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30 Oct 2008 : Column 1285Wcontinued
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the Planning Inspectorates inspectors handbook. 
Mr. Iain Wright: A copy of the Inspectors Handbook has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on certificates of lawfulness for developments with permitted development rights. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Guidance on lawful development certificates is contained in DoE Circular 10/97 Enforcing Planning Control: Legislative Provisions and Procedural Requirements. Developers would apply for a certificate under section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to establish that a proposed development benefits from permitted development rights.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance she gives to planning authorities on the application of planning policy guidance or planning policy statements to planning applications in circumstances where a submitted application is subject to appeal and a relevant item of guidance or statement has undergone substantive revision between the date of the initial application and the appeal hearing. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Guidance set out in The Planning System: General Principles states:
Emerging policies, in the form of draft policy statements and guidance, can be regarded as material considerations, depending on the context. Their existence may indicate that a relevant policy is under review; and the circumstances which have led to that review may need to be taken into account.
The aforementioned guidance is relevant to the decision taker at the time, whether that be local planning authorities or the Secretary of State, and can be found on Communities and Local Government website via the following link:
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what procedures are in place to ensure that local planning authorities take appropriate action to enforce planning control decisions; 
(2) what steps the Department has taken in relation to those local authorities which fail to take enforcement action against developers who flout planning controls; 
(3) what steps she plans to take to enforce planning regulations applicable to the Quinn Glass plant in Elton and Ince; 
(4) what steps she is taking to require Chester City Council to enforce planning regulations relating to the Quinn Glass plant in Elton and Ince; 
(5) what steps her Department takes to ensure that (a) large-scale developments obtain appropriate planning consent prior to construction and (b) that enforcement action is taken to prevent any potential unfair competitive advantage being gained as a result of progressing development without proper permission; 
(6) what representations she has received on the legality of the continued operation of the Quinn Glass plant at Elton and Ince and the status of planning permission in relation to the plant; 
(7) what steps she intends to take to enforce the decision of her predecessor that Quinn Glass should not gain any advantage from the fact that their plant had already been built and commenced operation. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local planning authorities have a wide range of discretionary enforcement powers to enable them to deal with unauthorised development that is harming amenity in the neighbourhood. If they consider that unauthorised development is unacceptable on planning grounds, they have the power to take enforcement action. It is for the local planning authority to decide in each case which is the most appropriate course of action, taking account of local circumstances. Guidance is available to local planning authorities in PPG 18 Enforcing Planning Control and DoE Circular 10/97 Enforcing Planning Control: Legislative Provisions and Procedural Requirements with its accompanying Good Practice Guide.
A second retrospective planning application for the development at the Quinn Glass plant at Elton was submitted to the Chester city and Ellesmere Port and Neston borough councils on 30 January 2008, and has yet to be determined.
Representations have been received from Mr. Mark Humphreys that concern the legality of operations at the plant. Representations and requests to call-in the previous planning application have also made reference to the operation of the plant without the benefit of planning permission.
A request that the Secretary of State should call-in the application was also received, on 12 May 2008, from the agents acting on behalf of Ardagh Glass Ltd. (formerly Rockware Glass Ltd.), a company based in South Yorkshire. The Secretary of State issued an Article 14 direction on 16 June 2008. This will ensure that she has a formal opportunity to consider the possibility of determining the matter herself by calling in the matter should the two local planning authorities be minded to grant planning permission.
I can make no comments on the merits of this case as it may yet come before the Secretary of State for her determination.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether companies who are registered in tax havens may sell planning permissions awarded in this country; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) whether companies registered in other countries may sell planning permissions awarded in this country; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The town and country planning system is designed to regulate the development and use of land in the public interest. It is concerned only with whether a proposed use of a site is acceptable in land-use planning terms. The system works on the principle that if permission is granted to one applicant it should be available to anyone else wishing to develop the site in the same way. This means that land with the benefit of planning permission could be sold, whether the land owner is based in the UK or abroad.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under what circumstances individuals may submit objections to planning applications without their names and addresses being made available to the public. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local planning authorities have a statutory duty to place planning applications on a planning register. Part I of the register is used for applications not yet decided together with copies of plans and drawings. After determination of the application, the decision, by the local planning authority should be placed on Part II of the register. The full requirements are set out in Article 25 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995.
Disclosure of other information is discretionary. Most local planning authorities elect to publish the comments of objectors and others who make representations about a proposal which would normally include their names and addresses. However, details of an objectors name and address could be withheld if there are good reasons to do so and no overwhelming public interest in making the information public. Guidance jointly produced by this Department and the Information Commissioner can be found on the Planning and Regulatory Services Online (PARSOL) website at:
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she plans to have with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on implications for climate change of the provisions contained within the Planning Bill 
John Healey: The Planning Bill, together with the Energy Bill and Climate Change Bill is a key part of the Government's strategy to accelerate the UK's transition to a low carbon economy and enable us to meet the challenge of climate change.
