Local authorities with the highest percentage of long-term empty dwellings
Local authorityTotal dwelling stockTotal long term vacantsTotal long term vacants as percentage of total dwelling stock

Pendle

39,614

2,196

5.5

Manchester

213,965

10,972

5.1

Salford

104,325

3,960

3.8

Teesdale

11,797

446

3.8

Durham City

38,961

1,461

3.7

Liverpool

212,359

7,571

3.6

Burnley

40,585

1,427

3.5

Bradford

204,893

7,068

3.4

Hyndburn

36,319

1,246

3.4

Wear Valley

30,346

990

3.3

Calderdale

91,719

2,986

3.3

Barrow-in-Furness

33,130

933

2.8

Blackburn with Darwen UA

59,495

1,657

2.8

Berwick-upon-Tweed

14,171

391

2.8

Bolton

119,254

3,289

2.8

Oldham

92,639

2,440

2.6

Derwentside

41,516

1,086

2.6

Macclesfield

70,509

1,844

2.6

Hackney

96,596

2,467

2.6

West Lindsey

39,521

1,001

2.5

Sources:

Total vacants: Council Taxbase and Council Taxbase Supplementary (CTB1 and CTB1S) returns from local authorities for October 2008.

Local authority: Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and Business Plan Statistical Appendix (BPSA) submitted to Communities and Local Government by local authorities for 1 April 2008.

RSL: Regulatory Statistical Return (RSR) as reported to the Housing Corporation by registered social landlords for 31 March 2008.



Housing: Prices

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the ratio of lower quintile house prices to lower quintile earnings was in 2009. [315679]

Mr. Ian Austin: The ratio of lower quintile house prices to lower quintile earnings in England in 2009 was 6.18, its lowest level in five years.

Local Strategic Partnerships: Members

Jacqui Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many boards of local strategic partnerships hon. Members are represented. [314154]

Barbara Follett: Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) are groups of local organisations and their representatives which come together voluntarily to work in partnership for the benefit of the communities they serve.

A Survey of Local Strategic Partnerships conducted in 2008 reported that 50 per cent. are chaired by either the council leader or executive mayor and a further 6 per cent. by a councillor who is a member of a local authority executive (cabinet).

Local authority executive councillors were reported as being members on 94 per cent. of LSPs and non-executive councillors on 43 per cent. The survey also reported that 10 per cent. of LSPs included Members of Parliament or Members of the European Parliament.



4 Feb 2010 : Column 529W

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent by his Department on the Mortgage Rescue Scheme at the latest date for which figures are available. [315676]

John Healey: The Homes and Communities Agency will report spend through the Mortgage Rescue scheme in the normal way in their annual report for 2009-10.

Non-domestic Rates: Garages and Petrol Stations

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many properties there were to which rateable values for petrol retail outlets applied in (a) in 1990, (b) 2000 and (c) 2008. [311054]

Barbara Follett: There were 9,860 petrol filling stations in the rating lists for England as at 1 April 2000 and 6,040 in the rating lists as at 1 April 2008. Figures for 1990 are unavailable. These figures include all property recorded as petrol filling stations using VOA Special Category (SCAT) Code 209. It is not possible to identify and include in the figures hypermarkets and other properties retailing petrol. These are recorded under other SCAT codes. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

The data for 1 April 2000 has been taken from the Valuation Office Agency operational database.

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment his Department has made of the economic effects of the 2010 business rates revaluation on the network of independent petrol filling stations. [314042]

Barbara Follett: As no decisions were required to proceed with revaluation 2010, no formal impact assessment has been prepared on its impact upon any specific sector. However, an impact assessment on the transitional arrangements for revaluation 2010 was published in July 2009.

In addition, ratepayers have received summary valuation information about their properties from the Valuation Office Agency. From 1 October 2009, ratepayers have been able to put their new rateable values into the business rates calculator on the Business Link website to see the impact of the revaluation for their property.

The five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and the 2010 revaluation will not raise a single extra penny for Government. Over a million properties will see their business rate liabilities come down as a result of revaluation.

In the last five years, alongside rising petrol prices and increasing turnover, the rents paid on many petrol filling stations has grown. It is only fair to all ratepayers this is reflected in rate bills. The Government have put in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on business properties facing increases.



4 Feb 2010 : Column 530W

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make his policy to postpone the implementation of the 2010 business rates revaluation for petrol filling stations. [314068]

Barbara Follett [holding answer 28 January 2010]:We have no plans to postpone the revaluation for petrol filling stations or any other class of property. The five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more and will not raise a single extra penny for Government. Over a million properties will see their business rate liabilities come down as a result of revaluation.

In the last five years, alongside rising petrol prices and increasing turnover, the rents paid on many petrol filling stations has grown. It is only fair to all ratepayers this is reflected in rate bills. The Government have put in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on the minority with bill increases, which in 2010-11 will ensure no business property sees its rates bill increase by more than 11 per cent. as a result of the revaluation, with maximum increases capped at just 3.5 per cent. for small properties. That is on top of the wider support available to help ease business pressures including discounted rate bills for small businesses and deferring tax payments.

Planning Permission

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 1 February 2010 to Question 314719, how long elapsed between issuing an Article 14 Direction and announcing his decision on whether or not to call in the application on each occasion where he has issued an Article 14 Direction (a) in each of the last five years, (b) in respect of airport-related cases and (c) in cases subsequently called in. [315746]

John Healey: As set out in my answer of 1 February, Official Report, columns 11-12W a total of 878 Article 14 Directions were issued over the period from 1 January 2005 to 31 January 2010. Listing the time period for each application between issuing the Article 14 Direction and the decision on call-in can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The following tables summarise the information requested regarding the 4 airport-related cases and the 128 cases subsequently called-in:

Airport cases(1)

Shortest time taken between issuing Article 14 Direction and call- in (calendar days)Longest time taken between issuing Article 14 Direction and call- in (calendar days)Average time taken between issuing Article 14 Direction and call- in (calendar days)

2005

2—

2006

2007

28

28

28

2008

28

28

28

2009(3)

32

32

32

(1) Excluding one case for which an Article 14 Direction has been issued but no decision has yet been taken on call-in.

(2) No cases

3 To 31 January 2010



4 Feb 2010 : Column 531W



All cases which were subsequently called in

Shortest time taken between issuing Article 14 Direction and call- in (calendar days)Longest time taken between issuing Article 14 Direction and call- in (calendar days)Average time taken between issuing Article 14 Direction and call- in (calendar days)

2005

(1)0

334

83

2006

2

147

51

2007

3

113

43

2008

3

73

41

2009(2)

1

133

38

1 Same day

2 To 31 January 2010



Property Development

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of permits that have been issued for building development on agricultural land in each of the last five years. [315583]

Mr. Ian Austin: Information on the number of permits issued for building development on agricultural land is not held centrally.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he will make a final decision on the 199 proposals shortlisted by the Local Government Association under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 sent to him on 22 December 2009. [314186]

Barbara Follett: The Government are consulting the Local Government Association in its role as selector under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and are seeking to reach agreement on which of the 199 short-listed proposals should be implemented. Many of the proposals are complex and raise significant practical issues but the Government are anxious to make progress as quickly as possible on those proposals that offer practical benefits and new ways of meeting local needs.