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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many bids for capital funding were received by the Homes and Communities Agency from (a) local authorities, (b) registered social landlords and (c) private housebuilders in each of the last three years; what the monetary value
of bids in each category was; how many housing units this represented; and how many applications (i) were accepted, (ii) were rejected and (iii) are awaiting a decision. 
John Healey: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) was established on 1 December 2008. From that date to the end of the 2008-09 financial year, 5,674 bids for capital funding were recorded as received by the HCA; two from (a) local authorities, 3,887 from (b) registered social landlords and 1,805 from (c) unregistered bodies (including but not exclusively private housebuilders). Bids from (a) local authorities amounted to £4 million and 85 housing units(1); from (b) registered social landlords amounted to £3,505.5 million and 49,200 units; and from (c) unregistered bodies amounted to £652.7 million and 16,400 units.
(1 )"Housing units" will include bedspaces and bedrooms in the case of the Places of Change programme, which funds hostel accommodation.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many revisions have been made to the Code of Sustainable Homes since it was first published; and when the most recent version of the document was published. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Code for Sustainable Homes (the Code) was introduced in England in April 2007 as a voluntary national standard for the design and construction of new sustainable homes. The Code Technical Guidance, which sets out the Code Standards was produced for the Code's launch in April 2007. There is a requirement for ongoing revision and updates to this guidance at appropriate points to reflect changes in Building and other regulations, to clarify language and to respond to feedback from the construction industry and other stakeholders.
All changes to date have been made with the involvement of stakeholders including house builders, product manufacturers, etc and considered by the Code Technical Guide Advisory Group. Published versions of the Code are April 2007, October 2007, April 2008, October 2008 and May 2009. As the Code Standard becomes more established and understanding of how to build sustainable homes improves, there will be less frequent updates. Communities and Local Government is continuing to engage its stakeholders in this process.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether power showers are permitted to be installed in homes which meet the requirements of level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what financial obligations will apply to local authorities in relation to plans for a National Care Service and free personal care for the elderly. 
The Care and Support Green Paper "Shaping the Future of Care Together" contains two options around the extent of the responsibilities of local authorities and national Government in allocating funds for the National Care Service. We are currently consulting on the design of the new National Care Service. No decisions will be taken until this process is complete.
The Prime Minister's announcement of free personal care in the home for those with the highest needs will be funded from reprioritised central budgets, and local authorities will reprioritise and use savings from efficiency measures. We will be working with stakeholders to make sure other services are not affected.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what terms of reference were given to the Audit Commission in its investigation of the regulation of financial agreements between local authorities and chief executives who leave before the end of the term of their contract. 
Barbara Follett: The Audit Commission has been asked to research pay-offs for senior local authority employees and their subsequent re-employment by another authority. It is for the Audit Commission to determine any terms of reference.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many households accepted an offer to purchase their home through the Mortgage Rescue Scheme in (a) July and (b) August 2009; 
(4) from how many households having difficulties paying their mortgage local authorities received approaches in (a) July and (b) August 2009; and what proportion of such approaches were made by households (i) at risk of repossession and (ii) in a priority need category. 
John Healey: We have acted rapidly to put in place a range of help and support for households struggling with their mortgage at every stage, and launched a campaign to ensure households have clear information about the help available.
We will be publishing headline data for the July to September quarter 2009 on 12 November 2009, as pre-announced on the UK Statistics Authority Publication Hub and the Department's statistical release schedule.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have (a) applied for and (b) been granted (i) additional and (ii) selective licensing powers for houses in multiple occupation. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Six local authorities have applied for additional licensing schemes for houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The Department has approved three schemes in the following two local authority areas; London borough of Hounslow (two schemes) and Peterborough borough council.
13 local authorities have applied for selective licensing schemes to cover all private rented properties within certain designated areas. The Department has to date approved 16 schemes in the following 11 local authority areas; Salford city council (two schemes), Middlesbrough borough council, Manchester city council (three schemes), Gateshead borough council (two schemes), Sedgefield borough council, Burnley borough council, Bolton borough council, Blackburn with Darwen borough council (two schemes), Easington district council, Hartlepool borough council and Leeds city council.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Newcastle Gateshead Housing Marketing Pathfinder spent on plan and strategy preparation in the North Central area of Newcastle; and how much of that sum was recharged to the Pathfinder in respect of Newcastle City Council staff engaged in plan and strategy preparation. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what conditions small firms will be required to meet in order to be eligible for small business rate relief from April 2010. 
Barbara Follett: The Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme will remain the same except that from 1 April 2010 the thresholds will change. An order to bring the changes into effect will be laid before the House in due course.
the sole or main property that they are occupying must have a rateable value under £17,999 (£25,499 for those in Greater London); and
if they occupy any additional properties, each of the additional properties must have a rateable value of no more than £2,599,and the total rateable value of all of the properties must be less than £17,999 (£25,499 in Greater London).
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Valuation Office Agency takes into account car boot sales that take place on a premises when rating a property for the 2010 rates revaluation. 
Barbara Follett: The rateable value of a property represents its rental value in its current use. Where a property is used entirely, or on occasion, as a car boot sale site its rateable value for the 2010 revaluation should reflect any rental enhancement attributable to that use.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 590W, on non-domestic rates: Greater London, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Valuation Office Agency's document, Review of sub-location codes. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the provision of televisions showing Sky programmes by licensed premises is deemed to be a material condition that increases the premises' rateable value in respect of the Valuation Office Agency's 2010 rates revaluation. 
Barbara Follett: Valuation officers will consider the presence of Sky TV and other forms of entertainment on offer as part of a wider consideration of all factors that may impact on the trading potential of a public house.
Rental values are determined in the market according to the trading potential of a pub on the assumption it is run by a reasonably efficient operator, who responds to the normal trading practices and competition of the locality in which the property is situated. Valuation officers are required to make a similar judgement when assessing public houses for business rates purposes.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations his Department has received on the effect of retrospective business rates on ports in Southampton. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 11 March 2009, Official Report, column 495W, on non-domestic rates: valuation, how many sub-locations have been classified in each local billing authority or similar administrative area used by the Valuation Office Agency. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the erection of tree houses require planning permission; and what changes have been made to the planning requirements for tree houses since May 1997. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Recent media coverage suggesting that all tree houses need full planning permission is wrong. If a tree house does not constitute development as defined under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, no planning permission would be required.
Even in cases where a tree house is defined as development, household permitted development rights introduced in October 2008 should mean it will still be classified as permitted development and will not require planning permission.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the recourse which unsuccessful applicants may have to the courts under the new arrangements for local authority charges for pre-application planning advice. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Local authorities have the power to charge for discretionary services under Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003. Some authorities choose to charge for pre-application planning advice but under Section 93 any charge must be on a not-for-profit basis so over a year the income from charges for such services must not exceed the cost for providing them.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 11 March 2009, Official Report, column 497W, on planning permission: fees and charges, if he will review the mineral extraction rate fees levied on the construction of fishing lakes. 
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