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Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of local housing units constructed in each region between 1997–98 and 2002–03 were built to Lifetime Homes Standards. [114140]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not hold information on the proportion of housing units that are built to Lifetime Homes Standards. However, information on many aspects of housing including accessibility is available from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of proposed new homes in the South East will be built on (a) brownfield sites and (b) green belt. [116222]

The Government have set a national target of 60 per cent. of new development to be on previously developed land. Regional Planning Guidance for the South East also expects at least 60 per cent. of new development to be on previously developed land.The proportion of development to be built on previously developed land will vary at more local levels as planning guidance asks each local authority to produce a local land recycling target, in light of their own circumstances.Current Regional Planning Guidance states that there is no regional case for reviewing Green Belt boundaries. The recently produced Sustainable Communities Plan also contains a commitment to maintain or increase the current area of land designated as Green Belt in local plans.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many new dwellings per hectare are proposed for the South East. [116223]

Government policy states that new housing developments should be built at a density of at least 30 dwellings per hectare. Higher densities are also expected, particularly in areas with good transport links and in town centres. Planning policy also stresses the role of good design in achieving higher density.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps his Department is planning to take to ensure that the proposed Regional Housing Board housing allocations include environmental, social and financial provisions to deliver the transport, education and health infrastructure to serve the increased population that will result from these proposals. [115935]

In order to deliver the step change in progress in tackling shortages of housing and problems of abandonment and low demand, stronger links between related regional strategies and investment plans are needed, particularly on planning and economic development. One of the key roles of the Regional Housing Boards, that have been established to advise Ministers on the allocation of housing capital resources, and the bodies responsible for overseeing activity in the four identified growth areas, will be to ensure that related strategies and plans are properly integrated. Where housing development is planned the potential will depend on the provision of infrastructure and a sustainable approach to growth, tested through regional plans and implemented through local development plans and local partnership. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is working with other Government Departments and local partners on the infrastructure required.