Roberta Blackman-Woods

Labour - Former Member for City of Durham

Roberta Blackman-Woods is not a member of any APPGs
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities & Local Government) (Planning)
12th Jan 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Minister (International Development)
3rd Jul 2017 - 12th Jan 2018
Shadow Minister (Housing)
9th Oct 2016 - 3rd Jul 2017
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
18th Jul 2016 - 13th Mar 2017
Science and Technology Committee
18th Jul 2016 - 13th Mar 2017
Shadow Minister (Housing)
18th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
7th Oct 2011 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Commons Science and Technology
1st Oct 2009 - 6th May 2010
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
28th Jun 2005 - 6th May 2010
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
28th Jun 2005 - 6th May 2010
Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee
10th Mar 2008 - 30th Sep 2009
Education & Skills
12th Jul 2005 - 17th Jul 2006


Division Voting information

Roberta Blackman-Woods has voted in 2267 divisions, and 8 times against the majority of their Party.

20 Apr 2016 - Record Copies of Acts - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 23 Labour Aye votes vs 23 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 117 Noes - 38
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 51 Labour No votes vs 141 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 184
4 Mar 2010 - Chair (Terminology) - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 27 Labour Aye votes vs 124 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 106 Noes - 221
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 126 Labour Aye votes vs 184 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 155 Noes - 418
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 132 Labour Aye votes vs 177 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 178 Noes - 392
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 156 Labour Aye votes vs 157 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 305 Noes - 267
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 96 Labour No votes vs 207 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 337 Noes - 224
17 Oct 2006 - Gambling Act 2005 (Amendment) - View Vote Context
Roberta Blackman-Woods voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 46 Labour No votes vs 49 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 240
View All Roberta Blackman-Woods Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Brandon Lewis (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
(84 debate interactions)
Lord Barwell (Conservative)
(75 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(89 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(76 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(62 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Roberta Blackman-Woods's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Roberta Blackman-Woods

15th October 2019
Roberta Blackman-Woods signed this EDM on Monday 28th October 2019

Prison officer pension age

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House recognises the dangerous working conditions in the Prison Service; expresses concern at the increasing number of violent assaults on prison staff; believes that prison officers approaching the age of 70 should not be expected to deal with violent and dangerous criminals aged in their twenties, thirties and …
75 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 37
Scottish National Party: 20
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
Independent: 5
Conservative: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
14th October 2019
Roberta Blackman-Woods signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Women Against State Pension Inequality

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House calls on the Government to financially support women worst affected by the accelerated increase in the state pension age introduced through the Pensions Act 2011; notes with concern that significant numbers of women were unaware of pension age equalisation set out in the Pensions Act 1995; acknowledges …
45 signatures
(Most recent: 4 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 20
Scottish National Party: 7
Independent: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Conservative: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Green Party: 1
View All Roberta Blackman-Woods's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Roberta Blackman-Woods, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Roberta Blackman-Woods has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Roberta Blackman-Woods

Tuesday 27th January 2015
Wednesday 26th June 2013

Roberta Blackman-Woods has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Roberta Blackman-Woods has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


215 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
7 Other Department Questions
29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will estimate what proportion of the cost of introducing the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework will fall to (a) central government and (b) universities.

We recently published the Green Paper “Fulfilling our potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice,” which sets out our proposals for delivering the Teaching Excellence Framework and reducing the regulatory burden on the sector. The consultation period closed on 15 January 2016.

Once we have considered the consultation responses, and are in a position to publish our final proposals, we will publish a Regulatory Impact Assessment which will set out the costs of implementation.

11th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the potential (a) number of job losses at and (b) redundancy costs to local authorities as a result of the proposed takeover of responsibility for LLC1 searches by the Land Registry.

At this stage it is not possible to quantify whether there will be any redundancies at local authorities or if so, how many there could be.

Land Registry’s current research suggests approximately 850 local authority staff deal with Local Land Charges as all or part of their roles. Land Registry acknowledges the possibility that there may be redundancies among these staff, but they will typically have additional responsibilities alongside their Local Land Charges role.

Further work is required to understand exactly how much time is spent by each individual officer on the Local Land Charges service. Land Registry will, of course, fulfil any TUPE obligations if applicable in any particular case.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much funding had been drawn down by successful bidders to the Regional Growth Fund by 31 December 2014; and what proportion of the overall allocation for each round that funding represents.

The table sets out the total amount drawn down by operational RGF awards to date and the financial years in which the remaining RGF and eRGF is committed through to 31 March 2017.

Unless otherwise agreed, projects and programmes in Rounds 1 to 4 have until 31 March 2015 to draw down their funding and projects and programmes in Round 5 and 6 will be able to draw down funding until 31 March 2017. The Department agrees a draw down profile with each organisation when they sign their grant offer letter that matches the beneficiary’s own investment schedules and job commitments. The subsequent rate of draw down is then subject to the beneficiaries meeting these conditions.

