|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to her answer of 22 November 2006, Official Report, column 116W, on planning, what systems are in place for external monitoring and inspection of the quality of decision-making by local planning departments. 
Yvette Cooper: Local planning authorities are responsible in the first instance for decisions on planning applications. Where applicants are dissatisfied with the decision there is a right of appeal to the Secretary of State.
In addition, each local authority must appoint a monitoring officer who is responsible for advising the authority in respect of any possible breaches of the law by the authority or any committee or office holder of the authority. Where a party considers a decision by a local authority has not been made properly then it may be challenged in the High Court.
Local planning authorities make annual returns on a number of Best Value Performance Indicators to the Audit Commission one of which is the proportion of refusals of consent by local planning authorities that are overturned on appeal (BV204). The Audit Commission will take these returns into account when deciding whether to undertake an inspection.
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what restrictions are in place on the installation of wind turbines on private property; what information is required by planning departments before such equipment may be installed; and what steps are being taken by the Government to make this process easier. 
Yvette Cooper: The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO) provides the basis for works that have planning permission without the need for express approval from the local planning authority. However, domestic wind turbines were not anticipated by the order and local planning authorities have had to take their own interpretation of what is permitted.
The Government believe it should be easier to install microgeneration including small scale wind turbines. We are currently reviewing the regulations on what equipment a householder can install without having to apply for planning permission. We will be consulting on new proposals in the new year.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost was of the Government office for the south-easts commissioning of Roger Tym & Partners to produce reports on a south east regional assembly. 
The Government commissioned this research to augment the evidence base for the forthcoming examination in public (EiP) into the draft regional spatial strategy (RSS) for the south-east. It is an independent technical exercise using publicly available information to assess the impacts and
implications of accommodating a range of levels of housing growth above that proposed by the South East England regional assembly, should this be considered by the independent panel conducting the EiP. The report is not a statement of Government policy.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Government have to make the European conformity mark on steel products mandatory for steel manufactured and sold in the United Kingdom. 
Angela E. Smith: The Government have no plans to make the European conformity mark on steel products mandatory for steel manufactured and sold for use in the United Kingdom that fall under the Construction Products Regulations 1991 as amended.