The Bill's provisions for nationally significant infrastructure were developed jointly with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and the Department for Transport, and we will continue to work closely with these Departments, and the new Department of Energy and Climate Change, as the legislation progresses.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding streams provide resources to tackle deprivation in super output areas. 
John Healey: The following table provides a list of funding streams through which Communities and Local Government will provide £847 million in 2008-09 to tackle deprivation. It is not possible to identify exactly how much money from each of the funding streams is targeted exclusively at the most deprived super output areas as some activities may be district wide.
|Funding stream||2008-09 spend (£ million)|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the terms of reference are of the Redress Review; and what forms of redress will be reviewed; 
(2) what the timetable is for the Redress Review; who is conducting the review; and what evidence is being considered as part of the review. 
Mr. Khan: The Redress Review will consider redress arrangements across public services and the private sector to look at whether and how to introduce and extend the idea of redress for citizens where their council services fail to meet agreed standards. The full terms of reference are available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website:
This review is being chaired by David Cook (chief executive of Kettering borough council) and is due to report to the Secretary of State in early 2009.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library the report on the draft West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy commissioned from Nathaniel Litchfield and Partners by the Government Office for the West Midlands; what recommendations the report made in respect of building on green belt land; and what the cost to the public purse of the report was. 
Mr. Khan: The Nathaniel Litchfield and Partners study is evidence to demonstrate where additional housing growth could be accommodated. The study has concluded that it is possible to deliver higher levels of housing than the levels proposed in the submitted Regional Spatial Strategy. The study sets out three scenarios which demonstrate where additional housing growth could be accommodated in the region. Scenarios are not site specific rather they assess the potential for additional growth to be accommodated within local authority areas.
The study has suggested that additional housing growth in Solihull and Bromsgrove would require green belt amendments. In Birmingham, Rugby and Warwick there may be a need for green belt amendments. This will ultimately depend upon the precise location and level of growth. The housing growth scenarios are not definitive proposals; merely an independent assessment of where additional housing could be accommodated. No decision has been made on the merits of the different scenarios and the Government have still to take a view on the study which they will do in their formal response to the Phase 2 revision.
Discussions are still ongoing following the completion of the study and therefore costs have yet to be finalised.
A copy of the report will be deposited in the Library of the House.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of tenants of private landlords where the landlord has a buy-to-let mortgage on the property occupied by the tenant. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
In January this year, Ministers commissioned Julie Rugg and David Rhodes of the centre for housing policy at the university of York to carry out an independent review of the private rented sector. The review team presented their findings on 23 October. Their report states that most recent records (drawn from the Council of Mortgage Lenders) indicate that, at the end of 2007, there were 1,024,300 outstanding buy-to-let mortgages. In the same year, mortgage advances for buy-to-let totalled 17 per cent. of total number of advances, including to home owners. In 2006 (the last year for which the relevant data are available), when the number of outstanding buy-to-let mortgages was 849,900, this constituted an estimated 28 per cent. of the total
private rented stock. We do not hold data on whether all the properties covered by these mortgages are occupied by tenants.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to protect the residency of tenants within the private rented sector in circumstances where their landlord has defaulted on a buy-to-let mortgage and the lender wishes to sell the property to recover mortgage arrears. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We believe it is good practice where possible for the lender to let the tenancy run and use the rental payments to cover the mortgage repayments until the end of the tenancy or where the tenancy has become a periodic tenancy to give the statutory two-month notice period as a minimum. Where this is not possible, we would hope that as a matter of best practice, the mortgage lender would feel able to keep the tenant informed and to give them as much notice as possible if they have to find alternative accommodation.
Officials in the Department are in discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders to explore ways in which best practice can be implemented and tenants can be kept better informed in these situations.
If a tenant becomes homeless as a result of their landlords failure to keep up with mortgage payments, the local council should be able to help in terms of providing temporary accommodation and assisting the tenant in their search for somewhere to live.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department has taken to promote the take-up of small business rate relief; and if she will take further measures in light of the current economic climate. 
John Healey: It is for local councils to promote the scheme to local businesses. Communities and Local Government sent a business rates information letter to all local authorities in England on 19 September 2008 to remind them that they should, where possible, encourage businesses to apply for the relief. There are no present plans to take further action.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the estimated take-up rate is of small business rate relief. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 13 December 2007, Official Report, column 901W.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the estimated annual budget of the Standards Board and Adjudication Panel will be in each of the next three years. 
John Healey: The Standards Board for England's estimate of its and the Adjudication Panel's annual budgets for the next three years are contained in the Standards Board's Corporate Plan, available on the Standard Board's website at:
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