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20 Dec 2005 : Column 2832W—continued

Parish Councils

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the (a) Lathom and (b) Bickerstaff area of West Lancashire constituency will receive notice as to whether it will be allowed to form a parish council. [37420]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister has received a petition for a new parish of Lathom South the area of which comprises parts of Bickerstaff, Derby and Skelmersdale South district wards.

In order to create this parish council one of the steps required is for the Electoral Commission to receive information from West Lancashire district council on their consultation about the electoral arrangements in the proposed parish. When this information has been received by ODPM and subject to the satisfactory completion of other processes that need to be undertaken then it should be possible to establish a parish council.

Permitted Development Rights

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the consultation phase on the Government's proposed response to the Lichfield Report on the Operation of Permitted Development Rights (2003) has commenced. [39127]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) commissioned Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners to undertake a review of permitted development rights which was published in September 2003. The ODPM has not formally commented on the report.
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Planning Applications (Consultees)

Bob Russell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it a requirement for water and sewerage companies to be statutory consultees in respect of planning applications and development proposals; and if he will make a statement. [31636]

Yvette Cooper: Water companies are already statutory consultees on regional spatial strategies (RSSs) and local development plan documents (DPDs) since water resource issues are an important consideration in determining the pattern of development.

Under the plan-led system, planning applications are determined in accordance with the development plan (the RSS and DPDs) unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, has no plans to make water and sewerage companies statutory
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consultees on individual planning applications. However, if evidence emerged that the current approach was not working further consideration would be given to the matter.

Planning Decisions

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many and what percentage of planning decisions in (a) Lancaster and Wyre and (b) Lancashire were over-turned by his Department in each year since 1997. [36241]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not hold information centrally on the type and number of decisions made prior to April 2002. Since that date the First Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has decided 19 called-in planning applications or recovered appeals in Lancashire. Of those three were in Wyre and one in Lancaster.
2002–03 2002–03 over-turned
2003–04 2003–04 over-turned
Total for Lancashire52406466

2004–052004–05 over-turned
2005 to date 2005 to date over-turned
Total for Lancashire5360300

Private Sector Investments

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures the Government and its agencies are taking to encourage and facilitate private sector investment in (a) the Thames Gateway growth area and (b) Kent Thameside. [36724]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister's £210 million investment in the regeneration of North Kent is supporting private sector investment through land remediation and local infrastructure. We are seeing some of these private sector schemes coming on stream, such as some £400 million for The Bridge development in Dartford and some £100 million for Gravesham Town Centre's Heritage Quarter.

Government realise private sector investment in the Thames Gateway is essential if we are to deliver sustainable housing and economic growth. We work closely with developers and investors in a number of different ways including the Developers Forum and the Investors Group. Both the London and Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporations, as well as the sub-regional and local regeneration partnerships have representatives from the private sector on their boards. In addition we have recently set up an Invest in Thames Gateway team within the Thames Gateway Delivery Unit with a single number—02079 44 66 33—dedicated to helping investors and developers who want to work in the area.

In Kent Thameside specifically, private sector is represented on the Local Regeneration Partnership. Our individual partners, such as the local authorities, the South East of England Regional Development Agency, and English Partnerships also work closely with private sector, consulting both on local strategies and individual developments.

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much private sector investment has been levered in through section 106 agreements in (a) the Thames Gateway growth area and (b) Kent Thameside since the publication of the Sustainable Communities Plan. [36725]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister does not monitor section 106 agreements. However, we would expect the major contributions arising from section 106 agreements to be reflected in the local regeneration frameworks being drawn up by the local regeneration partnerships in the Thames Gateway area.

Public Bodies/Agencies

Mr. Weir: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff were employed by non-departmental public bodies and agencies for which he has responsibility in 2004–05 in (a) total and (b) each (i) nation and (ii)region of the UK and (c) London. [35958]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Total Executive non-departmental public bodies (NDPB) staff numbers as at 31 March 2005 for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is
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recorded in Table 2 of Public Bodies 2005, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House, and online at:

The number of staff in individual Executive agencies as at 1 April 2004, including a regional analysis, is available in Civil Service Statistics 2004 which was published in February 2005, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House. It is also available online at:

Both of the aforementioned represent the latest available information which is held centrally.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not hold data centrally for NDPB and agencies broken down by regions.


Mr. Rooney: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of the council housing stock (a) houses and (b) flats has been sold since 1980 under the right to buy scheme. [35289]

Yvette Cooper: [holding answer 6 December 2005]: An estimated 30 percent. of council housing stock in England has been sold through the right to buy scheme since 1980. Information concerning the type of dwelling is not available.

An estimate of the percentage of council stock sold is based on right to nuy sales as a percentage of the notional" stock (the most recent stock figure plus all reported sales since 1 April 1979).

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