RGF Drawn Down by year (£m)

Financial Year

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Total

Actual paid – year to date

464

159

551

875*

2,048

Remaining/ Planned for whole financial year

16

459

305

780

Total

2,829

*This is the actual amount paid to beneficiaries and claims awaiting payment as of 24 March 2015.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much funding was awarded by the (a) Arts and Humanities Research Council, (b) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, (c) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, (d) Economic and Social Research Council, (e) Medical Research Council, (f) Natural Environment Research Council and (g) Science and Technology Facilities Council to institutions and Reseach Organisations in (i) Scotland, (ii) Wales, (iii) Northern Ireland and (iv) each government office region in England in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12, (C) 2012-13, (D) 2013-14 and (E) 2014-15.

This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much funding was awarded by the (a) Arts and Humanities Research Council, (b) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, (c) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, (d) Economic and Social Research Council, (e) Medical Research Council, (f) Natural Environment Research Council and (g) Science and Technology Facilities Council to each university in the UK in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13, (iv) 2013-14 and (v) 2014-15.

This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the potential cost to local authorities of the proposed takeover of responsibility for LLC1 searches by the Land Registry.

All costs of the conversion from the various databases held locally at the moment, whether they involve paper, microfiche or any other format to a digitised process, will be met by Land Registry.

Whilst costs to local authorities will be taken into account by Land Registry, they have yet to be broken down into greater detail at this stage, so as not to prejudice Land Registry’s commercial interests in respect of future procurement activity.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of commissioners from local government have attended the Commissioning Academy; and by which local authorities those commissioners are employed.

Through its programme of Civil Service Reform, the Government is taking urgent action to address long-standing skills gaps in the Civil Service. Our pioneering Commissioning Academy is building commercial capability across the public sector, and improving how public services are delivered.

To date 392 individuals have attended the central Commissioning Academy programmes, including 206 (52%) from central government. In the last year there was a 50% increase in demand for places on the programme, and it will be expanded to deliver 1,500 places by March 2016.

Commissioners have attended from the following local authorities:

Basildon Borough Council

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council

Birmingham City Council

Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council

Bristol City Council

Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group

Cheltenham Borough Council

Cherwell District, South Northants and Stratford on Avon Councils

Cheshire East Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Cheshire West and Chester (a place-based group)

Cumbria County Council

Devon County Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Essex County Council

Fenland District Council

Gloucestershire County Council

Harborough District Council

Horsham District Council

Kent County Council

Knowsley Council (Health and Social Care Integration)

Lancashire County Council

Leicestershire County Council

London Borough of Barnet

London Borough of Haringey

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Lewisham

London Borough of Sutton

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Lowestoft Rising (Place based group)

Manchester City Council

Milton Keynes Council

Norfolk County Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Shropshire

Somerset County Council

Southend-on-sea Borough Council

Staffordshire County Council

Stoke-On-Trent City Council

Suffolk Coastal

Sunderland City Council

Surrey County Council

Swindon Borough Council

Tamworth Borough Council

Tri-borough councils: Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

Walsall Council

Warrington Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council

West Sussex County Council

Westminster City Council

Wirral Council

Worcestershire County Council

A number of other programmes sit alongside the central programme under the Commissioning Academy umbrella. 78 officials have attended local programmes in Norfolk and Staffordshire, modelled on the central programme, with participants drawn from local authorities and other public sector bodies in the local area. In addition, 8 councillors have attended a streamlined programme for Local Authority elected members.


10th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the implementation by local authorities of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The Cabinet Office asked Lord Young of Graffham, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Enterprise, to conduct a review of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The report, published on 13 February, shows the Act is having a positive effect where it is taken up. It finds that a number of local authorities have taken a leading role in implementing social value and names Durham Council as an example.

The report makes a number of recommendations. The Government is considering these to ensure that the Act fulfils its full potential.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has undertaken a post-legislative analysis of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The Cabinet Office asked Lord Young of Graffham, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Enterprise, to conduct a review of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The report, published on 13 February, shows the Act is having a positive effect where it is taken up. It finds that a number of local authorities have taken a leading role in implementing social value and names Durham Council as an example.

The report makes a number of recommendations. The Government is considering these to ensure that the Act fulfils its full potential.

29th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will guarantee that UK Research and Innovation will sign the terms of grants of researchers who have submitted successful bids for European Research Council advanced grants in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal before the advanced grant process has been completed.

The Government underwrite guarantee will cover funding for all successful UK bids to Horizon 2020 that are submitted before exit, even if they are notified of success after exit. This includes the 47 successful UK bids to the ERC Advanced Grant 2018 call which form part of the €540m funding recently announced by the European Commission for cutting edge research.

