Previous Section Index Home Page

9 Oct 2006 : Column 345W—continued

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) operational status and (b) opening hours are of each of the police stations in the Ards District Command Unit; and if he will make a statement. [89318]

Paul Goggins: The operational status and the opening times for police stations in Ards DCU are as follows:

Station Status Opening Times


Fully operational

24 hour opening


Limited opening

Monday-Saturday 6pm-7pm


Limited opening

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 6pm-7pm Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday 12noon-lpm


Limited opening

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 7pm-8pm Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday lpm-2pm


Not operational

Community Policing Team Surgery Wednesday 6pm-8pm Friday 2pm-4pm

Port of Belfast

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken by his
9 Oct 2006 : Column 346W
Department's (a) officials, (b) political advisers and (c) Strategic Investment Board in relation to the future of the Port of Belfast. [89769]

David Cairns: The Government recognises that a successful ports industry is crucial to the success and well being of Northern Ireland.

A consultation paper seeking views on the powers, status and governance of all public trust ports in Northern Ireland was published on 21 June 2006 and forms part of a wider United Kingdom consultation on ports policy issues.

I expect officials, political advisers and the Strategic Investment Board to provide advice as necessary on the issues raised in the consultation.

Preserved Buildings and Architecture

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which document sets out the definitive list of preserved buildings and architecture in Northern Ireland; and when it was last (a) updated and (b) published. [92408]

David Cairns: The list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest is available to view in the headquarters of the Built Heritage Directorate of Environment and Heritage Service—an agency within the Department of the Environment, in Waterman House, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast. It is also available on the internet at

The EHS website is updated every Thursday, and the list was last updated on 5 October 2006. The list is not published per se but is made available to any interested party through the internet.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what responsibility existing local authorities in Northern Ireland have to (a) inspect historic, preserved buildings and architecture and (b) suggest additional properties for preservation; who has oversight of such properties which are within local authority ownership; and if he will make a statement. [92650]

David Cairns: The existing local councils in Northern Ireland have responsibility to inspect buildings through their Building Control and Health and Safety functions. They do not have specific responsibility in regard to historic buildings. They have no responsibility to suggest properties for preservation but (through the Department of the Environment’s Environment and Heritage Service) they are at liberty to do so. The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland has responsibility for drawing up the list of buildings of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ and considering changes to these buildings through the process of Listed Building Consent. Council properties are equally subject to these controls.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures he plans to protect further the Regency and Georgian architecture of buildings in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [92403]

9 Oct 2006 : Column 347W

David Cairns: The Department of the Environment will continue to be resourced to identify buildings of interest including Regency and Georgian architecture and to record them. Those considered to have special architectural or historic interest will be added to the list. There is currently a grant-aid budget of £2.4 million for the repair and maintenance of the historic fabric of listed buildings. This funding is set to increase with effect from 1 April 2007. Extra staff resources have been deployed to deal with significant increases in planning applications for listed buildings. The Buildings at Risk project has been expanded this year in a partnership agreement with the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society. Planning Service has received and devoted increased resources in recent years to enforcement and prosecutions.

Also, as part of the review of public administration, it is proposed that the new local councils will have the power to draw up lists of locally important buildings that will extend protection to this category. This may include some previously unprotected buildings of the period.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what enforcement actions have been taken in each year for which records have been maintained since direct rule began to require restoration of Regency and Georgian architecture. [92404]

David Cairns: The Planning Service has no record of any enforcement action specifically requiring the restoration of Regency and Georgian architecture.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what register and records are maintained of Regency and Georgian architecture within Northern Ireland; what inspections are made (a) to ensure their maintenance, (b) to ensure their restoration, (c) to prevent deterioration and (d) to add to orders requiring preservation; and if he will make a statement. [92405]

David Cairns: In Northern Ireland the Historic Buildings Record is the principal register of historic buildings including Regency and Georgian Architecture in the region. This is published on line at The record is supplemented in some cases by more detailed information contained in the Monuments and Buildings Record at the offices of the Environment and Heritage Service in Hill Street in Belfast.

