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6 Feb 2006 : Column 922W—continued

Planning (Helicopters)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what restrictions can be placed under planning regulations on the use of helicopter landing pads within or adjacent to (a) residential areas and (b) defined bridleways. [44123]

Yvette Cooper: It is for local planning authorities to impose whatever planning conditions they consider appropriate to protect residential areas and defined bridleways when granting planning permission for helicopter landing pads.

Private Gardens (Hammersmith and Fulham)

Mr. Hands: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) total area of privately owned gardens in Hammersmith and Fulham that has been developed in each year since 1997. [45273]

Yvette Cooper: The information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Land use change statistics record the amounts of residential land developed but do not record whether it was privately owned or how much of the land was occupied by any garden.

Regional Reorganisation

Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2006, Official Report, column 2068W, on regional reorganisation, what guidance and support his Department provides to Government departments on inter-regional communication on policy matters. [47155]

Jim Fitzpatrick: All sponsor departments of Government Offices, and Government Offices themselves, work closely to ensure effective inter-regional communications on policy matters. The new Government Office websites also enable effective communications, within and across regions, on a range of policy issues.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Wills: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what national target he has set to encourage renewable energy projects to be included as part of all new (a) domestic, (b) public, (c) commercial and (d) industrial developments. [45404]

Yvette Cooper: There are no separate targets for particular types of new developments. The Government have an overall target of 10 per cent. of the UK's electricity supply should come from sources of renewable energy by 2010, with an aspiration to double
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that by 2020. Planning Policy Statement 22 encourages the appropriate development of renewable energy schemes in England. The prospective amendment to the energy efficiency provisions in the Building Regulations for England and Wales includes enhanced performance standards that will also encourage developers to consider the benefits of renewable systems.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average monthly rent for a (a) one-bed, (b) two-bed, (c) three-bed and (d) four-bed (i) social landlord and (ii) local authority property was in (A) each Essex borough, (B) London and (C) each London borough in (1) 1990, (2) 1992, (3) 1994, (4) 1998 and (5) each of the last five years. [42384]

Yvette Cooper: Average weekly rent by local authority district and region are published for the local authority sector for 1996 to 2005 and the registered social landlord sector for 1997 to 2005 on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website in tables 702 and 704 respectively for those properties for which such a breakdown is available. The links for these tables are given as follows:

Average weekly rent in Essex in 2005 was £71.94 for a registered social landlord property and £58.66 for a council property. The respective rents in London were £74.67 and £69.37 per week.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many repossessions were made in (a) England, (b) the Tees Valley and (c) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland in each year since 1997. [45108]

Yvette Cooper: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth on 20 January 2006, Official Report, column 1695W.

Right to Buy

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many council houses have been sold in Hartlepool under the Right To Buy scheme in each year since 1980. [47322]

Yvette Cooper: The requested information can be found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at: There have been no Right to Buy sales in Hartlepool since 2004–05 following the large scale voluntary transfer of all local authority stock to a registered social landlord.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of council housing stock in each London borough has been sold under the right- to-buy scheme since 1980; and if he will make a statement. [47381]

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Yvette Cooper: The proportion of council housing stock in each London borough that has been sold under the Right to Buy scheme since its introduction in 1980 can be found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at:

Survey of English Housing

Mr. Khan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of (a) African, (b) Afro-Caribbean, (c) Bangladeshi, (d) Chinese, (e) Indian, (f) Pakistani, (g) Somali, (h) white, (i) other black groups and (j) mixed and other ethnic groups households are estimated by the Survey of English Housing 2004–05 to be living in overcrowded housing conditions. [42919]

Yvette Cooper: There are two measures of overcrowding—the statutory definition and the bedroom standard. Information on compliance with the statutory standard is not collected systematically and reliable estimates for separate ethnic groups are not available.

Estimates of overcrowding by ethnic group and based on the bedroom standard can be derived from the Survey of English Housing. In order to ensure reliable estimates of overcrowding by ethnic group it has been necessary to combine data from the seven-year period of 1998 to 2005. Over this period it is estimated that (a) 15 per cent. of black African households were overcrowded; (b) 7 per cent. of black Caribbean households; (c) 29 per cent. of Bangladeshi households; (d) 8 per cent. of Indian households; (f) 21 per cent. of Pakistani households; (g) 2 per cent. white households; and (h) 10 per cent. of households from other ethnic minorities and mixed ethnic groups. Separate figures for Chinese and Somali households are not available.

Estimates for individual years cannot be provided because sample sizes for individual ethnic groups are too small.

Thames Gateway

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment has been made of the merits of designating Thames Gateway as a national park. [47193]

Yvette Cooper: National park designations apply to extensive areas of countryside and contains England's most beautiful, spectacular and dramatic landscapes. They include stronger planning restrictions and a series of special protection arrangements appropriate to areas of beautiful countryside. We do not believe those levels of planning restrictions would be appropriate in the Thames Gateway. However the Government have asked the Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment (CABE) to look at ideas for creating a world class landscape including urban development and green spaces along the Thames Gateway.

Warehouses (Planning Regulations)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on what plans the Government have to amend planning regulations for warehouses near transport hubs. [47342]

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Yvette Cooper: Planning Policy Guidance note (PPG) 13 Transport" advises that, in preparing plans and determining planning applications, local planning authorities should, where possible, locate developments generating substantial freight movements such as distribution and warehousing away from congested central areas and residential areas and ensure adequate access to trunk roads. It goes on to say planning authorities should promote opportunities for freight generating development to be served by rail or waterways. The Government have no plans to amend this policy guidance nor to make any regulations.

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