The UKRI portal was announced in the Horizon 2020 Technical Notice and is part of our plans to underwrite funding for UK Horizon 2020 beneficiaries in the event of ‘no deal’. In this scenario, UK beneficiaries who have registered on the UKRI portal will receive detailed information about how the guarantee will be delivered and the next steps that they need to take.

If the underwrite does need to come into effect, our delivery partner, UKRI, is ready to deliver and has planned to make the process as simple and effective as possible for UK beneficiaries.

27th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government has taken to ensure the latest cohort of successful European Research Council Advanced Grant applicants are aware of the underwrite that exists should the UK leave the EU without a deal before the conditions of their grants have been finalised.

The Government underwrite guarantee will cover funding for all successful UK bids to Horizon 2020 that are submitted before exit, even if they are notified of success after exit. This includes the 47 successful UK bids to the ERC Advanced Grant 2018 call which form part of the €540m funding recently announced by the European Commission for cutting edge research.

The UKRI portal was announced in the Horizon 2020 Technical Notice and is part of our plans to underwrite funding for UK Horizon 2020 beneficiaries in the event of ‘no deal’. In this scenario, UK beneficiaries who have registered on the UKRI portal will receive detailed information about how the guarantee will be delivered and the next steps that they need to take.

Since the announcement of the underwrite guarantee in 2016, the Government has consistently reiterated our commitment to deliver it, should it be required. Methods used include Ministerial statements in Parliament, digital engagement by both BEIS and our delivery partner UKRI, and direct engagement with business and stakeholder groups.

19th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much government research funding was provided to each higher education institution in each of the last three years; what proportion of all government research funding is provided to such institutions; and if he will make a statement.

The attached tables show the amount and proportion of research income earned by each higher education institution (HEI) from the Research Councils and higher education funding bodies across the UK in each of the last three years.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government's policy is on increasing its investment in research and development as a proportion of GDP above the OECD average by 2020-21.

Research and development is a key driver of economic growth and is a vital part of the government's Industrial Strategy. The government clearly demonstrated its commitment to science and research in the 2016 Autumn Statement, committing an additional £4.7 billion to R&D funding covering both science and innovation over the period 2017/18 to 20/21. This equates to an extra £2 billion a year by 2020/21, the biggest increase in any parliament since 1979.

Total R&D expenditure in the UK in 2015 represented 1.68% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The rate in future years will depend on both public sector and private sector investment in R&D as well as on the level of GDP.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of government investment in research and development as a proportion of GDP in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Research and development is a key driver of economic growth and is a vital part of the government's Industrial Strategy. The government clearly demonstrated its commitment to science and research in the 2016 Autumn Statement, committing an additional £4.7 billion to R&D funding covering both science and innovation over the period 2017/18 to 20/21. This equates to an extra £2 billion a year by 2020/21, the biggest increase in any parliament since 1979.

Total R&D expenditure in the UK in 2015 represented 1.68% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The rate in future years will depend on both public sector and private sector investment in R&D as well as on the level of GDP.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will allocate funding to support the work of UN Women UK.

We are currently considering the merits of a request for funding that we received from the UK National Committee for Women on the 28th of August.

The UK is the second largest donor to UN Women, providing £12.5m of funding each year.

4th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which universities (a) Philip Augar and (b) members of the associated panel visited during the Post-18 review of education and funding.

I refer the hon. Member for the City of Durham to the answer I gave on 26 June 2019 to Question 267762.

10th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will change the measure of disadvantage used in the Student Premium to capture individual-level socio-economic disadvantage as recommended in the May 2019 Post-18 education and funding review: independent panel report.

The government will consider the Post-18 Education and Funding Review recommendations carefully and will conclude the review at the Spending Review. The government has not yet taken decisions with regards to the recommendations put forward. Access and successful participation remain a priority for this government and is enshrined in the Higher Education (HE) and Research Act (2017). Everyone with the ability to succeed in HE should have the opportunity, regardless of their background or where they grew up.

1st Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the financial effect on universities of increased contributions to the Teachers' Pension Scheme.

The Department is running a public consultation until 12 February 2019 to gather evidence on the impact of increased contributions to the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) for all TPS employers, including universities.

17th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answers of 18 September 2017 to Questions 10212 and 10213 on Erasmus+, whether the Government will underwrite successful bids submitted for Erasmus+ for those students with a mandatory year abroad in 2019-20, including the bids that are signed after the UK leaves the EU.

The Government has stated publicly that the United Kingdom (UK) is committed to continuing full participation in the Erasmus+ Programme up until we leave the European Union. We will underwrite successful bids for Erasmus+ that are submitted while the UK is still a member state, even if they are not approved until after we leave, and/or payments continue beyond the point of exit.

Bids for higher education study periods submitted before the exit date will include mobility in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years. The underwrite will cover funding for those successful bids which are submitted before exit and we are encouraging participants to continue to apply for funding until we leave.

5th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of student loan debt on the level of university applications and drop-out rates.