The Department has five senior conservation architects each of whom is responsible for an area within Northern Ireland. Their work in assessing planning applications, grant applications and reviewing listings involves an awareness of the condition of the wider stock of listed buildings within their area. Through there are currently no resources devoted specifically to the systematic monitoring of listed buildings, including listed Regency and Georgian architecture, the Department is making inspections of the listed building stock and is aware of many of the issues facing these buildings.

Not all Regency and Georgian buildings are protected by listing. Unless the buildings are protected
9 Oct 2006 : Column 348W
as part of an area based designation there is no inspection apart from the listing survey. In order to protect buildings considered to be “at risk” the Department may

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the Regency and Georgian properties within the ownership or control of (a) his Department, (b) the NHS in Northern Ireland and (c) other departments and agencies for which he is responsible; and if he will make a statement. [92406]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only atdisproportionate cost.


Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what educational opportunities are available to (a) remand and (b) serving prisoners in each of the prison facilities in Northern Ireland; and what the recent take up has been of those opportunities. [89771]

Paul Goggins: During 2005-06 the Northern Ireland Prison Service held a total of eight thousand seven hundred and eighty educational sessions across its three establishments. These included both sentenced and remand prisoners wishing to engage in education. The recent uptake of educational opportunities in each establishment is as follows:

Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Prison

Maghaberry Prison

Magilligan Prison

While uptake for sessions is close to 100 per cent., actual attendance levels are reduced for a variety of reasons including family visits, court appearances and legal or medical consultations.

A wide range of educational subjects are taught and are listed below:

9 Oct 2006 : Column 349W

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans his Department has for the provision of additional prison places in Northern Ireland for (a) male and (b) female prisoners. [89744]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Prison Service has developed a comprehensive estate strategy. As a first step in implementation, the service is currently conducting a tender exercise for the provision of two 60 cell ready to use units, one each at Maghaberry and Magilligan for operational use by late 2007. A decision will shortly be taken on whether to extend the Maghaberry unit to 120 cells, in the light of continuing increases in the prison population. The service can also bring additional accommodation into use in the period before then, if required.

The service has already accepted that Ash House at Hydebank Wood is not an appropriate long term facility for female prisoners. Consideration is being given to the development of alternative options on the site, as it would not be cost effective to provide a separate establishment.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) questionnaires, (b) statistical inquiries and (c) investigations have been carried out wholly or partly at public expense on behalf of or by his Department or public bodies for which he is responsible in each year since 1997; and what the (i) nature, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost was of each. [83170]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Race Hate Crime

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on tackling
9 Oct 2006 : Column 350W
race hate crime by encouraging community education and awareness in each of the last five years; and on which projects and initiatives. [89745]

Mr. Hanson: The Northern Ireland Departments, Northern Ireland Office and the Police Service for Northern Ireland have funded a number of projects to tackle racism and race hate crime. However, it is not possible to identify what resources have been allocated to community education and awareness activities as this forms part of a number of projects and information is not held in an appropriate format. Examples of activities that have been supported by the above agencies include campaigns, ethnic awareness events, soccer tournaments, migrant worker handbooks and DVD, information leaflets and distribution of ‘Respect Difference’ wrist bands.


Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2006, Official Report, columns 885-6W, on rates, how many domestic properties in Northern Ireland have been identified as having each of the 12 different site positive codes. [89840]

Mr. Hanson: The number of domestic properties in Northern Ireland having each of the 12 different site positive codes is as follows:

Counts of site positive features recorded
Site positive feature Frequency Percentage

Sea Frontage



Sea View



Sea View Limited



Water Frontage



Water View



Water View Limited



Other Premium View Full



Other Premium View Limited



Adjoining Parkland



Adjoining Golf Course



Conservation Area



Other positive






Note: Analysis only includes properties valued by CAMA

Next Section Index Home Page