Previous Section Index Home Page

6 Oct 2008 : Column 328W—continued

Mr. Iain Wright: In order to ensure that developers provide amenities for the local community as part of development proposals, Government policy requires local authorities to ensure that green and other public spaces are incorporated as part of developments, and that developments support local facilities and are visually
6 Oct 2008 : Column 329W
attractive. This policy is set out in ‘Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1): Delivering Sustainable Development’, which was published in 2005.

In addition, local planning authorities can use planning obligations to mitigate the impacts of new developments, and to secure contributions from developers to compensate for the loss or damage to a local amenity caused by a development proposal, in order to make the proposal acceptable in planning terms. This is set out in ‘Circular 05/05 on Planning Obligations’.

Both documents are available in the House Library.

Housing: Cumbria

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of homes required to house key workers in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland in the next five years. [223915]

Mr. Iain Wright: We do not hold data on the number of homes required to house key workers. Any such assessment would be for key worker employers in the area to undertake.

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many
6 Oct 2008 : Column 330W
private home owners have received disability adaptation grants in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland in the last five years; [223933]

(2) what estimate her Department has made of the number of private sector homes that will need to be adapted for disabled owners in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland over the next five years. [223932]

Mr. Khan: The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people. Local authorities in England report their annual Disabled Facilities Grant number of recipients to Communities and Local Government through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA). The information is not broken down by tenure type. Social housing tenants receive assistance from other local authority funding streams.

The following table sets out the numbers of Disabled Facilities Grant for all authorities in Cumbria including Copeland borough council for 2002-03 to 2006-07. The Department does not hold information on prospective recipients of the grant for the next five years. However the 2006-07 HSSA does offer a forecast for 2007-08 and 2008-09 which has been included in the table.

It is the Department's intention to publish the 2007-08 data in the HSSA report at the end of November.

Cumbria 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

Allderdale

59

76

79

70

85

85

85

Barrow in Furness

57

51

61

72

82

100

100

Copeland

35

54

46

42

50

55

50

Eden

29

25

30

27

35

39

30

S Lakeland

14

34

33

28

39

30

40

Total

194

240

249

239

291

309

305


Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department has identified any suitable properties that could be purchased under the unsold stock programme within (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland to help meet affordable housing needs. [223935]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Housing Corporation is actively working with all the local authorities in Cumbria both individually and through the Cumbria Affordable Housing Sub Group to encourage bids for affordable housing in Cumbria, particularly in small rural settlements with population of less than 3,000. This includes schemes that will complete in the current financial year, to either buy existing properties or new build stock which developers are struggling to sell in current market conditions.

In a recent meeting with the Housing Corporation, Cumbrian authorities including Copeland confirmed that they had been approached by developers regarding unsold stock. The proposals are currently being investigated but as yet have not resulted in any detailed bids to the Housing Corporation.

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many home repossessions there were in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland in the last five years. [223936]

Mr. Iain Wright: There are two independent sources of data on actual numbers of mortgage possessions: The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Financial Services Authority. However both are only available for the United Kingdom as a whole.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders data is available on their website at

The Financial Services Authority data are available on their website at

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate her Department has made of the number of socially provided homes that will be needed to meet housing needs in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland over the next five years; [223956]

(2) what estimate her Department has made of the number of private sector homes that will be needed to meet housing needs in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland over the next five years. [223957]

Mr. Iain Wright: On 30 September we published the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the North West.
6 Oct 2008 : Column 331W
The RSS indicates that in Cumbria, 8,980 homes are required over the next five years and in Copeland 1,150 homes are required over the same period. It is now up to local authorities to decide on how this provision should be divided between market housing and affordable housing, including social rented and intermediate housing. Authorities will take forward this process through local development frameworks.

Housing: Databases

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will produce a privacy impact assessment on her Department's proposals to allow access to the Energy Performance Certificate database by any energy assessor. [222544]

Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government is carrying out a full audit on the security of all data forming part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive programme.

Housing: Disabled

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government has taken to provide sufficient affordable housing for people with disabilities. [222367]

Mr. Iain Wright: Through the Housing Corporation’s Affordable Housing Programme for the 2008-11 period we have already approved over £300 million to deliver affordable housing for those with supported housing needs including older people. This funding also includes the Home Ownership for Long-term Disabilities (HOLD) scheme, a low cost home ownership scheme specifically designed for people with long term disabilities.

Through the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, we are establishing the Homes and Communities Agency. One of the objects of this new organisation is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development and good design with a view to meeting the needs of people living in England. Good design specifically includes design which has due regard to the needs of elderly persons and disabled persons.

“Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society”, sets out
6 Oct 2008 : Column 332W
our aspiration to see all new homes built to Lifetime Homes Standards by 2013. Lifetime Homes Standards are inexpensive, simple features designed to make homes more flexible and functional for all. We will undertake a review of Lifetime Homes Standards take-up across all sectors in 2010. We will also use standards set out in the code for Sustainable Homes to ensure that all public sector funded housing is built to Lifetime Homes Standards by 2011.

Housing: Empty Property

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 1 July 2008, Official Report, column 791W, on housing: empty property, how many empty dwellings there were in each Government Office region in England in October 2005. [222886]

Mr. Iain Wright: The following table shows the total number of empty dwellings in England and each Government office region at 9 October 2005.

Region Empty dwellings as at 9 October 2005

North East

47,571

North West

132,443

Yorkshire and the Humberside

85,660

East Midlands

63,195

West Midlands

77,391

East of England

66,783

London

85,550

South East

100,443

South West

64,158

England

723,194

Source:
Council Taxbase and Council Taxbase Supplementary (CTB1 and CTB1S) returns submitted by local authorities to Communities and Local Government

The figures in the table are for all empty homes. The following table shows levels of dwellings which have been empty for more than six months. It is sometimes more appropriate to look at trends in long-term vacancies since they are ones that should be tackled. Those dwellings vacant for less than six months are more likely to be empty for short period following a sale and are a characteristic of the housing market.

Number of long-term vacancies (all tenures vacant for more than six months)
November October

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

North East

23,210

22,891

21,599

21,473

21,886

21,583

North West

71,819

75,760

68,594

68,275

71,811

73,047

Yorkshire and Humber

44,039

40,704

36,550

35,715

36,336

40,084

East Midlands

25,883

28,641

26,219

27,925

27,763

27,306

West Midlands

37,238

39,295

40,167

35,703

35,910

34,833

East of England

28,418

27,075

25,020

25,175

25,039

24,704

London

66,407

54,229

42,600

40,081

40,142

36,534

South East

48,163

43,797

35,459

36,022

34,278

34,226

South West

30,412

28,080

22,434

23,247

25,276

21,732

England

375,589

360,472

318,642

313,616

318,441

314,049

Source:
Council Taxbase and Council Taxbase Supplementary (CTBl and CTBIS) returns submitted by local authorities to Communities and Local Government

Next Section Index Home Page