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11 Mar 2008 : Column 237W—continued

Smoking: Public Places

John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what each local authority in County Durham has spent on enforcing the ban on smoking in enclosed public places. [192850]

Mr. Dhanda: The information requested is not held centrally.


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Stamp Duties: Tax Allowances

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will bring into force the provisions of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 enabling tenants who have exercised their right to collective enfranchisement to receive stamp duty relief on purchases of freehold, pursuant to section 74 of the Finance Act 2003. [192601]

Mr. Iain Wright: Sections 121-124 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 (the 2002 Act) make a number of changes to the right of collective enfranchisement for tenants of flats under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (the 1993 Act). In particular, the changes would require collective enfranchisement to be carried out by an “RTE company” that is defined under new section 4A.

Section 74 of the Finance Act 2003 provides for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) relief for RTE companies exercising collective enfranchisement. The provision is designed to ensure that the members of the RTE company have to fund SDLT at a rate broadly appropriate to their own contribution to the purchase and do not suffer a higher rate of tax because they are acquiring the freehold under a collective arrangement.

Sections 121-124 of the 2002 Act have not yet been commenced because there appear to be a number of practical difficulties with the provisions which will need further investigation. As such, new section 4A has not been introduced and as a result tenants exercising their right of collective enfranchisement do not yet benefit from the SDLT relief provided for in section 74 of the Finance Act 2003, although this remains the intention once the practical difficulties have been resolved.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Alcoholic Drinks

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will introduce measures to assist investment and growth in the brewing industry; and if he will make a statement. [188942]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government encourage investment and growth through a range of measures including tax incentives, such as capital allowances and R&D tax credits, and business support schemes such as the Grant for Research and Development and Selective Finance for Investment. We have also introduced a range of measures through the Government Manufacturing Strategy, including the Manufacturing Advisory Service, which provides practical assistance to help companies in all sectors to improve their competitiveness. We have no plans to introduce specific measures for the brewing industry.

Biofuels

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what the total annual consumption of (a) biodiesel and (b) bioethanol in England was in each of the last five years (i) in total and (ii) broken down by region; and if he will make a statement; [192941]


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(2) what estimate he has made of potential levels of consumption of (a) biodiesel and (b) bioethanol in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [192944]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.

The figures for previous years are set out in table 1 as follows.

Millions of litres
UK biodiesel consumption UK bioethanol consumption

2003

19

0

2004

21

0

2005

33

85

2006

169

95

2007 (provisional)

347

153


Further details are available via the HM Revenue and Customs website at http://www.uktradeinfo.com. The Government do not keep data on the regional distribution of biofuel sales.

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) is due to come into effect in April 2008. The levels of the RTFO are set out in the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 (SI 3072). It will be up to transport fuel suppliers to decide how to meet their obligations. Some, for example, may choose to supply more biodiesel than bioethanol, particularly in the early years of the obligation. The Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) will be reporting regularly on these matters. The Government currently estimate that total biofuel consumption in the UK is likely to be in the region of 1.2 billion litres in 2008, 1.8 billion litres in 2009, and 2.5 billion litres in 2010.

Coal Fired Power Stations: Carbon Sequestration

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the percentage of UK coal generation by tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted which will be sequestered through carbon capture and storage by 2015. [189701]

Malcolm Wicks: The only carbon capture and storage capacity expected to be operational by 2015 is the CCS demonstration project which is expected to commence operation by 2014 or shortly thereafter. This will sequester about 1.5 million tonnes per year.

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) where the costs of the retrofit of carbon capture and storage technology to the proposed Kingsnorth power station will fall; [189918]

(2) what assessment he has made of the cost of retrofitting the proposed Kingsnorth advanced supercritical power station with (a) carbon capture and storage technology, (b) integrated gasification combined cycle technologies and (c) other coal-based technologies. [189919]

Malcolm Wicks: The costs of fitting any carbon capture and storage technology would fall to the applicant.


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Coal Fired Power Stations: Combined Heat and Power

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received from (a) local stakeholders and (b) environmental non-governmental organisations as part of his consideration of the installation of plant and pipework in Medway to facilitate combined heat and power facilities in and around existing coal-fired power plants. [189694]

Malcolm Wicks: While the Department has received several representations on the use of combined heat and power at the proposed station at Kingsnorth, none refer to existing coal-fired stations.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has had from environmental non-governmental organisations on the use of combined heat and power at the proposed new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. [189708]

Malcolm Wicks: Numerous representations, including Natural England, the Environment Agency and Greenpeace, have been received on the use of combined heat and power.

Coal Fired Power Stations: Construction

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received from environmental non-governmental organisations on mitigation measures designed to safeguard the presence of birds during the construction and operational phases of the proposed coal power station at Kingsnorth. [189679]

Malcolm Wicks: Representations have been received from the Environment Agency, Natural England, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Coal Fired Power Stations: Greater London Authority

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with the Greater London Authority on the merits of the proposed Kingsnorth coal-fired power station. [189920]

Malcolm Wicks: No such discussions have taken place nor can the Department discuss the merits of a particular application which is currently under consideration.

Coal Fired Power Stations: Industrial Waste

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what representations he has had from industries associated with pulverised fuel ash on any increased production of fuel ash resulting from the operation of new UK coal-fired power stations; [189682]


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(2) what representations he has received from environmental non-governmental organisations on the creation of an environmental mitigation area during the construction and operational phases of any new coal-fired power station development in the UK; [189693]

(3) what representations he has had from the construction industry on changes to the rate of production of pulverised fuel ash resulting from the development of new UK coal-fired power stations. [189703]

Malcolm Wicks: No such representations have been received on the one coal-fired power station currently with the Secretary of State. Parties wishing to make such representations on any new coal-fired power station can do so when the application is submitted.

