|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what Westminster city councils housing revenue account subsidy position (a) was in each of the last 10 years and (b) is expected to be in 2009-10. 
Data for 2009-10 are not available. The authoritys subsidy entitlement is dependent upon housing stock levels, which are not due to be made available until the end of March. We anticipate that the authority will continue to receive subsidy.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much (a) Westminster city council and (b) CityWest Homes contributed to the housing revenue account in each of the last 10 years; and how much they are expected to contribute to it in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Westminster city council has been a net recipient of housing revenue account subsidy in each of the last 10 years. The authority does not contribute surpluses for redistribution elsewhere and we expect this to continue to be the case in 2009-10.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what financial incentives are available to improve the efficiency of low carbon building projects in (a) England and (b) Buckinghamshire. 
Landlords Energy Saving AllowanceA financial incentive introduced in 2004 to encourage landlords to invest in the energy efficiency of their properties. It offers a deduction against taxable profits for private landlords' expenditure on cavity wall, loft, solid wall and hot water system insulation as well as draught-proofing.
Low Carbon Buildings programmeThe Low Carbon Buildings programme was launched in 2006. It is the Governments £86 million capital grant programme funding the installation of on-site technologies for householders, communities, public sector and businesses. Over £42 million has been committed to 9,505 projects in England so far.
Stamp Duty Land Tax ExemptionStamp Duty relief for zero carbon homes was announced in Budget 2007 to act as an incentive to developers of new zero carbon homes. The exemption covers the first acquisition of a zero carbon home costing up to £500,000. For homes costing in excess of £500,000 there will be a reduction of £15,000. The exemption is in place for all new homes for a period of five years ending on 30 September 2012.
Other programmes which can provide financial support include:
Act on CO2/Energy Saving TrustIn April 2008, the Government launched an advice line which offers a one-stop-shop for advice and tips on reducing carbon emissions and saving energy in the home with £26 million of support.
Decent Homes programmeThe Decent Homes Standard includes a thermal comfort element that requires efficient heating and effective insulation in homes. From 2001-2007 the Government have spent £4 billion on heating and insulation as part of the wider Decent Homes programme.
The Low Carbon Buildings programme (see above) has committed over £500,000 to 140 projects in Buckinghamshire so far.
All Buckinghamshire local authorities, and Milton Keynes, are participating in a region-wide programme designed to retrofit energy efficiency measures to existing private housing. Alongside funding made available for authorities to make their council housing decent my Department's Private Sector Renewal initiative provides funding through the Regional Housing Pot for authorities to cut household CO2 emissions by providing a range of services such as loft and cavity wall insulation, energy efficient boilers and renewable energy technology. The Thames Valley partnership is focusing its resources on an innovative loan facility, the Flexible Home Improvement Loan. The Thames Valley-wide consortium has £7 million to spend over two years.
Milton Keynes Offsetting schemethis is a local authority scheme whereby new housing that does not meet a stipulated level of the Code for Sustainable Homes is charged a levy that goes into a local retrofitting fund. Local sources suggest that this will create a funding pot of around £2 million for the improvement of the boroughs housing stock.
Regional planning guidance published in 2003 set targets for overall house-building in each upper tier local authority area in the north-west. It was for local authorities to decide how to manage housing supply within that context taking into consideration any under or over supply and the impact on neighbouring housing markets.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate she has made of the average cost of constructing affordable housing units in London; and what the projected average cost is of constructing such units in 2010. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Affordable housing is constructed in the same way as all other domestic housing, and similarly costs vary according to size and specification. Communities and Local Government has not carried out any recent work on the average cost of constructing an affordable housing unit in London. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform publishes data on construction costs, in the form of the Construction Cost and Price Indices which are available on a quarterly basis either in hard copy or online via the Building Cost Information Service website at:
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many housing association properties there were in each of the wards of Leeds West constituency in each year since 2005; and what percentage of all dwellings in each ward they represented. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the average cost has been of the homes brought into use as affordable housing through the Clearing House Programme; 
Mr. Iain Wright: The average grant per unit of all developer stock that has been purchased with funding through the Homes and Communities Agencys Affordable Housing programme (AHP) since May is set out in the following table. This includes both those schemes that were assessed through the National Clearing House and the smaller schemes that were assessed through the HCA.
|Product||Average grant per unit (£)|
Homes and Communities Agency.
Over 2,700 flats out of the total of over 4,800 affordable homes are being provided through the £160 million allocated from the initial £200 million earmarked from within the Affordable Housing programme.
Mr. Iain Wright: The procedures dealing with development by local authorities are contained in the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992. The general principle underlying these regulations is that local authorities must make planning applications in the same way as any other person and must follow the same procedures as would apply to applications by others. In particular, the application must be advertised in the same way as any similar application from any other applicant. Such applications cannot be decided by a committee or officer responsible for the management of any land or buildings to which they relate.
Local authority development proposals, like those of other persons applying for planning permission, must be decided in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. They must be notified to the Secretary of State if they are not
in accordance with the provisions of the development plan in force in the area, so that she can consider whether to call in the application for her own determination.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Department intends to publish two consultation papers this year on park homes. In April we propose to publish a paper on reforms to site licensing of park home sites. During the summer we hope to publish a paper on options for reform to certain provisions in the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended) to improve the transparency of dealings between site owners and residents.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made towards gathering information on homes in multiple occupation and the employment status of people who live in such accommodation in order to address the gap in evidence identified in her Departments second response to the Communities and Local Government Committees Report on coastal towns. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We have improved the evidence base by publishing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) data at local authority level. For statistics on applications received for licenses issued by the local authorities that relate to the English seaside towns I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 372W.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much and what proportion of expenditure on the National Clearing House scheme will come from the Homes and Communities Agencys; 
(2) how many unsold domestic dwellings in each local authority area have been bought under the National Clearing House scheme; and what the (a) timetable and (b) target for the total number of dwellings to be purchased under the scheme is. 
Mr. Iain Wright: In May, the Government announced a plan to take advantage of market opportunities to bring private sector developer stock into the affordable housing sector by providing £200 million of funding in 2008-09 from the overall budget of the Homes and Communities Agencys Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) for the purchase of homes from house builders. This represents around 8 per cent. of the overall Affordable Housing Programme for 2008-09. We have not set a specific target for the number of properties to be purchased as we want to ensure that they are appropriate and of the right quality.
To help facilitate this, the Housing Corporation set up the National Clearing House to streamline initial assessment of national packages of at least 250 units from private sector house builders. Housing Corporation Investment partners, mainly registered social landlords, wishing to buy smaller numbers of units from developers could bid for funding directly to the Corporation in the normal way.
To the end of December over £160 million had been allocated from the initial £200 million. A table has been deposited in the Library showing the distribution of these allocations by local authority and social rent and low cost home ownership.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to withdraw the requirement on businesses in statutory ports in England and Wales to pay backdated business rates bills. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects the Shareholder Executive to report on its examination of the operation of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. 
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the timetable is for the analysis of responses to the south- east plan consultation submitted to the Government office for the south-east; 
Mr. Iain Wright:
Regional Ministers represent regional interests in the formulation of government policy; facilitate a joined up approach across Government Departments and agencies to enable effective delivery; champion the region at high level events and with regard to high
profile projects. They also represent the Government with regard to central Government policy at regional select committee hearings and at parliamentary debates focussed specifically on the region.
Regional Ministers also promote the importance of regional planning and encourage regional stakeholders to engage positively in the regional planning process and in their implementation. However, Regional Ministers are not part of the decision making process in relation to the review and issuing of RSSs. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is responsible for issuing RSSs.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|