asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what additional capacity is being created in his Department to handle his responsibilities under the Local Government Act 1985 for issuing strategic planning guidance to the London boroughs; what is the staffing complement of any new unit; and what is the annual cost.
I am augmenting my Department's Greater London regional office with a new unit to prepare strategic planning guidance for Greater London. The unit is at present expected to comprise 7 people, with an annual staff and accommodation cost of about £160,000; it will be able to draw upon support from elsewhere in the Department; and consultants may be employed on particular tasks. The cost of these additional contributions cannot be estimated at this stage.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to issue his first strategic planning guidance to the London boroughs; whether it will be London-wide; and what issues it will cover.
The timing and content of strategic guidance will be decided in the light of consultation with the joint planning committee for Greater London when that is established and with other bodies including the London and South East Regional Planning Conference.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he has given to the Central Office of Information as to where, after 1 April 1986, overseas visitors wishing to explore and discuss current planning developments in Greater London will be directed.
None. My Department is, however, always willing to give advice.