The student finance system is financially sustainable and has enabled record numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from higher education.

Latest data show that 18 year olds applied at record rates in 2017, and their application rates have increased for five years in a row. This is also true for the most disadvantaged 18 year olds.

Non-continuation rates for UK students at English Higher Education Institutions are lower than in 2009/10, including for young, mature, disadvantaged and BME students.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what routes her Department recognises as providing appropriate entry into the teaching profession.

To teach in a state maintained secondary, primary, or state or non-state maintained special school you must have qualified teacher status (QTS). Routes that lead to the award of QTS, including those which assess previous teaching experience, are outlined on the Get Into Teaching website:

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options/teacher-training-routes.

Teachers who trained outside England may be able to have their teaching qualification recognised as equivalent to QTS. To do so, such teachers must apply to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to be awarded QTS before they can take up a teaching post in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England. Individuals who hold qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status are also eligible to work as a qualified teacher in schools in England.

Further information on eligibility and equivalencies is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/qualified-teacher-status-qts.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what account her Department took of the (a) location, (b) size and (c) date of the latest Ofsted inspection of university providers when awarding universities either a multi-year or single-year allocation of initial teacher training places.

The criteria used to determine eligibility for multi-year allocations are set out in the 2017-18 allocations methodology published in September 2016. For postgraduate providers, these include Ofsted grade (based on published initial teacher education inspection data) but do not refer to provider size or location.

We will publish a detailed technical methodology on how three-year allocations were determined, alongside a full list of allocations for 2017-18, in due course.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect on teacher training recruitment to shortage subjects of all university providers only recruiting applicants with a 2.1 degree or higher.

Teaching is a graduate profession. We do not stipulate a minimum degree class for trainee teachers; however, initial teacher training providers have the freedom to set their own entry requirements. Through the use of bursaries, we encourage those with a higher degree class to enter teaching. Details of bursaries for those beginning courses in 2017/18 can be found here: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview

The degree class of current postgraduate trainees is provided in Tables 2 and 2a in the Main tables section on:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/initial-teacher-training-trainee-number-census-2016-to-2017.

It includes a breakdown by subject and route.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect on recruitment to initial teaching training courses of all university providers only recruiting applicants with a 2.1 degree or higher.

Teaching is a graduate profession. We do not stipulate a minimum degree class for trainee teachers; however, initial teacher training providers have the freedom to set their own entry requirements. Through the use of bursaries, we encourage those with a higher degree class to enter teaching. Details of bursaries for those beginning courses in 2017/18 can be found here: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview

The degree class of current postgraduate trainees is provided in Tables 2 and 2a in the Main tables section on:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/initial-teacher-training-trainee-number-census-2016-to-2017.

It includes a breakdown by subject and route.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria her Department uses to determine which universities are awarded a multi-year allocation of initial teacher training places and which are awarded a single-year allocation.

The criteria used to determine the allocations universities received are set out on pages 7-8 of the 2017/18 allocations methodology, published September 2016.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish details of which universities were awarded multi-year initial teacher training allocations and which were awarded single-year allocations.

We intend to publish a full list of allocations and three-year allocations for 2017-18 in due course. This will be supported with a methodological and technical guide on how three-year initial teacher training allocations were determined.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether weightings were applied to the criteria which her Department uses to determine which universities were awarded a multi-year allocation of initial teacher training places and which were awarded a single-year allocation.

We did not apply different weightings to the criteria – they all have equal weighting. The criteria on how we determined three-year allocations is outlined on pages 7-8 of the 2017/18 allocations methodology, published September 2016.

17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the number of skilled construction apprenticeships required to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to build new homes.

It is for individual businesses to determine how they meet the skills challenges arising from the Government’s ambitious home building programme.

Our reforms to apprenticeships will be a key tool to enable employers to meet their skills needs and the construction sector is currently developing a range of apprenticeship standards as part of the reform process.

17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to introduce monitoring mechanisms to ensure that increased numbers of construction industry apprenticeships do not have an effect on the quality of apprenticeship training.

The training that is delivered for apprentices is monitored by Ofsted and the Skills Funding Agency, which set minimum standards for achievement rates. Both organisations have intervention regimes in place if training falls short of minimum requirements.

14th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to put in place high-quality three year apprenticeships in (a) bricklaying, (b) plastering and (c) other essential construction trades.

The current apprenticeships programme has a clear emphasis on improving quality.

There are apprenticeship standards in development for both plastering and bricklaying, and both are intended to be three years in duration. We have a further 25 construction apprenticeship standards in development. We are working with the construction sector to ensure that these apprenticeships are relevant, robust, high-quality and are of sufficient duration for the apprentice to be competent in their chosen occupation.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the recent reduction in the number of school nurses does not affect the standard of sex and relationship education in schools.

