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Housing and Planning

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

My right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are today announcing that they will be establishing a new non-departmental public body in England—the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit.

In response to Kate Barker's Review of Housing Supply, the Government gave a commitment to set up, by autumn 2006, an independent national advice unit to strengthen the evidence and analysis on improving housing market affordability available to the regional planning bodies throughout the planning process.

The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit is an advisory non-departmental public body comprising a small expert panel/board—six members including a chair—with a supporting technical unit of 10 to 12 staff. It is an independent body sponsored by the DCLG with an annual budget in place of up to £2 million.

A chair, Stephen Nickell, and a board of five members—Professor Glen Bramley, Bob Lane, Professor Paul Cheshire, Dr Peter Williams and Max Steinberg—have been appointed after an open public competition held in accordance with the code of practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

A copy of the unit’s remit has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.