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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she plans to take to minimise the increased greenhouse emissions that will arise from the implementation of the new housing programme proposed to be taken forward under provisions within the Housing and Regeneration Bill. 
Yvette Cooper: We have committed to an ambitious timetable for improvements to the carbon standard of new homes so that from 2016 all new homes will be zero carbon. In 2010 and 2013 we will improve the carbon standard as set out in building regulations by 25 per cent. and 44 per cent. respectively, compared to current building regulations.
We have also made the commitment that all new homes developed by English Partnerships or with direct funding from the Government's housing growth programmes are now being built to level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Additionally, Housing Corporation funded homes built by registered social landlords will, from the start of the next national Affordable Housing programme (beginning April 2008) comply with level 3 of the Code. As well as producing 25 per cent. less carbon than homes built to current building regulations, these homes will also be designed to minimise their environmental impact outside of carbon emissions in areas such as the water they use, the waste they generate and the materials that they are built from.
Furthermore, the industry, together with local authorities and other stakeholders have been invited to come forward with proposals for eco-towns. Eco-towns will be entirely new settlements which are exemplar green developments of 5,000 to 20,000 homes and designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability. The development as a whole (including all homes) should reach zero carbon and should use the standards set out in the Code for Sustainable Homes as a guide.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to amend Article Six of Annex A to Planning Policy Statement 7 to enable the provision of retirement dwellings for farmers in rural areas. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 15 January 2008]: The Government have no plans to amend paragraph 6 of annex A of Planning Policy Statement 7, which deals with the circumstances in which agricultural needs may justify the provision of new dwellings in isolated locations.
Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) highlights the need for local authorities to plan for the provision of market and affordable housing in rural areas that contributes to the creation and maintenance of sustainable rural communities in market towns and villages. PPS3 also sets out how local authorities in rural areas could use the rural exception site policy to deliver solely affordable housing on sites which would not normally be used for housing, and for that housing to be kept as affordable in perpetuity.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on which of the flood plain areas identified by the Environment Agency in the South East she expects housing to be built in the next 10 years. 
It will be for local planning authorities to determine applications for housing development in their areas. Decisions should be made in light of the policies in their local development frameworks, supported by strategic flood risk assessments prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency, and in accord with the principles of PPS25.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of (a) home inspectors and (b) domestic energy assessors required under the roll-out of home information packs; and how this estimate was calculated. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment she has made of the availability of housing provided through Government funded schemes for (a) nurses, (b) teachers, (c) police officers, (d) firefighters and (e) paramedics in (i) East Worthing and Shoreham and (ii) West Sussex. 
In June 2007, we published the Housing Green Paper: Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable in which I announced £8 billion for affordable housing during the comprehensive spending review period. This represents a 38 per cent. increase on current spending. The funding will enable us to deliver 70,000 more affordable homes by 2010. We are also committed to providing 45,000 new affordable homes for rent by 2010-11 (a 50 per cent. increase) and 25,000 shared ownership and shared equity homes a year funded by the Housing Corporation. In addition, we will look to support additional shared ownership homes through public sector land and local housing companies.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on the advertising, promotion and marketing of the Key Worker Living Scheme in (a) East Worthing and Shoreham and (b) West Sussex in each year since its inception. 
Yvette Cooper: We do not centrally hold on this data on how much was spent on the advertising, promotion and marketing of the Key Worker Living programme. HomeBuy Agents are responsible for the marketing of low cost home ownership schemes, including the Key Worker Living programme.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely effect on provision of low-cost residential housing in each London constituency of home information packs for one and two bedroomed homes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the reasons were for the 100 per cent. increase in housing development expected in Torbay proposed by her appointed panel in the South West Regional Spatial Strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Panels reasons for their recommended increase are set on page 118-119 of the report. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is currently considering all the recommendations made by the Panel and she is planning to publish her proposed changes to the draft regional spatial strategy in the spring. No conclusions have yet been reached on any of the Panels recommendations.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what involvement (a) she, (b) other Ministers in her Department and (c) officials of her Department have with the Urban Regeneration and the Environment programme run by the Natural Environment Research Council; and what account has been taken of that programme in the programme of clean-up of contaminated sites being remediated for development. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Chief Scientific Adviser of the Department worked with the co-ordinator of the NERC Urgent programme and the head of research and analysis of the Local Government Association to produce a four-page glossy digest of key findings of Urgentdistilled from 31 scientific papersprepared explicitly for the heads of environment, parks and engineering at every local authority. The publication can be found on the NERC website at:
The chief scientific adviser of the Department and the head of analysis at the Local Government Association hope to be able to repeat this exercise for the current Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council programme on the sustainable urban environment.
The Local Authority Research Council Initiative has been relaunched with CLG as a member, and a project of work, led by the chief scientific adviser of CLG, is being developed that will enable members of local authorities to become more sophisticated in articulating the research agenda they would like to see undertaken in universities rather than just receiving what comes out from work that the universities decide to undertake.
The Department sets out national planning policy for England for development on land affected by contamination in Planning Policy Statement 23: Planning and Pollution Control and its Annex 2: Development on Land Affected by Contamination. They can be found on the Department's website at:
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities and registered social landlords on dealing with mice and rat infestations in residential properties. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Infestations from mice, rats and other vermin are hazards covered by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) which came into force in April 2006, This replaced the fitness standard as the regime governing the statutory minimum standards for housing.
In February 2006 the Department published the documents Housing Health and Safety Rating System: Operating Guidance, Housing Health and Safety Rating System: Enforcement Guidance and Housing Health and Safety Rating System: Guidance for landlords and property related professionals.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities applied for funding from her Department to help fund local leisure facilities in each of the last five years. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria govern the re-organisation of local government; when they were established; and what changes there have been to them since December 2007. 
John Healey: The criteria against which the Secretary of State considered proposals for unitary status, were published in the Invitation to councils in England: to make proposals for future unitary structures, published in October 2006. These criteria have not changed since then.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment (a) she and (b) her agencies have made of the effect of requiring planning permission for second homes on house prices. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning applications for biodiesel production plants have been referred to planning inspectors in each of the last five years. 
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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of local authorities providing recycling services for (a) Christmas trees and (b) Christmas cards. 
Christmas trees are recycled through a number of routes. Both local authorities and businesses offer facilities where individuals can deposit their Christmas trees. Many local authorities offer either specific collection points or operate a green waste collection following Christmas and collect trees through this route, but my Department does not hold details of the exact number doing so.
205 local authorities in England collect cards at the kerbside as part of their dry recycling collection scheme. The Woodland Trust also promotes a dedicated Christmas cards collection scheme in association with WHSmith, Tesco, TK Maxx and Marks and Spencer. Last year, 93 million cards were collected through the Woodland Trust scheme, saving 2,400 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to taking over 700 cars off the road for a year.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the constituencies visited by the Minister for (a) the North East, (b) the North West, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber, (d) London, (e) the South East, (f) the South West, (g) the East Midlands, (h) the West Midlands and (i) the East of England in their capacity as regional Ministers. [Official Report, 31 March 2008, Vol. 474, c. 5MC.] 
Hazel Blears: In their capacity as regional Minister, the Minister for the region has visited or attended meetings in the following constituencies. Due to the role of regional Minister, which involves regional or sub-regional meetings, the Minister may not have visited a constituency per se, but attended a meeting held in that area.
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