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Mr. Evans: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful appeals have been made against planning decisions made by Lancashire county council in each year since 1997. 
Records held by the Planning Inspectorate for Lancashire county council go back to 2000 only. The following table shows the number of appeals (a) allowed/successful and (b) dismissed/unsuccessful and the total number decided.
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|(a) Number of appeals allowed||(b) Number of appeals dismissed||Total number of appeals|
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister consultation document Inspection Reform: The Future of Local Services Inspection" invites discussion on the future role that inspection should play within a more flexible performance framework, and seeks views on the establishment of a local services inspectorate. This is part of the wider work being carried out across Government to reduce the amount of inspection and to rationalise the number of inspectorates from 11 to four, which will enable better co-ordination and reduce duplication.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 2240W, on local government restructuring, if he will list the councils with which members of his Department had meetings on the six separate occasions since December 2005. 
Mr. Woolas: An invitation to attend a meeting with Office of the Deputy Prime Minister officials to discuss governance and structures was extended to the chief executives of all county, district and unitary (other than London borough and metropolitan district) councils. A total of eight meetings have now been held. A list of those councils that indicated their intention of attending a meeting has previously been sent to the hon. Member. A record of actual attendance at each meeting is not held.
Michael Gove: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the meetings that the Minister for communities and local government has had with local authority officials and representatives concerning local government restructuring in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Woolas: Ministers have attended three county dialogues to date, in Shropshire, Gloucestershire and East Sussex, held with officials, representatives, members and other local government stakeholders, as part of the wider debate on local governance.
Ministers have held numerous meetings with local authority officials and representatives over the past 12 months at which a range of topics have been discussed, and may have included, on occasion, local government reorganisation.
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Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) unsuccessful and (b) successful planning appeals have been made against (i) Stockport metropolitan borough council and (ii) Tameside metropolitan borough council in each year since 2000. 
|Decided||(a) Dismissed/ unsuccessful||(b) Allowed/ successful|
Yvette Cooper: The degree of potential overlooking of existing homes from proposed development can be a material consideration when a planning application is being assessed. It is for the local planning authority to decide, on a case by case basis, whether to grant or refuse planning permission, and whether neighbour privacy could be protected by conditions imposed on any permission granted.
John Penrose: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if he will change the terms of C2 planning consent so that drug rehabilitation centres and secure mental institutions are not included in the same class of developments as retirement and convalescent homes; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the possible impact on (a) crime and (b) local health and social services of drug rehabilitation centres and secure mental institutions which require C2 planning consent. 
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has recently consulted on applying the planning acts to the Crown and these proposals included creating a new Class C2A secure residential institutions for uses such as a prison, secure hospitals and military barracks (for more information see http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=l164257).
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many notices under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 have been (a) approved and (b) served in each year since that section came into force; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides a local planning authority (LPA) with the power, in certain circumstances, to take steps requiring land to be cleaned up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area. The use of Section 215 by LPAs is discretionary and it is up to the LPA to decide whether a notice under these provisions would be appropriate in a particular case, taking account of the local circumstances. Therefore, the information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Yvette Cooper: There is no single definition of a small firm and terms such as small firm" and SME" (Small and Medium sized Enterprise) are used interchangeably. Two of the most common definitions are those provided by the European Union and the Companies Act 1985.
The Companies Act 1985 states that a company is 'small' if it satisfies at least two of the following criteria: a turnover of not more than £5.6 million; a balance sheet total of not more than £2.8 million; and not more than 50 employees.
Use of the European Commission definition is voluntary and the Companies Act 1985 definition determines the eligibility of small firms for certain accounting and auditing exemptions and is not applied universally.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of his Department's building programme budget was allocated to (a) energy self-generation and (b) water recycling measures in the 200405 financial year. 
Yvette Cooper: In 200405 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister allocated none of its building programme budget to energy self-generation or water recycling measures. This position is reviewed on an annual basis.
The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government estates sets an energy target (E3) that 10 per cent. electricity should be obtained from renewable sources and suggests this can be through the purchase of renewable electricity or self-generation of
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renewable electricity. ODPM has Combined Heat and Power (CHP) sets in two of its London buildings, and in the current energy procurement round (200506) the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has obtained 100 per cent. renewable electricity for their three London HQ offices.
In respect of the water target (C2); ODPM had a water audit carried out in 2005 at one London HQ building (Ashdown House). A number of recommendations were made for directly reducing water use which are being followed up. There were limited possibilities identified for water recycling initiatives as it was considered that retrofitting rainwater harvesting equipment was not an economically viable proposition.
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