central Government do not monitor the implementation of individual planning obligations (or section 106 agreements), as these are private agreements between local planning authorities and developers. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister sets a national policy framework for planning obligations, within which local planning authorities have freedom to establish and implement their own local policies and detailed procedures.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the levels of child homelessness have been in each Government office region in each year since 1997; [19877]

(2) how many accommodation places are provided for homeless children in each Government office region area. [19878]

Yvette Cooper: Information reported each quarter by local authorities about their activities under homelessness legislation distinguishes the number of households accepted as unintentionally homeless, in priority need and consequently owed a main homelessness duty that contain one, two and three or more children. It is therefore possible to calculate an
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estimate of the number of children in these households and this information has been made available in the Library of the House.

Also identified, since 2002, are the number of households in temporary accommodation that contain dependent children and/or an expectant mother, on the last day of the quarter and, since 2004, the number of dependent or expected children in these households. This information has been made available in the Library of the House.

Information about the total number of units of temporary accommodation potentially available for use by households with children is not available centrally.

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will estimate how many homeless (a) 16-year-olds and (b) 17-year-olds there have been in Leeds, North West since 1997; and how many have been placed in bed and breakfast accommodation in Leeds, North West in each year. [24001]

Yvette Cooper: As local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation are reported in terms of local housing authority districts, information is collected for Leeds City Council, within which the Leeds, North West constituency is located.

Under the Housing Act 1996, local authorities have a statutory duty to provide assistance to those who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, and a main homelessness duty (to ensure that suitable accommodation is available) is owed where the authority is satisfied that the applicant is eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and within a priority need" category.

The priority need categories were extended in July 2002 to include all applicants aged 16 or 17. Previously the category vulnerable young persons" would have included those aged 16 and 17, but these cannot be separately identified. Since that time, the authority has reported 860 applicants aged 16 or 17 and found to be owed a main homelessness duty, as follows:
All acceptancesOf which:
16 to 17-year-olds
as percentage
of All
July 2002 to March 20033,7602647
April 2003 to March 20044,9503387
April 2004 to March 20052,7802168
April 2005 to June 2005510428

Applicants with, or expecting, children will be classified under the priority categories households with dependent children" and household member pregnant" respectively as the main qualification; these categories may therefore include some 16 and 17-year-old applicants, but these cannot be separately identified.

Upon acceptance some of these applicants will have been provided with a settled housing solution immediately, while others will have been placed in some form of temporary accommodation, which could include bed and breakfast. As information reported about households in the various forms of temporary accommodation does not distinguish the applicant's
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age, it is not possible to provide the number 16 and 17-year-olds placed in bed and breakfast. However, Leeds ceased using bed and breakfast to accommodate households after March 2004.

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