|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Government have spent on preparatory work carried out on the planning gain supplement; and if she will make a statement. 
HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Department for Communities and Local Government have undertaken preliminary work since 2004 to develop and explore the feasibility of a planning gain supplement. This has included the publication of one consultation document alongside the 2005 pre-Budget report and three consultation documents alongside the 2006 pre-Budget report. The costs incurred have been borne by the respective Departments as part of the normal policy development process.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department and its agencies have made of the proportion of residential planning applications granted each year which are not commenced. 
Mr. Iain Wright: There is no estimate centrally available but the Government are keen to see faster take up and commencement of planning permissions granted for housing development. We have recently reduced the period for which a planning permission remains valid from five years to three years. We have also made it clear in planning policy that there is no presumption that planning permission will be renewed in the case where an applicant is seeking, in effect, to renew a permission that has expired.
In our Housing Green Paper: Homes for the Future; more affordable, more sustainable we said that we would consider whether further measures are needed to incentivise developers to build out major housing development sites more quickly through the development control process. We shall also want to take account of anything that John Calcutt says in the independent review of house-building delivery we asked him to undertake. He is due to report on this shortly.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in respect of which local plans, broken down by Government Office of the Region, she has made a direction, under paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 8 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, to not save a local plan policy of protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The following local authorities requests to extend saved policies specifically aimed at protecting the best and most versatile (BMV) agricultural land were not agreed by the Secretary of State:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes have been made to planning policy on the protection of the best and most versatile agricultural land since May 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Governments planning policy on best and most versatile (BMV) agricultural land is set out in Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable development in rural areas (PPS7), published in August 2004. PPS7 replaced Planning Policy Guidance note 7: The Countryside, Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development (PPG7), published in February 1997, which included policy guidance on (BMV) agricultural land.
PPG7 said that, within the principles of sustainable development, BMV agricultural land (defined as grades 1, 2 and 3a) should be protected as a national resource for future generations and its development should not be permitted before opportunities had been assessed for using previously developed or lower grade land.
In December 2000 the Governments Rural White Paper Our Countryside: the future, signalled that policy affecting planning decisions relating to BMV land should be changed. The White Paper said that decisions about proposed development affecting BMV agricultural land should take account of the overall value of the land and that agricultural quality should be treated only as one factor. It therefore proposed that BMV agricultural land should no longer be protected as a national agricultural resource and that decisions about proposed development affecting such land should left to local planning authorities. It also proposed that powers for the Minister of Agriculture to intervene in decisions on BMV agricultural land should be repealed.
PPG7 was subsequently amended by a parliamentary answer given by the then planning Minister the right hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich (Mr. Raynsford) on 21 March 2001 to reflect the White Papers policy proposals.
These policy changes were carried forward into PPS7. This asks local authorities that the presence of BMV agricultural land should be taken into account alongside other sustainability considerations when determining planning applications. The policy also says that where significant development of agricultural land is unavoidable, local planning authorities should seek to use areas of poorer quality land in preference to that of a higher quality, except where this would be
inconsistent with other sustainability considerations. If any undeveloped agricultural land needs to be developed, the policy requires any adverse effects on the environment should be minimised.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what consultation her Department has undertaken with the police on the new planning application form planned for use nationally from April 2008; 
The form does not include a question on crime prevention measures. The form cannot be changed at this stage as some local planning authorities are using it before it becomes mandatory on 6 April 2008.
Local planning authorities should have regard to Planning Policy Statement 1: Sustainable Development which states that their policies should ensure that developments create safe environments where crime or fear of crime does not undermine quality of life.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many properties are held on the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land database; and what property attributes are recorded for each property. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Register for Surplus Public Sector Land is managed by English Partnerships on behalf of Government. It identifies land held centrally by central Government and their agencies that is surplus to operational requirements. The register allows a 40-day period for public bodies to express an interest in an area of land prior to it being marketed more widely. The most recent version of the register was published on 30 September 2007 and is available at:
This provides site information by county, local authority, originating body, nearest town and area. The information provided about individual properties is the site area and a short description or location. To date around 70 public sector bodies have supplied details of more than 750 sites, totalling around 5,000 hectares of land.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to which organisations or individuals the Preventing Extremism Unit has made grants of less than £100,000 since June. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether it is the Governments intention that regional development agencies will keep part of the revenues raised from planning gain supplement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The 2007 pre-Budget report announced on 9 October that legislation implementing the planning gain supplement will not be introduced in the next parliamentary Session. Instead, the Government intend to legislate in the forthcoming Planning Reform Bill to empower local planning authorities in England to apply new planning charges to new development, alongside negotiated agreements for site-specific matters. The ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning, also on 9 October 2007, Official Report, column 25WS, set out further details of the new planning charge.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what procedures she has in place for (a) recording and (b) proceeding against (i) ministers and (ii) staff who breach the ban on smoking in enclosed public places; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: Staff in Communities and Local Government who breach the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces would be dealt with under the Departments disciplinary rules. All penalties given to staff under the disciplinary rules are recorded. Staff in Communities and Local Government smoking in areas in or around its buildings where it is prohibited would be asked by security staff to move to an acceptable location. Any who might refuse or who repeatedly try to smoke in a such an area would be reported for disciplinary action.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the presentation, speech and handouts produced by her Departments representatives at the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation Annual Conference on 10 October 2007 on the challenge of GC and e-connectivity to enable transformation. 
John Healey: A copy of the presentation made by Balraj Sandhu, Senior Business and Stakeholder Manager Government Connect Programme of Communities and Local Government, at the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation Annual Conference on 10 October 2007 is available on the Government Connect website,
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget of the (a) Standards Board for England and (b) Adjudication Panel is for (i) 2007-08 and (ii) 2008-09. 
John Healey: The Department has agreed to provide the Standards Board with grant funding of £9.371 million for 2007-08. This includes a sum of £515,000 to meet the operational costs of the Adjudication Panel. An additional payment of £599,000 in 2007-08 has been agreed in respect of the costs relating to the Standards Board's relocation from London to Manchester.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mrs. Lait) of 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1156W, on the Valuation Office, on what aspects of domestic valuations Cole Layer Trumble are providing consultancy advice. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office (Gillian Merron) on 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1131W.
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office (Gillian Merron) on 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1132W.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been (a) overpaid and (b) underpaid to military personnel stationed in (i) Afghanistan and (ii) elsewhere through the Joint Personnel Administration system in 2007. 
Derek Twigg: The number of over and underpayments resulting from Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system errors in 2007 can be provided, although the information requested for Afghanistan and elsewhere is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The figures are:
|(1) Figures for August are subject to revision and refinement.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|