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Housing Act 2004: Timetable For Guidance And Regulations
Provision/Part Proposed/Actual publication date of regulations and guidance

Part 1 - Housing Conditions

The HHSRS (England) Regulations 2005 (3208) were laid on 28 November and came into force on 6 April 2006. The HHSRS Operating Guidance and HHSRS Enforcement Guidance were published in February 2006.

Parts 2, 3, 4 and 7- HMO and Selective Licensing

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations, the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions (England) Order, the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations, the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order and the Housing (Interim Management Orders) (Prescribed Circumstances) (England) Order were laid on 22 February and came into force on 6 April. The Houses in Multiple Occupation (Specified Educational Establishments) (England) Regulations and the Housing (Approval of Codes of Management Practice) (Student Accommodation) (England) Order were laid on 16 March and came into force on 6 April 2006. The Residential Property Tribunal Procedures (England) Regulations and the Residential Property Tribunal (Fees) (England) Regulations were laid on 23 March and came into force on 13 April. Draft regulations relating to section 257 HMOs will be published for limited consultation soon. Explanatory information including leaflets and a dedicated website has been available since March.

Part 4 - Empty Dwelling Management Orders

The Housing (Empty Dwelling Management Orders) (Prescribed Exceptions and Requirements) (England) Order and The Housing (Management Orders and Empty Dwelling Management Orders) (Supplemental Provisions) (England) Regulations were laid on 22 February and came into force on 6 April 2006. Non-statutory guidance for local authorities on Empty Dwelling Management Orders will be published in July 2006.

Part 5 - Home Information Packs

The Home Information Pack Regulations, Procedural Guidance and Certification Scheme Business and Technical Standards documents were published on 14 June 2006.

Part 6 - Right to Buy modifications

The Residential Property Tribunal (Right to Buy Determinations) Procedure (England) Regulations were laid on 13 June 2005 and came into force on 4 July 2005. The Housing (Right to Buy)(Information to Secure Tenants) (England) Order was laid on 5 July 2005 and came into force on 26 July 2005. This Order provides guidance on the provision of information to secure tenants. The Housing (Right of First Refusal) (England) Regulations were laid on 20 July 2005 and came into force on 10 August 2005. The guidance booklet 'Your Right to Buy your Home' was revised together with the relevant Right to Buy forms. Guidance on landlords' discretion not to require repayment of discount, which was clarified by section 185 of the Act, was also issued in January 2005.

Part 6 - Suspension of certain rights in connection with anti-social behaviour

ASB measures in Part 6 of the Act commenced in June 2005. They include enabling local authorities to extend the period of introductory tenancies and withhold consent to mutual exchange on ASB grounds as well as measures to prevent tenants exercising the right to buy. Regulations regarding the form a review should take where a landlord decides to extend the period of an introductory tenancy came into force on 3 May 2006

Part 6 - Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessments

Draft guidance was produced in February 2006 under Section 226 of the Housing Act, in respect of Section 225, relating to the assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers. This document is subject to further consultation. Definitive guidance will be published in the autumn of 2006.

Part 6 - Tenant Deposit Protection

In order to consider stakeholder concerns raised by that consultation, we are reviewing the commencement date and will confirm a date before Parliament rises

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been allocated for housing renewal in Morecambe since 1997. [85032]

Yvette Cooper: There are no specific funding allocation data available for Morecambe.

Allocations to Lancaster city council of capital funding for housing purposes over the period 1997-98 to 2005-06 exceeds £30 million. This includes the major repairs allowance first introduced in 2001-02 specifically for the improvement of local authority stock alongside the Decent Homes standard which sets out minimum standards to be met by 2010.

A further £1.9 million was allocated to Lancaster city council by the Regional Housing Board in 2006-07 under priority 1.3 of the Regional Housing Strategy, which seeks to provide a better housing mix in the region’s costal towns i.e. Blackpool, Morecambe and Fleetwood. This amounted to an 11 per cent. on year increase in funding.

In addition the North West Development Agency would have contributed towards housing renewal in Morecambe via the Single Regeneration Budget Programme.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she has undertaken studies on the impact of planning gain supplement on the provision of affordable housing in rural areas. [83277]

Yvette Cooper: No such studies have been undertaken.

The Government are currently considering responses to their consultation on the Planning-Gain Supplement (PGS), including on the issues of the PGS's impact on rural exception sites and the proposal to retain affordable housing delivery within the scope of planning obligations. Further announcements will be made towards the end of 2006.

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of homes that have been purchased outright by occupiers of affordable housing on a shared ownership or homebuy basis under the Common and Leasehold Reform Act 2003 in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas; and if she will make a statement. [84966]

Yvette Cooper: No data are collected centrally on the number of homes that have been purchased outright, having been originally acquired through shared ownership, or homebuy.

The Government are keen to expand home ownership through the new homebuy scheme. However, we recognise the need to ensure the longer term supply of affordable housing in rural areas which are subject to particular housing pressures.

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Therefore we will continue to allow housing associations to restrict the outright purchase (“staircasing out”) of shared ownership or homebuy properties on rural exception sites, where possible and appropriate under leasehold legislation. This flexibility, coupled with the additional safeguards within the homebuy scheme which allow providers to buy back properties when a purchaser who has staircased to full ownership wishes to move, should enable affordable housing to be retained where it is essential to do so and ensure delivery of the rural programme.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he expects the decent housing targets will be met by 2010 by local authorities which have transferred their stock (a) to arm’s length management organisations and (b) by large scale voluntary transfers. [41141]

Yvette Cooper: I have been asked to reply.

All local authorities currently on the ALMO and transfer programmes have undertaken to meet the Decent Homes target by 2010. However, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced on 7 June that where greater flexibility and allowing a little longer will allow a better result for the community—or where spreading the work out would deliver better value for money, we will negotiate later dates on a case-by-case basis. That said, we still expect 95 per cent. of social housing to be decent by 2010.

