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7 Nov 2005 : Column 185W—continued

House Competition Costs

Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will publish the construction (a) strategies and (b) costs of the competitors in the £60,000 house competition; and if he will make a statement. [23479]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and English Partnerships are working to prepare a publication drawing out the lessons that have been learned from the Design for Manufacture competition. The consortia that submit bids at stage II and III of the competition will be invited to feed into the publication, which will seek to highlight what was best about each of the bids and what lessons may be drawn from them in terms of best practice for the construction industry as a whole. It will include information about costs, technologies and construction strategies. We aim to be able to publish this document by spring 2006, and are also exploring other ways to ensure that the lessons learnt are disseminated and adopted across the industry.

In addition English Partnerships intend to measure and monitor, using construction industry key performance indicators, the actual construction efficiency (both cost and process) during the construction phase and the whole life cost/occupancy costs while the homes are in habitation. This will be a longer term project, but data will be made available to the construction industry and the regeneration sector in due course.


Mr. Holloway: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many affordable housing units have been (a) built and (b) procured in Gravesham since 1997. [19835]

Yvette Cooper: The following table shows the number of new homes built or acquired/refurbished in Gravesham from 1997–98 to 2004–05 through the Housing Corporation approved development programme and local authority social housing grant. The number of homes acquired/refurbished includes an element for properties in registered social landlord (RSL) ownership which have been re-improved (such as by providing an extension to the property).
Completions in Gravesham 1997–98 to 2004–05

(a) New build(b) Acquired/refurbished

Housing Corporation.

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to increase the number of units of (a) social and (b) affordable housing in Hartlepool constituency. [20933]

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Yvette Cooper: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, through Government office for the north-east, is working with a range of bodies in Hartlepool to deal with the issues of social and affordable housing. The borough has considerable reserves of housing land, particularly brown-field land at Victoria Harbour and at Middle Warren, where a wide range of house types and prices can be accommodated.

The New Deal for Communities (NDC) partnership is working in west central Hartlepool to address the issue of market failure which was becoming a problem. One of the biggest challenges for the NDC is to tackle the decline in older terraced housing in the area, to make it an area where young families want to move into and where people want to stay. A plan has been put in place, approved by residents, and a resident led company, Hartlepool Revival, has been set up to put the plan into action. The company has its own legal status and is seen as the sustainable element of NDC in Hartlepool.

Excellent groundbreaking work was undertaken by the NDC, which involved wide participation from NDC residents and local stakeholders. This resulted in the publication of the promised Community Housing Plan in May 2003. The Community Housing Plan is the residents' and NDC's way of tackling the housing market failure that parts of the area have suffered.

The Community Housing Plan was developed by social regeneration consultants, in consultation with local residents, to determine the future of the 113 streets in the NDC area. This ensured community leadership of the creation of a plan which is robust enough to stand up in all necessary legal areas alongside the statutory local plan and the local authority's housing strategy. Hartlepool borough council has an active role in the management of this programme via their presence on the NDC housing sub-group. The plan will establish principles which will guide the Area Re-Modelling Project" in years 3–10, including establishing areas which may be considered for possible demolition. The plan is expected to transform the NDC area upon completion.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what modelling work his Department is doing to evaluate the infrastructure needs for its housing projections in (a) the South East and (b) London. [21092]

Yvette Cooper: The Government continue to support work to assess overall infrastructure requirements for housing growth, such as the approach taken in the Milton Keynes Prospectus and in other growth location business plans. For example, partners in Milton Keynes have estimated that the infrastructure required until 2016 to accommodate 15,000 new homes in the expansion areas of Milton Keynes will cost £1.2 billion. We welcome this work and anticipate that partners in other growth locations will undertake similar infrastructure assessment exercises.

Assessing the infrastructure requirements for growth is a complex and evolving process due to both the detailed layout of development and new approaches in the nature of service provision affecting what is needed. Therefore the total cost of infrastructure requirements will vary from one growth location to another.
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The Government's aim is to provide as much information as it can on likely future levels of support but this needs to be made in the context of the public expenditure cycle.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is working closely with other Government Departments to ensure that planned investment in transport, schools, hospitals, green infrastructure and other facilities supports new housing in the growth areas.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many dwellings have been refurbished under the decent homes standard programme; and how many further dwellings the Government plan to refurbish under the programme. [22972]

Yvette Cooper: Since 1997 we have reduced the number of social homes that do not meet the decent homes standard by more than one million out of a total of 2.1 million. Work completed and plans in place will take us 90 per cent. of the way towards meeting our target of ensuring that all social sector homes meet the standard. We are now focusing our efforts on dealing with the remaining 10 per cent.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the average cost is per dwelling of refurbishment under the Government's decent homes standard programme; [22973]

(2) what have been the 10 most expensive refurbishments under the Government's decent homes standard programme; [22974]

(3) how many refurbishments under the decent homes standard programme cost more than £20,000. [22975]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister holds information on a scheme by scheme basis on the cost of delivering decent homes, but there would be a disproportionate cost in calculating an average cost per dwelling across all schemes, and in analysing all this data to provide the most expensive schemes and those costing more than £20,000.

