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Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward proposals to permit local authorities to prohibit the speculative subdivision and sale of small plots of (a) greenfield and (b) green belt land without planning permission. 
Mr. Ian Austin: There are existing planning powers available to local authorities to control the physical subdivision of land, principally Article 4 Directions which restrict permitted development rights. These powers can be used in relation to both greenfield and green belt land. The Government do not intend to bring forward further proposals at this time.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning applications for waste facility plants have been made in the last 12 months; how many of these have been approved; how many such proposals included (a) energy recovery, (b) recycling and (c) composting; how many landfill sites are in operation; and how many landfill sites have ceased to operate in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Communities and Local Government collects statistics on the total number of planning applications made on county matters, but this is not broken down into type of proposed development. However, statistics are collected on the number of planning applications decided for waste facility plants. Applications approved in any particular year are not necessarily the same facilities for which applications were made in that year.
|England: July 2008 to June 2009|
Communities and Local Government General Development Control Returns, CPS1/2
Information on the number of landfill sites is held by the Environment Agency. There are currently 484 operational landfill sites in England and Wales. 26 sites ceased to accept waste or started closure proceedings between September 2008 and 2009.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what discussions his Department has had with the Association of Train Operating Companies in the last 12 months; and when those discussions took place; 
Departmental Ministers and officials have frequent meetings with representatives of the Association of Train Operating Companies to discuss a
range of issues. Outsourcing the operation of the National Rail Enquiries service has been discussed but does not require the Department for Transport's approval.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of trends in the rate of (a) air proximity incidents and (b) risk-bearing incidents in UK airspace in each of the last five years. 
Paul Clark: I am informed by the independent UK Airprox Board that the number of air proximity events for commercial air transport and general aviation has declined during the period 2004 to 2008, as set out in the following table.
|Commercial Air Transport Airprox|
|General Aviation Airprox|
|(1 )There are four airprox categories:|
A-Risk of Collision: An actual risk of collision existed
B-Safety not assured: The safety of the aircraft was compromised
C-No risk of collision: No risk of collision existed
D-Risk not determined: Insufficient information was available to determine the risk involved, or inconclusive or conflicting evidence precluded such determination
A 'risk-bearing' airprox is one that falls into category A or B.
Mike Penning: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of pensioners who are entitled to a concessionary bus pass in (a) Hemel Hempstead constituency, (b) Dacorum and (c) Hertfordshire. 
Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport does not maintain records of how many people in local authorities are eligible for concessionary bus passes as concessionary travel is administered locally by Travel Concession Authorities (TCAs).
All older people aged 60 and over are entitled to receive a concessionary bus pass. The Department does not hold figures specifically for Hemel Hempstead which is part of Dacorum TCA. Work that was conducted by the Department prior to the implementation of the
national bus concession showed that as of October 2007, there were 28,296 older people eligible for a concessionary bus pass in Dacorum and 214,415 across all of Hertfordshire.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of introducing and operating for a 12-month period a scrappage scheme for buses akin to that recently introduced in respect of cars. 
Mr. Khan: The cost of a scrappage scheme would vary depending on the design, for example what age of bus it would apply to and the size of the incentive, as well as the market response to the scheme. Rather than introduce a scrappage scheme, we have announced a fund to support the purchase of new low carbon buses. The Green Bus Fund will provide government funding of £30 million over the next two years and is expected to lead to the introduction and operation of several hundred new low carbon buses in England.
As part of the assessment criteria for the Green Bus Fund, bidders will be given credit for any older buses they intend to replace with the new low carbon bus. This will therefore meet the objectives of a scrappage scheme with the added benefit that all the new buses will contribute towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated to encourage bicycle usage in Birmingham, Sparkbrook and Small Heath constituency in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Khan: The four main streams of departmental funding to encourage cycling in England are local transport plan funding, cycle training grants, "cycle city and town" funding and links to school funding.
The Department allocates integrated transport block and highways maintenance funding to local transport authorities for general capital investment in transport. This funding is not ring-fenced and local authorities have discretion to spend their allocations in line with their priorities.
We have awarded cycle training grants to local authorities since 2006-07 to encourage cycling to school. We also provide funding for training direct in schools via grants to the School Sports Partnerships.
Between April 2006 and March 2009 Sustrans (Sustainable Transport Charity) has on the Department's behalf made available £235,000 in grants for the West Midlands region to deliver a Links to Schools programme working with local authorities. Birmingham City Council was not amongst the grant receivers.
The purpose of the funding is to encourage children to walk and cycle to school. Funding priorities are established by Sustrans. Sustrans is in the final stages of fully finalising their project list for 2009-10 and will be submitting a complete list to DFT shortly.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated to encourage bicycle usage in each local authority area in England and Wales in each of the last five years. 
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