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Planning

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to establish a national land database of public land available for alternative uses including housing. (78902)

Following the publication of the sustainable communities plan in 2003, English Partnerships established a register of surplus public sector land held by central Government bodies and available for reuse. A web-based version of the register was established in 2005 as part of the electronic Property Information Mapping Service (e-PIMS), operated by the Office of Government Commerce. e-PIMS records information about properties owned and occupied by central Government. Work is under way to provide more comprehensive information on surplus public land.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the planning application to construct the millennium dome in the late 1990s was called in by the Secretary of State; and what reasons were given to justify any call-in. (94566)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the planning applications from consideration of which the Deputy Prime Minister ruled himself out on probity grounds due to a potential conflict of interest with family members when he was the Secretary of State responsible for planning. (94643)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 15 May 2006, Official Report, column 813W, on planning, whether the planning decisions involved planning applications in which Estate Partnerships played a role. (95798)

Our records of planning applications and planning appeals considered by the Deputy Prime Minister and other planning Ministers, show no applications from “Estate Partnerships”, either as applicant or agent.

We do not know which people and organisations are clients of “Estate Partnerships” and are therefore unable to provide any further answer with regard to them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Government has to tackle the practice of the sale and marking out of development plots of green belt land where there is no realistic prospect of planning permission. (99394)

Consultation ended on 24 October on my Department's proposals to speed up the procedures enabling local planning authorities to redraw permitted development rights in respect of the subdivision of rural land.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department has taken to ensure that local planning authorities are able to impose energy efficiency measures under the EU Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings (Directive 2002/91/EC) in relation to new planning applications. (98513)

The requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and associated energy performance calculation methodologies were implemented through an amendment to the Building Regulations introduced in April 2006. Compliance with Building Regulations is enforced by Local Authority Building Control and approved inspectors.

National planning policy set out in Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) already expects the development plans prepared by regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to contribute to global sustainability through policies which reduce energy use, reduce emissions (for example, by encouraging patterns of development which reduce the need to travel by private car, or reduce the impact of moving freight) and promote the development of renewable energy resources. In doing so, planning policies are expected to avoid replicating, cutting across, or detrimentally affecting matters within the scope of other legislative requirements, such as those set out in Building Regulations for energy efficiency.

We have said we will publish for consultation by the end of the year a new PPS on climate change. This will set out how the Government expects participants in the planning process to work towards the reduction of carbon emissions in the location, siting and design of new development. The PPS will sit alongside the Code for Sustainable Homes, and together with national Building Regulations support the Government’s ambition of moving first to low carbon and then to carbon neutral development.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department’s guidance on propriety issues in handling planning casework. (90737)

[holding answer 11 September 2006]: I have today placed a copy of the current “Guidance on Propriety Issues in Handling Planning Casework in Communities and Local Government” in the House Library. It is also available on the DCLG website at http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=l144571