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The Government's national polices on planning for renewable energy in England are set out in Planning Policy Statement 22: Renewable Energy" (PPS22). PPS22 says that local development documents should contain policies designed to promote and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. Further advice on the framing of such
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policies, together with practical advice as to how these policies can be implemented on the ground, are included in the Companion Guide to PPS22.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment his Department has made of the contribution that local authority positive planning for renewable energy policies could make to delivering future carbon emission and renewables targets. 
Yvette Cooper: No formal assessment has been made by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. However the Government's Energy White Paper, published in February 2003, made it clear that renewable energy will play a part in delivering carbon emission targets. PPS22, published in August 2004, implements the policies in the Energy White Paper by ensuring that local authorities include policies in their plans that promote and encourage the development on renewable energy resources.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he intends the energy efficiency requirements for level 1 of the Code for Sustainable Homes to be set higher than Part L of the Building Regulations. 
Yvette Cooper: Level 5 of the proposed code already requires a home to be carbon neutral, which pushes designers into considering micro-generation. However, the code is still out for consultation so we will look further at micro-generation as part of the consideration of consultation responses.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what advice his Department issues to (a) Government offices and (b) its inspectors on the desirability of local authorities adopting positive planning for renewable energy policies. 
Yvette Cooper: The Government's national policies on planning for renewable energy in England are set out in Planning Policy Statement 22: Renewable Energy (PPS22). PPS22 says that local development documents should contain policies designed to promote and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. The policy guidance in PPS22 is applied by Government Offices when scrutinising and commenting on policies in emerging regional spatial strategies and local development documents. Planning inspectors will have regard to the policies in PPS22 when undertaking public examination of development plans, in determining planning cases and when advising the First Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has received from (a) commercial developers and (b) housing developers on the feasibility of local authority positive planning for renewables policies. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: A member of staff from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently on loan to the Respect Unit. The ODPM has not made any payment directly to the Home Office for the Respect Unit's functions. However, the ODPM is making a very significant contribution to the aims of the Respect agenda through a number of key programmes, involving more than £2 billion of expenditure over the next three years.
Yvette Cooper: Information on the number of council houses that have been sold under the right-to-buy scheme in each London borough, as reported by local authorities can by found on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at: http://www.odpm.gov.uk/pub/373/Table4StatisticsonRighttoBuyandothercouncil housesalesExcel242Kb_id1156373.xls.
|Number of school fires|
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of whether the impending closure of Seaton Pool in Plymouth is in keeping with government policies on health and obesity. 
The decision to close Seaton Pool was taken by Plymouth city council and is a matter for them. We understand the council has given assurances that users of the pool will have access to alternative facilities.
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Mr. Soames: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment the Government have made of the infrastructure needed to support its (a) communities plan and (b) regional house building targets for the South East. 
Yvette Cooper: Government remains strongly committed to the principle that infrastructure must be sufficient to support growth and is an essential element in achieving more sustainable communities. We also believe that the alignment of infrastructure and growth is the outcome of good planning, and for this reason both the infrastructure requirements stemming from the Sustainable Communities Plan and the level and distribution of housing growth in the South East are a matter for scrutiny and discussion as part of the development of regional spatial strategies (RSS). The responsibility for drafting regional spatial strategies rests with regional planning bodies.
In the South East, the South East of England Regional Assembly is currently drafting the new South East plan, and expects to submit the remainder to Government at the end of March 2006. We expect this draft will provide a view on infrastructure requirements. Thereafter the plan will be subject of public consultation and also testing by an independent Panel, to enable Government to reach conclusions about the amount of housing required in the South East.
Jim Fitzpatrick: MORI were commissioned to undertake two stakeholder perception Surveys for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2003 and 2005. Arrangements are being made to make available copies of the Final Reports of each Survey in the Library of the House.
MORI have stated in the findings of the 2005 survey that there has been real progress in the way internal and external stakeholders perceive the ODPM since 2003. More people are advocates of the Office and more people now regard it favourably." However, we recognise that challenges remain. We take very seriously the views of our stakeholders and we have put in place robust measures to address the concerns highlighted and improve our engagement with our stakeholders still further.
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