The government believes that all children should have the opportunity to receive a high quality and appropriate sex and relationship education (SRE). SRE is compulsory in all maintained secondary schools, and many primary schools also teach it in an age-appropriate way. Academies do not have to teach SRE but many choose to do so as part of their statutory duty to provide a broad and balanced curriculum.

Schools and teachers should decide what to teach based on their pupils’ needs, and taking account of pupil and parent views. Teachers are encouraged to develop their practice with the support of specialist organisations and expert professionals, as they deem appropriate, and schools work with a number of partners to deliver SRE in schools.

Since April 2013, Local Authorities have been responsible for public health locally, including school nursing, and decisions should be based around local needs. According to NHS Digital there are 1,100 qualified school nurses (Specialist Community Public Health Nurses) in England and the workforce numbers have remained relatively stable over the last few years. More information can be found at: http://digital.nhs.uk/searchcatalogue?productid=21584&topics=0%2fWorkforce&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=1#top

6th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on improving protection for ancient woodland; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to ensuring stronger protection of our ancient woodlands. The irreplaceable nature and value of ancient woodlands is recognised by their special status in the National Planning Policy Framework. The National Planning Policy Framework is very clear that the development of these areas should be avoided.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether it is the policy of her Department to always use the word Rohingya when discussing the Rohingya with Burmese Government officials and Ministers.

The UK does not have a specific policy about using the word Rohingya in discussions with the Burmese authorities. The UK recognises the rights of all communities to self-identify, including the Rohingya. We continue to urge the Burmese authorities to ensure basic rights for all people of Burma.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assistance her Department is providing to 9,000 displaced ethnic Shan and Karen people from Burma who are no longer receiving support via the Border Consortium.

At present DFID is not providing support directly to this specific population. Humanitarian Advisors are monitoring the situation, speaking to the Border Consortium and aiming to visit the area in early 2018 to make an assessment. DFID’s current humanitarian assistance in Burma is channelled through the Burma Humanitarian Assistance And Resilience Programme, which provides support to Burmese refugees in Thailand and over 100,000 conflict-affected and internally displaced people across Burma.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what safeguards her Department has put in place to ensure UK aid projects in Burma are not purchasing goods and services from military-owned or controlled companies.

Before DFID Burma’s programmes work with private sector companies we conduct vetting and due diligence to identify and screen out any companies or individuals who may have military links. It is however difficult in Burma to assert that none of our project partners are not purchasing any goods or services from military-owned or controlled companies. Over 50 years of dictatorship the military has built up a range of commercial interests. The services and goods they provide range from drinking water to port handling services and mobile phone towers.

23rd Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect on its strategy on trade and aid of the establishment of the Institute for Free Trade; and if she will make a statement.

I welcome the establishment of the Institute for Free Trade, which fully acknowledges the vital role trade can play in boosting developing countries’ economic development and lifting people out of poverty.

This Government is committed to engaging with a broad range of stakeholders as we further develop our trade and development policy. I look forward to considering the work of the Institute as this progresses.

23rd Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to recent reports of sub-standard teaching and unsanitary learning facilities and the decision in the High Court in Kampala in August 2016 to order the closure of 63 Bridge International Academies in Uganda, whether her Department has taken steps to change Government funding patterns to that organisation.

In Uganda, the Bridge International Academies (BIA) schools remain open with BIA and the Government of Uganda in dialogue to ensure that BIA meets the requirements set out.

There is no set funding pattern to BIA. CDC has a total UK investment in BIA of $7.1m, made in 2014. The investments made were long term and will be returned to the UK taxpayer, they are not specifically for any country of operation. A DFID £3.45m grant, awarded competitively, was also provided to open 23 Bridge academies in Lagos, Nigeria. This grant is now completed.

Any future funding decisions will follow DFID’s due process that aims to achieve best value for money and developmental impact, taking into consideration a broad range of evidence.

6th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of progress towards the amount the Government pledged for education in Syria at the London donor conference in February 2016.

Since 2012 the UK has pledged £2.46 billion in response to the Syria crisis, the UK’s largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis. As well as supporting children with food, shelter and healthcare, the UK helped to launch UNICEF’s No Lost Generation Initiative, which provides education, protection, and mental health support for children in Syria and neighbouring countries. At the 2016 London Syria Conference we did not make a specific pledge for education inside Syria, but in 2016/17 alone DFID helped ensure that over 350,000 children accessed formal primary and secondary education in Syria, and that over 80,000 benefitted from non-formal education.

14th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will convene a global malaria summit, linked to the UK's chairmanship of the Commonwealth Heads of Government between 2018 and 2020.

DFID is working closely with member states and the Commonwealth Secretariat to develop policy proposals for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting 2018 and for the UK's full period as Chair-In-Office until 2020. Malaria is one of the issues under consideration. The UK is a leading global actor in fighting malaria through a wide range of interventions.

14th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to change OECD-DAC rules.