Coal Fired Power Stations: Kingsnorth

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what assessment he has made of the (a) technical and (b) financial provision required to secure a commitment from the applicant company that the proposed Kingsnorth coal-fired power station will be (i) carbon capture-ready and (ii) retrofitted with carbon capture and storage technology; [189878]

(2) what technical assessment he plans to make of the suitability of the infrastructure which E.ON has proposed for the carbon capture and storage retrofit at Kingsnorth; [189913]

(3) if he will require (a) E.ON to capture carbon at the proposed Kingsnorth power station and (b) the proposed Kingsnorth plant to be capture ready; [190598]

(4) what technical requirements for (a) preparation of flue gas for capture process, (b) capture of carbon post-combustion, (d) disposal of wastes from the process, (d) compression of carbon dioxide, (e) transport of carbon dioxide infrastructure and provision, (f) injection of carbon dioxide, (g) identification and provision of storage site and (h) monitoring of storage facility will form the basis of capture readiness of the proposed Kingsnorth power plant. [190599]

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) whether the developer of the proposed Kingsnorth power station in Kent has applied for a licence to dispose of its carbon dioxide by carbon capture and storage; and whether grant of this licence is a prerequisite for approval of the proposal as a whole; [190161]

(2) whether a carbon storage site has been identified for the proposed Kingsnorth power station; and if he will make a statement; [190183]

(3) what obligations the developer of the proposed coal-fired power plant at Kingsnorth is under to provide carbon capture and storage technology at the plant; what the arrangements are for defraying the cost of such technology; and if he will make a statement. [190230]


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Malcolm Wicks: Capture readiness is one of the issues the Secretary of State will consider as part of his decision on whether or not to grant consent to E.ON’s application for consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to construct a new coal-fired generating station at Kingsnorth.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the timescale is of the conduct of the air quality assessment requested in relation to the proposed power station at Kingsnorth in Kent. [190126]

Malcolm Wicks: An assessment of atmospheric emissions is contained in the Environmental Statement which accompanied the application.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had, and with whom, on the implementation of on-site archaeological work during the construction and operational phases of proposals for coal-fired power station development (a) at Kingsnorth in Kent and (b) in the UK. [190131]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department is currently discussing suggested conditions to be included in any planning permission the Secretary of State may deem to be granted with Medway Council. These conditions will cover archaeological investigation and preservation.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received on (a) vehicular circulation roadways, (b) traffic generation and its mitigation, (c) modifications to (i) Roper's Lane, (ii) Stoke Road, (iii) Four Elms roundabout and (iv) the A228 between Roper's Lane roundabout and Grain, (d) site access, (e) construction-related traffic and (f) loading, unloading and turning facilities for construction vehicles in relation to the proposed power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, broken down by category of organisation; and if he will make a statement. [190134]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has received representations from Medway council and has been made aware of the concerns of local residents and parish councils regarding traffic movements and upgrading of local roads to accommodate traffic associated with the proposed power station at Kingsnorth.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received on (a) land and (b) waterway contamination relating to (i) potential construction and (ii) the operational phase of the proposed power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, broken down by category of organisation. [190184]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has received representations on contaminated land from the Environment Agency.


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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received on (a) the environmental impact, (b) the potential effect on (i) ringed plovers and other birds, (ii) water voles, (iii) reptiles, (iv) biodiversity and (iv) natural water temperatures and (c) the environmental management plan of the proposed power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, broken down by type of organisation; and what discussions he has had on such matters with Cabinet colleagues. [190185]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has received representations from Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Kent Wildlife Trust on a wide range of issues relating to ecological and environmental issues. No discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the matters mentioned in the question have taken place.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans there are to (a) incorporate and (b) retro-fit carbon storage and capture technology in relation to the proposed power station at Kingsnorth in Kent; what the estimated cost to the public purse is of such plans; what discussions he has had, and with whom, on such plans; what representations he has received on this matter and from whom; and if he will make a statement. [190188]

Malcolm Wicks: No. Carbon capture readiness is one of the issues which the Secretary of State will take into account before deciding whether or not to grant consent to E.ON’s application for his consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to construct a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth.

The costs of including carbon capture plant would fall to the applicant.

Neither the Secretary of State nor Ministers have had discussions with any party about E.ON’s proposal to construct a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. Any written representations will be taken into account before the Secretary of State takes his decision on the application.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the availability of carbon sinks in the UK suitable to store captured carbon dioxide from the proposed Kingsnorth power station; what representations he has received on this matter and from whom; and what estimate he has made of the likely costs of transporting carbon dioxide from Kingsnorth to the most likely site for storage. [190229]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government have published two recent studies on the availability of carbon dioxide sinks generally. The first in 2006, was undertaken by the British Geological Survey and looked at sources and sinks for CO2 . This concluded that the combined CO2 storage potential in North Sea sinks should be sufficient to meet both UK and Norwegian needs for many decades. “Industrial Carbon Dioxide Emission and Carbon Dioxide Storage Potential in the UK” (Holloway, S., Vincent C.J. and Kirk, K.L) DTI Cleaner Fossil fuels programme report COAL R308, DTI Publications URN 06/2027: is available at:


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