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5 Feb 2010 : Column 644W—continued

The data exclude petrol retail outlets in hypermarkets/superstores.

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 five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more by ensuring the share of the national rates bill paid by any one business reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. 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.

The percentage increase in rateable value does not necessarily result in a similar increase in rates liability. As the total rateable value for the whole country is increasing by approximately 20 per cent., only businesses with an increase over this figure will see an increase in their bills.

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The Government intend to 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: Appeals

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many appeals against planning appeal decisions were upheld in the High Court in each of the last five years; and in respect of which such appeals all legal proceedings have been completed. [316050]

Mr. Ian Austin: The numbers of High Court challenges to planning appeal decisions over the last five years were as follows:

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what monitoring his Department undertakes of the decisions taken by inspectors at planning appeals. [316051]

Mr. Ian Austin: The Department monitors the professional quality standards of the Planning Inspectorate through the Advisory Panel on Standards. The Panel prepares an annual report for the Secretary of State on matters affecting the maintenance of quality within the Inspectorate. In doing so panel members have access to inspectors' reports and decisions and to other relevant material associated with resolved complaints, High Court challenges or Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman cases.

The target is that 99 per cent. of the Inspectorate's casework should be free from justified complaint.

Property Development: Floods

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes have been made to planning guidance as a result of the 2007 floods. [315989]

Mr. Ian Austin: Sir Michael Pitt's review of the summer 2007 floods found that the policy approach in Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25), "Development and Flood Risk", is sound and should be rigorously applied. In June 2008, Communities and Local Government published a Practice Guide to PPS25 which reflected the more detailed findings of Sir Michael Pitt's review and took account of responses to the earlier 'living draft' version of the guide, including responses made in the light of the 2007 floods. A further updated version of the guide was published on 7 December 2009.

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In 2009 we carried out an initial review of the implementation of PPS25. This found that good progress was being made and the policy was working in helping to deliver sustainable development that is safe from flood risk. This view is supported by the Environment Agency. In August 2009 Communities and Local Government published consultation proposals to amend and clarify some limited aspects of PPS25. We will publish a revised version of PPS25 soon with refinements to further improve the policy's implementation and effectiveness.

Regeneration and Housing: South East

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding his Department has provided for (a) regeneration and (b) housing projects in each local authority area in South East England in each year since 1997; and how much such funding his Department plans to provide in 2010-11. [315768]

Mr. Ian Austin: The data requested are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Regional Government

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will list the addresses of each overseas office of each (a) regional assembly and (b) regional leaders' board; how many staff are employed in each such office; and what the cost to the public purse was of each in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [315036]

Ms Rosie Winterton: No regional assembly or regional leaders' board has a sole office overseas. However there are offices for each region in Brussels which are funded by a wide range of partners. The East of England and North West offices are managed by the respective assembly and leaders' board on behalf of a group of regional partners.

The costs of running these offices are drawn from a wide range of bodies. Records on these costs are not centrally held.

Regional Planning and Development: South West

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent progress has been made on the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West. [316052]

Mr. Ian Austin: Following the judgment on the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), my Noble Friend Lord McKenzie announced in November that he had agreed that additional sustainability appraisal work should be carried out for the SW RSS. This is currently being undertaken and should be complete in the Spring. Ministers will then consider how to take forward the SW RSS.

Tenancy Deposit Schemes

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate
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has been made of the number of tenancy agreements covered by each tenancy deposit scheme licensed by his Department; and what the monetary value of deposits held in each scheme was at the latest date for which figures are available. [316178]

Mr. Ian Austin: At the end of September 2009, the latest date for which figures are available, a total of 1,690,000 deposits were protected by the three Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. The total value of the deposits protected was £1.6 billion. I am unable to provide a breakdown for the individual schemes for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

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Tenants Service Authority

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's (a) management statement and (b) financial memorandum in respect of the (i) Tenant Services Authority and (ii) Homes and Communities Agency. [316179]

John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 19 October 2009, Official Report, column 1305W.

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