In line with the Conservative Manifesto, this Government is pressing for the rules that govern how, on whom, and for what purpose development assistance is spent to better reflect the breadth of our assistance around the world. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) determines what may be counted as Official Development Assistance. As it operates by consensus, we are working with our DAC partners and other stakeholders to achieve this.

14th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent humanitarian assistance her Department has provided to victims of floods and monsoons in south east Asia.

DFID led the way in the crisis as the international community’s largest bilateral donor. In Bangladesh we made the first international contribution of £660,000 to help over 60,000 people with food, shelter, and water and sanitation. Following flooding earlier in the year, we allocated £3m for early recovery in North East Bangladesh. In Nepal, we provided water, hygiene, sanitation and shelter support to 30,000 people through pre-positioned supplies, and gave £400,000 to the Nepal Red Cross Society for the response. In Pakistan, we committed over £410,000 for emergency response, which included cash support for 1,300 families to repair damaged homes, and provide temporary access to clean drinking water to 400,000 people. In India, we committed £400,000 through the multi-donor START fund in India.

Over several years DFID has helped Bangladesh and Nepal to prepare for natural disasters. Previous UK support in Bangladesh funded emergency flood shelters, and in Nepal the UK funded the construction of a humanitarian staging area at Kathmandu airport. In addition, DFID Bangladesh is earmarking £7.9 million for disaster preparedness from 2016-2021, and DFID Nepal is setting aside £46 million between 2016 and 2022, for strengthening disaster resilience and responding to humanitarian emergencies.

14th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to change her Department's financial contributions for sexual and reproductive health rights.

The UK leads the world in our long-term support for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR): from tackling HIV, to family planning, to maternal and newborn health, to combatting Female Genital Mutilation and child, early and forced marriage, to supporting safe abortion. We are the second largest donor to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; the largest donor to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and we recently opened bids for innovative civil society consortia to address SRHR.

In July 2017 the UK again rose to the challenge, hosting the London summit on family planning, and committing to spend an average of £225m every year on family planning for the next five years, an increase of 25%, which we estimate will prevent 6 million unintended pregnancies.

14th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to provide medium and long-term aid for reconstruction of areas of the Caribbean damaged by Hurricane Irma.

While our first priority has been to deliver life-saving assistance to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the UK government has also started work on recovery and reconstruction in the affected Territories. A team of technical experts will be starting discussions this week with the Overseas Territory Governments to help them develop plans to meet their reconstruction needs.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Agreed Conclusions of the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, if she will support the inclusion of a specific target on women's full, equal and effective participation in all fields and leadership at all levels of decision-making within the post-2015 development framework.

I am pleased that the Agreed Conclusions reached by member states at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) included a call for a dedicated goal on gender equality, women's and girls' empowerment and the human rights of girls and women. It also called for ending all forms of violence against women and girls; economic empowerment; leadership and participation in decision making; and ending harmful practice, including Child, Early and Forced Marriage, and Female Genital Mutilation.

The UK statement at the CSW highlighted the need for a dedicated goal on gender equality, and the empowerment of girls and women in the post -2015 framework. We are working with others across the international community, including civil society, to ensure that this is achieved.

22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will make it his policy to prioritise (a) UK higher education and (b) higher education distance learning in the Government's future trade export strategy.

The Government recognises the benefit that education exports bring to the UK and continues to support its growth - it is our wish to maximise opportunities for UK providers. We also recognise the valuable contribution universities make to improving lives around the world. We will be doing more to promote the UK higher education offer, particularly in Trans National Education; and the Department for International Trade’s dedicated education team has enhanced its focus with the imminent arrival of a secondee from the sector. We will continue to collaborate with the higher education sector to support development of their international business.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his oral contribution of 20 July 2016, Official Report, column 849, when his Department will make an announcement on the exemption of specialist supported housing from changes to housing benefit.

The Secretary of State has confirmed that the Government expects to make an announcement on the way forward for supported housing in early autumn.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his oral contribution of 20 July 2016, Official Report, column 849, what (a) meetings and (b) discussions Ministers of his Department have had with stakeholders on the exemption of specialist supported housing from changes to housing benefit.

Ministers in DWP and DCLG have met and continue to meet with stakeholders representing local authorities, supported accommodation, commissioners, and all categories of supported housing providers, be they charities, housing associations, voluntary organisations or from the commercial sector.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate his Department has made of the number of domestic violence refuges that will be potentially close as a result of changes to housing benefit.

The Secretary of State has confirmed that the Government expects to make an announcement on the way forward for supported housing in early autumn. Full impact and equality impact assessments will be undertaken in due course.

6th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the capped expenditure process on funding for NHS trusts.

As set out in the Spending Review 2015, National Health Service funding will increase by £8 billion in real terms by 2020-21, compared to 2015-16. In this year alone, real terms NHS funding is £1.7 billion higher than last year and £5 billion higher than it was in 2015-16.