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many houses built in West Lancashire in rural settlements according to the rural exceptions policy have been built in each of the last five years. [83647]

Yvette Cooper: I have been asked to reply.

Over the last five years 2000-01 to 2004-05, West Lancashire have reported that no new dwellings were built in their area in accordance with the rural exceptions policy.

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much rent surplus is available to each arm's length management organisation for reinvestment in 2006-07. [83374]

Yvette Cooper: The money that an Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) receives is determined by the scope of its management agreement with the local authority and the agreed level of extra funding paid to the local authority for its ALMO to deliver decent homes. The money for the ALMO will come from the local authorities Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

Those local authorities that operate Arm's Length Management Organisations receive specific ALMO allowances as part of their HRA annual subsidy determination. Assumed surpluses (and deficits) are calculated after all assumed income (including rent) and allowances have been taken into account.

Surpluses are collected by the Department and together with a net contribution from the Exchequer of around £200 million a year, are paid to authorities with assumed deficits.

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Infrastructure Funding

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received from the South East England Development Agency with respect to infrastructure funding in (a) the South East and (b) Mid Sussex. [85835]

Angela E. Smith: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has not received any specific representations from SEEDA with respect to infrastructure funding in (a) the South East or (b) Mid Sussex. However, SEEDA, the South East regional assembly and Government office for the south east recently submitted advice to Government, as requested in July 2005, on

The South East advice on this ‘Regional Funding Allocation’ included reference to a scheme in mid-Sussex and a proposal for a Regional Infrastructure Fund covering the whole of the South East; the document can be found on the SEEDA website at:

The recommended regional programme for transport schemes was accepted, including the A23 Hancross to Warninglid widening in Mid Sussex as an approved scheme in the indicative 2009-10 to 2015-16 list.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what green infrastructure her Department proposes to allocate funding in Mid Sussex. [85836]

Angela E. Smith: It is for local planning authorities to determine what their specific infrastructure requirements are, and they should try to ensure that as far as possible these needs are met through the appropriate use of planning conditions and section 106 Agreements. We have provided advice on the use of these mechanisms in “The Planning System: General Principles” (Planning Policy Statement 1: Sustainable Development), in Circular 11/95 “Use of conditions in Planning Permissions” and Circular 05/05 “Planning Obligations”.

An opportunity for local authorities to promote green infrastructure has been available through the implementation plan submitted with the draft Regional Spatial Strategy, the South East Plan. This was prepared by the South East Regional Assembly in conjunction with sub-regional partners and stakeholders and includes schedules of a wide range of infrastructure requirements with an indication of funding sources and reference to lead agencies. We understand that a revised implementation plan is being prepared by the Assembly for the Examination in Public later this year, where it will be discussed through the independent panel.

My Department has made special arrangements to support ‘green infrastructure’ projects in the growth areas of Ashford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes,
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through the growth area funds. The Government response to the Barker report outlined that 10 per cent. of growth area funds are to be used for green spaces. However, given that Mid Sussex is not designated as a growth area and no current new growth point proposals include the hon. Member’s constituency, this specific funding is not available in Mid Sussex.

Listed Buildings

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will introduce legislation to increase the penalties for people who demolish listed buildings without planning consent; and if she will make a statement. [85304]

Yvette Cooper: The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 contains provision enabling allowing for fines for unauthorised works to a listed building. The maximum fine that can be imposed in the magistrates court is £20,000, whereas in the Crown court the fines are unlimited. It is open to the magistrates court to refer a case to the Crown court where it feels its sentencing powers are insufficient in relation to the seriousness of the offence committed.

Local Government Pension Scheme

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate the Government have made of the total cost of the Local Government Pension Scheme to local authorities (a) including and (b) excluding employee contributions in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08. [85656]

Mr. Woolas: Based on the findings of the 2004 actuarial valuation exercise it is estimated that the average cost to local authority employers will be (i) 12.5-13.5 per cent. of pensionable pay in 2005-06; (ii) 14-15 per cent. in 2006-07; (iii) 16-17 per cent. in 2007-08. On average employees will contribute 5.8 per cent. of pensionable payroll as well in each of these years.

M6 Link Road (Heysham)

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether there will be a public inquiry on planning for the Heysham M6 Link road. [85030]

Yvette Cooper: The planning application for the proposed Heysham M6 Link road is currently being considered by Lancashire county council.

Should the council be minded to approve the application it will be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under the terms of a Direction (article 14 of the Town and Country Planning Act (General Development Procedure Order 1995)) issued on 8 March 2006.

On receipt of the application from the council, consideration will be given to the possibility of calling it in for determination by the Secretary of State.

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Midland Hotel Regeneration

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much in Government funds have been allocated to the Midland Hotel regeneration project. [85034]

Yvette Cooper: The total project cost was appraised at £7,310,089 of which NWDA is providing a grant of £4,052,850.

English Heritage via Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is providing £600,000. The remaining balance is being met by the private sector.


Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what total value of section 106 agreement was agreed by each planning authority in each of the last five years; and how much of that sum is accounted for by funds allocated for (a) housing, (b) highways, (c) residential facilities and (d) schools. [84227]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 13 July 2006]: Data on section 106 agreements entered into by individual local authorities are not collected centrally.

A recent study “Valuing Planning Obligations in England” conducted by Sheffield University and Halcrow Group consultants for the Department for Communities and Local Government estimated that the value of planning obligations agreed in England as a whole in 2003-4 was £1.9 billion. This can be broken down as follows:

£ million

Open space


Transport and travel


Community and leisure






Agreements made directly with county councils (e.g. minerals and waste applications)


Affordable housing


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