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John Healey: The Planning Reform Bill is among the proposed Bills for the third session set out in the draft legislative programme in The Governance of BritainThe Governments Draft Legislative Programme (CM 7175). It will not be published before the Queens Speech.
John Healey: On the 28 June 2007 the Prime Minister appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw) to be Minister for the South West. The role of Regional Ministers is set out in paragraphs 115 to 118 in The Governance of Britain.
Mr. Laurence Robertson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the duties and responsibilities of the Minister for the south-west region; what the budget is for that
position; how many staff are employed in relation to those duties; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: On the 28 June 2007 the Prime Minister appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw) to be Minister for the south-west. The role of Regional Ministers is set out in paragraphs 115 to 118 in The Governance of Britain.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the independent Planning Commission proposed in the White Paper Planning for a Sustainable Future will have the power to close and divert public rights of way; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: As explained in chapter 5 of Planning for a Sustainable Future (cm 7120), we propose that within the new single unified consent regime the infrastructure planning commission would have the power to close and divert public rights of way where they are considered necessary for the development of a nationally significant infrastructure project. Consistent with existing legislation, the power would only be exercised where the commission is satisfied that alternative rights of way are being provided or the current rights of way are not needed.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many second homes there were in (a) Cornwall, (b) the south west and (c) England in each year since 1997; and what percentage of all homes this represented. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The number of second homes in (a) Cornwall, (b) the south west and (c) England in each year since 1997; and what percentage of all homes this represented is shown in the following table:
|Number||Percentage of all homes||Number||Percentage of all homes||Number||Percentage of all homes|
(1 )Survey of English Housing (three-year moving averages).
(2) Council Tax Base returns
n/a = not available.
For 1997-98 to 2003-04, the data shown are estimates from the Survey of English Housing. Estimates for Cornwall are not available because it is only a sample survey and reliable estimates can only be derived down to regional level.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will hold discussions with her Australian counterpart on lessons which can be drawn from public policy on matters of social cohesion in Australia. 
Mr. Dhanda: Officials in the Department have regular dialogue with counterparts in Australia working on social cohesion, and regularly engage with delegations from Australia and other countries to consider international comparisons.
Mr. Iain Wright: Eco-towns, as announced in the Government statement of 7 March 2007, will be sustainable communities supporting a mix of housing types and tenure. Subject to the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review, decisions about the detailed criteria and housing mix for eco-towns will be taken following further assessment work, and we hope to announce these later this year.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Governments announcement of the abolition of regional assemblies on the Governments plans to create additional Gypsy and Traveller sites; what plans she has for the consultation process on Gypsy and Traveller sites being undertaken by the East of England Regional Assembly due to end on 31 July; and if she will make a statement on the future of the Governments plans to create additional Gypsy and Traveller sites in Hertfordshire. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The announcement on the outcome of the Sub-National Review made it clear that we will consult on the move to single regional strategies. In the meantime, we expect the current round of revisions to Regional Spatial Strategies, including those on provision for Gypsies and Travellers, to be completed at the earliest opportunity.
As the hon. Member notes, the consultation in the East of England is being run by the East of England Regional Assembly, and its results will inform the review of the Regional Spatial Strategy. With regards to Hertfordshire, plans for future sites should reflect the needs identified by Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments and by the proposed revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy, which is itself informed by the results of those assessments.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a tree preservation order may be placed on a tree or series of trees, subsequent to a planning application being granted; and whether such an order overrides the application. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Section 197 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 places a duty on planning authorities to make adequate provision for the protection and planting of trees when granting planning permission. The planning authority should therefore take the presence of trees into account when determining planning applications.
Tree preservation orders cannot be used to prevent development for which full planning permission has already been granted. They may be used, however, to protect trees which do not have to be removed in order to implement the approved development, or where only outline permission has been granted.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons the Valuation Office Agency requested access to the Home Condition Report register in its submissions to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Communities and Local Government. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Dawn Primarolo) on 26 March 2006, Official Report, column 724W.
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time students who (i) applied and (ii) were accepted for (A) honours degrees, (B) foundation degrees and (C) HNDs were aged (1) 18, (2) 19, (3) 20, (4) 21 to 24, (5) 25 to 30 and (6) over 30 years of age in each year since 1997, broken down by socioeconomic group. 
The available information is shown in the tables. The figures are taken from data collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) which are limited to students who apply to
full-time undergraduate courses via the UCAS application system. The figures do not therefore cover part-time students, nor those full-time students who apply directly to Higher Education Institutions.
UCAS do not allocate applicants to specific course types because students can submit up to six applications to one or more of First Degree, Foundation Degree, HMD or other courses. For acceptances, the figures for Degrees include both First Degrees and Foundation Degrees.
From 2002 entry, the information is only available by four broad age bands. A new classification of social background, the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC), was introduced in 2002, which replaced the classification based on Social Class. The two classifications are not directly comparable.
|UK domiciled applicants by age and social class, UK Higher Education Institutions|
|Year of e ntry : 1997|
|Social c lass||Under 18||18||19||20||21 to 24||25 to 29||30 and o ver||Total|
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