As with all public services, local NHS areas need to live within the budget agreed – otherwise they effectively take up resources that could be spent on general practitioners, mental health care, and cancer treatment. As part of their financial planning, NHS England and NHS Improvement have been running a process to look at how a small number of areas could do more to balance their financial plans, as many already have.

It is important that these plans are consistent with constitutional standards on waiting times and patient choice. It is right that the NHS should consider efficiency savings such as reducing delayed transfers of care, or reducing running costs – because this improves patient care overall.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to NHS workforce statistics, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the reduction in the number of school nurses since 2010.

Since April 2013, local authorities have been responsible for public health locally, including commissioning public health services for school aged children and decisions should be based around local needs.

No formal assessment has been made of recent changes to school nursing numbers by the Department or Public Health England (PHE).

PHE has professional leadership responsibility for school nursing and supports local decision making through the sharing of evidence and guidance. PHE published commissioning guidance in January 2016 and continues to work with key partners, including the Department, to develop further approaches to strengthen and support school nursing teams and local delivery.

12th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, on how many days maternity units at each (a) NHS Trust and (b) NHS Foundation were put on divert in the last 12 months.

This information is not collected centrally.

11th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, on how many occasions maternity units at each (a) NHS trust and (b) NHS foundation trust were put on divert in the last 12 months.

This information is not collected centrally.

11th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for how many days maternity units at each (a) NHS trust and (b) NHS foundation trust were put on divert in the last 12 months.

This information is not collected centrally.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Burma about the treatment of the Karen people by the Burmese state.

​Our Ambassador and officials raise concerns with the relevant Burmese authorities when appropriate. Our Embassy in Rangoon stays in contact with Karen representatives and carefully monitors the situation, including through visits by Embassy officials to Karen areas. We are also supporting the 21st Century Panglong peace process to help bring lasting peace to the minority ethnic areas, including the Karen.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential for the treatment of the Rohingya people by the Burmese military being repeated in relation to other minority ethnic groups in Burma; and whether his Department has developed contingency plans to meet that case.

The Burmese state recognises 135 ethnic groups as indigenous. This does not include the Rohingya who have historically been treated differently. The UK Government recognises that this lack of official recognition is a factor in the persecution they face.

Our Embassy in Rangoon stays in contact with representatives from other ethnic groups and our Ambassador and officials regularly raise our concerns about the discrimination that affects them with the relevant Burmese authorities. The UK carefully monitors the situation in Burma's minority ethnic areas and provides political and programme support to the peace process, which seeks to resolve the conflicts that have affected Burma for decades.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to highlight the need to put the Rohingya crisis on the agenda at forthcoming ASEAN summits.

The UK has been clear on the need for ASEAN countries to contribute to resolving the Rohingya crisis. Ministers and officials have raised the issue with all ASEAN members. The Malaysian and Indonesian Foreign Ministers took part in the Rakhine event which the Foreign Secretary hosted in New York during UN General Assembly Week. I raised Rakhine most recently during my interventions during the Asia-Europe Meeting in Naypyidaw on 20-21 November, which was attended by ministers from all ASEAN countries, and in bilaterals with ministers from Thailand and Brunei.


In advance of the most recent ASEAN Summit, held in the Philippines in November 2017, British embassies and High Commissions in ASEAN countries raised the importance of this issue with their hosts, urging that it be addressed at the Summit. Our understanding is that the Rohingya crisis was not formally on the agenda (which has to be agreed by all members, including Burma) but that it was discussed at length informally and in the margins of the Summit.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his (a) Bangladeshi and (b) Burmese counterpart on the terms of the repatriation of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh.

The Memorandum of understanding signed on 23 November between the Governments of Burma and Bangladesh includes a clear commitment from the Government of Burma to allow refugees who fled to Bangladesh since October 2016 to return to their original places of residence in Burma or a safe and secure place of their choice. The UK will work with international partners to ensure any returns take place in line with international norms and under international monitoring.​
I made clear in my 20 November meeting with the Chief of Staff to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi that the UK expects the Burmese authorities to ensure the safety and security of all Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh on their return to Burma. I also discussed the agreement with Bangladesh Minister of State Shahriar Alam on 30 November, setting out that any returns should be voluntary, safe, and in dignity.

8th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2017 to Question 9083, what assessment he made of the potential merits of freezing funding to Adam Smith International in February 2017, in line with the decision taken by the Department for International Development.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not awarded any new contracts to Adam Smith International (ASI) this Financial Year. However, like the Department for International Development (DFID), the FCO is continuing to work with ASI on high priority existing projects.

8th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Rt. Hon. Alastair Burt, was aware that money from the Access to Justice and Community Services programme in Syria had fallen into the hands of terrorists when he responded to a question in the Chamber by the Rt. Hon. Emily Thornberry on 24 October 2017.

