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Annual returns to Communities and Local Government
Yvette Cooper: Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25) on development and flood risk aims to avoid and reduce flood risk as far as possible. Some coastal communities are already within areas at risk of flooding. PPS25 is designed to ensure that when proposals come forward for necessary development and regeneration in these areas, they realise opportunities to reduce flood risk to the community and they are safe, less susceptible to flood damage and will not increase flood risk elsewhere. Planning applications will be determined on their individual merits, in the light of local development frameworks, supported by strategic flood risk assessments, and the principles of PPS25.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library the reports of (a) the trials of home information packs (HIPs) conducted by her Department and (b) research conducted or commissioned by her Department into HIPs. 
Yvette Cooper: A copy of the area trial research report will be placed in the Library of the House once the project has been finalised. Previous research conducted or commissioned by the Department into HIPs including the analysis by Europe Economics has already been placed in the Library of the House or on the departmental website.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which questions her official, Andrew Lock, (a) answered and (b) did not answer at the Homesale Network meeting on 9 November. 
Yvette Cooper: The official named attended the event and responded on behalf of the Department to a wide range of issues related to home information packs. A record of every individual question asked was not kept.
The code is a set of sustainable design principles covering performance of new homes in nine key areas, including Energy and CO2 Emissions, Water, Materials, Surface Water Run-off, Waste, Pollution, Health and Well-being, Management and Ecology.
New homes that are assessed against the code receive a one to six star rating. A one star home is built to higher sustainability standards than those set out in building regulations while a six star home is a truly sustainablezero carbonhome. The criteria on how to achieve each star rating is set out in detail in Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical guide available on the Communities and Local Government's website at:
The code is based on the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for homes EcoHomes, which it replaced for new homes in England from April 2007. The code is more robust than Ecohomes as it sets minimum standards for Energy/CO2, Water, Materials, Surface Water Run-off and Waste.
Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government do not collect data on overcrowding from local authorities. However, within the context of developing their strategic housing role, we would expect local authorities to have an understanding of levels of overcrowding within their area.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the unique property reference number generated by the Register Operator for inclusion in an energy performance certificate is the same unique property reference number used for a property in the National Land and Property Gazetteer. 
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many firefighters have used the key worker housing scheme in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 7 January 200 8 ]: The following table shows the number of firefighters who have used the key worker housing scheme in each of the last three years in London, the south east and east of England.
|Firefighters assisted through the KWL scheme|
|Number of firefighters|
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings were built within the 1997 designated green belt in (a) St. Albans District and (b) Hertfordshire in each year between 1997 and 2006. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department does not hold information in a format which would enable the number of dwellings built between 1997 and 2006 on designated, or previously designated, Green Belt in either St. Albans or Hertfordshire to be readily identified.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what her Departments internal targets were for the number of completed sales for Social Homebuy in each year since its inception; 
Yvette Cooper: Social HomeBuy is running as a voluntary pilot scheme until March 2008. The pilot scheme which was launched in April 2006 enables tenants of local authorities and housing associations to purchase a minimum 25 per cent. share in their rented home at a discount. No target has been set for Social HomeBuy pilot sales as final numbers in the pilot programme are dependent on participation of landlords and take up by tenants.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Minister expects to publish her response to the report entitled Ends and Means, the Future of Social Housing by Professor J. Hills; and if she will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: The written ministerial statement made on 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 35WS, set out an initial response to the challenges raised by the Hills review of social housing. A copy of the accompanying speech will be placed in the Library of the House. Further work is under way.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes have been built in national parks in each of the last five years; and how many planning applications to build affordable homes in national parks have been refused in each of those years. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes have been built in each local authority area in England in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have placed information on the numbers of affordable homes provided for each local authority area in the Library. These numbers include social rent, intermediate rent, and low cost home ownership, and cover new build and acquisitions.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate her Department has made of the number of homes in England and Wales exposed to significant levels of radon; 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) currently estimates that 100,000 homes in England and Wales exceed the current radon Action Level of 200 Bq m(3) (becquerel per cubic metre of air). Radon gas formation is directly related to the underlying geology and the majority of the affected homes occur in the south-west of England but there are significant numbers in other areas of England and Wales.
The Radiation Protection Division of the HPA maintains a radon information function that includes a dedicated website, www.ukradon.org. as well as a 24 hour-freephone number to obtain a radon information pack, 0800 614529. The Building Research Establishment also maintains a radon section on their website:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government why her Departments list of councils which have elections in 2008, published by her Department on 10 October lists Bristol as having elections. 
has been corrected to reflect that Bristol, anomalously for district councils electing by thirds, does not have elections in 2008. Bristols cycle of elections, established by The City of Bristol (Electoral Changes) Order 1998 No. 2699, provides for elections in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by what criteria the Working Neighbourhood Fund has been allocated to local authorities; what relative weighting each criterion is given; and if she will make a statement. 
Any authority that has 20 per cent. or more of its lower super output areas (LSOAs) in the most deprived decile on the employment domain;
Any authority that has 20 per cent. or more of its lower super output areas (LSOAs) in the most deprived decile on the overall Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD); and
Any authority among the top 40 districts on an equally weighted measure of key benefit claim rate and employment rate.
Authorities that did not qualify for WNF but currently receive a Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) allocation have been awarded transitional payments over 2008-10. Payments of 60 per cent. of the 2007-08 NRF allocation will be paid in 2008-09 and 40 per cent. of the 2008-09 allocation will be paid in 2009-10.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 13 November 2007 on the planning system. 
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when a reply will be sent to the hon. Member for West Worcestershire's letter to the Minister of State, dated 22 November 2007, on the proposed number of new homes planned for building over the next few years. 
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when a reply will be sent to the hon. Member for West Worcestershires letter of 29 November 2007, addressed to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and transferred to the Department for Communities and Local Government on 12 December (DEFRA reference: 58563/MG). 
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