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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings were demolished in each Housing Market Renewal pathfinder area in each year since its inception; and how much was allocated from the public purse towards such demolitions in each year. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Data on the number of demolitions in each Housing Market Renewal (HMR) pathfinder, and total spend, is set out in the following table. The HMR programme adopts a range of measures, with refurbishments continuing to account for a significantly larger share of activity. Since the start of the programme, a total of just over 12,000 properties have been demolished with over 40,000 properties refurbished and 1,078 new properties constructed.
|2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||Total||HMR spent on demolition||Total HMR funding 2002- 0 8 (£ million)|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Dwellinghouse Coding Guide has been updated since 27 January 2005 in whole or part by the Valuation Office Agency. 
John Healey: Under INTERREG III the UK provided match funding to the programmes technical assistance budgets. €3,727,142 was paid to the North West Europe Programme; €1,149,584 to the IIIC West Programme; €1,594,950 to the North Sea Programme and €870,085 to the Atlantic Area Programme.
The ODPM also provided £5.9 million of match funding to UK partners for pre-application INTERREG IIIB project and partnership activities. From 2003 to 2006, more than 48 UK-organisations benefited from an ODPM award, representing 43 projects across the three INTERREG IIIB Programmes. The majority of organisations receiving OPDM awards were in a project-lead position.
The Government will not be providing match funding for individual projects in the new programmes. But we will be contributing towards programme technical assistance budgets. The amounts for the 2007 to 2013 programme period are:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the INTERACT Handbook on the European Grouping of Territorial Co-operation. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2008, Official Report, columns 1206-7W, on INTERACT programme, which INTERACT
working groups representatives from her Department have attended in the last 12 months. 
John Healey: Since May 2007 representatives from CLG have attended two INTERACT programme meetings. Two CLG officials attended a Monitoring Committee meeting on 19 to 20 October in Vienna. One CLG official attended a Monitoring Committee meeting on 4 March 2008, also in Vienna.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to help billing authorities improve the collection rates of (a) council tax and (b) business rates; and if she will ask the Audit Commission to initiate an investigation following the recent Office of Fair Trading report. 
John Healey: The collection of council tax and business rates is a matter for local authorities. In 2006-07 billing authorities across England collected 96.9 per cent. of all council tax and 98.7 per cent. of national non-domestic rates. It is not clear which OFT report the hon. Member is referring.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which national policy statements will be designated within the next two years; and when she expects to publish drafts of each statement for consultation. 
John Healey: The Secretary of State explained in her written statement of 27 November 2007, Official Report, columns 11-17WS, that the Governments aim is to establish a suite of national policy statements that will comprise:
an overarching energy NFS covering key elements of energy policy related to infrastructure provision;
statements encompassing different forms of energy generation such as fossil fuels, renewable energy, electricity networks and gas infrastructure;
a statement for aviation;
a statement for ports;
a statement for the strategic highway and rail networks;
a statement on water supply and waste water treatment;
a statement on waste.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect of the unrest in the financial markets and housing market on the number of planning applications made. 
Mr. Iain Wright: No specific assessment on planning applications has been made, however the Department does publish a quarterly National Statistics release on planning applications, decisions, enforcement activity, minerals and waste planning decisions at England, regional and local authority levels. The latest release published on 28 March 2008 can be found on the Departments website at:
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to amend planning legislation to provide that bail hostels with fewer than five units are deemed to constitute a separate planning use and that their establishment is subject to planning permission. 
Local planning authorities are best placed to determine, taking into account individual characteristics, as to which class or otherwise a particular premises belongs, and also whether a material change of use is involved.
In general, if a local planning authority considers a bail hostel to fall within Class C2, then planning permission may be required for a change of use to a bail hostel, unless the premises was already in C2 use (e.g. as a hospital or nursing home). If a local planning authority considers a bail hostel to be a sui generis use, then planning permission would usually be required for a change of use to a bail hostel. The key test in whether planning permission is required is whether a material change of use has occurred or would occur.
Mr. Iain Wright:
Our preferred approach is to expect proposals to be evaluated on their likely impacts taking into account the characteristics of particular locations.
The considerations to be taken into account are set out in our Planning Policy Statement (PPS) on Planning and Climate Change and in PPS22 on Renewable Energy. The Companion Guide supporting PPS22 provides detailed advice for practitioners on the siting of wind turbines.
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