Jim Cousins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many (a) affordable housing units and (b) housing units for special needs he expected to be provided when he gave his consent to the Newcastle Gateshead Pathfinder giving Newcastle city council funds to buy part of the land owned by Newcastle Breweries; [24243]

(2) what conditions he agreed to be placed on Newcastle city council in return for the grant of funding to buy land owned by Newcastle Breweries; and on what date he gave his consent for this expenditure. [24244]

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Yvette Cooper: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister does not give consent to specific pathfinder projects. However, given the significance of the proposals relating to the Newcastle Breweries site, officials from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) were consulted and kept informed by the pathfinder throughout the process leading to the purchase. In order to maintain compliance with the Pathfinder's funding agreement, the land purchased will need to be redeveloped for residential or mixed use. Any profit from the disposal of the land will need to be used for regeneration activities within the pathfinder area or returned to ODPM.

No decisions have yet been taken by the Pathfinder on the numbers of affordable housing units or housing units for special needs that will be built on the Newcastle Breweries site. The Pathfinder will need to consider a number of factors, including the views of the community, housing market intelligence, technical surveys and detailed work on the identification of options for housing provision to secure optimum design, type, and tenure.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will change the building regulations to ensure that each new build property (a) includes renewable energy facilities and (b) is energy efficient. [24405]

Yvette Cooper: Part L of the Building Regulations sets levels for energy performance in ways that offer designers the flexibility to choose solutions that best meet their needs, are cost-effective and practical, and enable innovation. Without prescribing solutions this enables builders to take up the benefits of renewable and other low and zero carbon" technologies. In September the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister announced further improvements to these energy efficiency requirements that will come into effect next April and will encourage greater take-up of renewable systems.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which 25 local authorities had the highest number of households on the housing register per head of population in the local authority area as at 1st April; and if he will make a statement. [22168]

Yvette Cooper: The 25 local authorities with the highest percentage of households in their local authority that are on the local authority's housing list are provided in the table.

Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. Local authorities sometimes maintain a common waiting list with the housing association/s in their district. However, information is not held centrally where a Housing Association maintains a separate waiting list to the local authority.
Local authorities with the 25 highest percentage figures for number of households on their housing register at 1 April 2005

Local authorityRegionNumber of households on housing registerHouseholds on register as a percentage of total households in local authority area
SheffieldYorkshire and the Humber72,60433
City of LondonLondon1,20430
Tower HamletsLondon21,18324
MansfieldEast Midlands9,78424
SandwellWest Midlands19,65517
BradfordNorth West32,04617
CorbyEast Midlands3,40416
BoltonNorth West16,09615
SunderlandNorth East16,22214
RotherhamYorkshire and the Humber13,90313
South TynesideNorth East8,64913
BassetlawEast Midlands5,75013
Great YarmouthEast of England5,03513
South KestevenEast Midlands6,50912
SalfordNorth West11,21612
WalsallWest Midlands12,02412
WirralNorth West15,52411
Blackburn with Darwen UANorth West6,17711
RushmoorSouth East4,15111

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Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of homes built for key workers have been sold to key workers, broken down by region. [15837]

Yvette Cooper: The percentage of homes built for key workers that have been sold/let or are in the process of being sold/let to key workers is:

The remaining units are in the process of being marketed for sale/let. 47 percent. of these key worker units have only been completed in the last three months. A cascade mechanism is in place to deal with any units that are difficult to sell/let.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of tenant involvement in (a) registered social landlords after privatisation, (b) arms-length management organisations and (c) council controlled housing; and what steps he plans to take to strengthen tenant involvement. [17862]

Yvette Cooper: The Audit Commission considers resident involvement in its inspections of local authorities, arms length management organisations and registered social landlords. Inspection reports are available on the Commission's website at:

In addition, RSLs are required to publish an annual tenant involvement impact assessment.

Mike Penning: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many vacant homes there are in Hertfordshire; and if he will make a statement. [24018]

Yvette Cooper: There were 10,980 empty homes in Hertfordshire as at November 2004, the latest date for which figures are available. The data are as reported on CTB1 and CTB1S forms submitted by billing
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authorities to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister each year. The figure includes both long and short-term empty properties.

The Government are introducing new powers from April next year for local authorities to reduce the number of long term empty homes in their area.

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