I was not aware on 24 October of the allegations subsequently made by the Panorama programme. HMG is not aware of any evidence of UK funding directly fallling into the hands of terrorist groups through the Access to Justice and Community Services programme in Syria.

8th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that projects led by his Department and funded through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund do not contribute to human rights violations or enable funding to be diverted to terrorist groups.

All Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) funded programmes managed by the FCO have robust monitoring processes in place to mitigate the risk of funds being diverted. We take appropriate action on all allegations of misuse of funds. Where specific human rights concerns are identified, an Overseas Security and Justice Assessment is completed to identify risks and mitigating actions.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what future plans he has to continue engaging with non-governmental organisations concerned with gender equality and women's rights over the next year.

Discrimination and violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread human rights abuses. Tackling this issue is a priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and central to our work to advance gender equality and empower women. We will continue to consult non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on our approach. I welcome their expert advice.

FCO officials in London and across the diplomatic network regularly meet with a wide range of NGOs to discuss gender equality and women’s rights. This will continue. As will the regular exchanges with NGOs held at the FCO and in Geneva before sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. The UK Mission in New York consults regularly with international NGOs and in conjunction with Government Equalities Office, holds nightly briefings for UK NGOs attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March each year.

The Forced Marriage Unit runs a quarterly partnership board, involving a range of NGOs; and Conflict Department work closely with Gender Action for Peace and Security – an organisation that represents a number of NGOs. In addition, within the UK, the FCO works closely with the Government Equalities Office (GEO) which carries out an extensive consultation exercise with NGOs in advance of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) each year.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to monitor the effectiveness of the commitments given by his Department during the Girls Summit 2014.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) committed to work in advance of the Summit to: secure high level overseas attendance, ensure that foreign governments make commitments to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM), and lobby countries to sign the Girl Summit Charter. The FCO engaged over 70 of its diplomatic missions, working closely with the Department for International Development. This resulted in over 800 participants attending the Summit from 50 countries, including over 30 ministers; 36 countries signing the Summit Charter so far; and commitments to action from nearly 150 governments, organisations and individuals to date.

The FCO is committed to building on the success of the Summit and will continue to lobby more states to sign the Charter and to continue to make commitments to end FGM and CEFM.

1st Feb 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Department for Education on ensuring the review of post-18 education does not lead to an overall reduction in university funding.

Treasury Ministers and officials have regular discussions with their counterparts at DfE on a wide range of issues. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
29th Jun 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of minimum alcohol and cigarette pricing on the ability of small and medium-sized retailers to compete with large national retailers.

The government keeps all excise duties and structures under review. HM Treasury engages with a wide variety of organisations, including representatives of small and medium-sized retailers, to understand industry developments and the impact of policy changes.

2nd Mar 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 29 November 2016 to Question 55287, on Housing Infrastructure Fund, when further details will be sent out regarding that fund including when local authorities will be able to apply for funding; and when funding will be received by those authorities that apply to that fund successfully.

The £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund, announced at Autumn Statement, will be used to deliver infrastructure, such as new roads and utility networks, to unlock up to 100,000 homes in high demand areas.

The fund will open to bids from local authorities in the areas of greatest housing need later this year, and will be competitively allocated to ensure that we fund the right infrastructure in the right places. Further detail will be set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government in due course.

9th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has plans to review the Licensing Act 2003 in relation to the (a) granting and (b) approval of Temporary Events Notices.

As with all authorisations under the Licensing Act 2003, the system of Tem-porary Event Notices (TENs) is designed to provide necessary safeguards, while retaining flexibility for users such as businesses and community groups and balancing their interests with those of local citizens and others.

The Government has no plans to change the current system but keeps the Licensing Act 2003 under review.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he plans to provide more information on the immigration system that will be in operation for EEA nationals after 29 March 2019 in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

In the event of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal, we will continue to run the EU Settlement Scheme for EEA nationals resident in the UK by 29 March 2019. This is consistent the policy paper “Citizens’ Rights – EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU” published by the Department for Exiting the European Union on 6 December 2018.

The Immigration Bill will end free movement of EEA nationals to the UK. In a ‘no deal’ scenario we have been clear that there will have to be a period of transition to the future skills-based immigration system. We will set out more information shortly on the arrangements for EEA nationals coming to the UK during this period.

11th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for his Department to respond to it's consultation on the draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill; and what the timetable is for further steps to be taken in relation to that Bill.

On 8 March we launched a 12 week public consultation on proposals for a landmark domestic abuse Bill and a supporting package of practical action to transform the response to domestic abuse. The consultation closed on 31 May. Over 3,200 responses to the consultation were received. The responses to the consultation are being considered and a draft Bill will be published later this session.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the possible closure of the Collective Passport Office will have on the ability of pupils from lower income families to afford passports for school trips.

A review of the collective passport is ongoing and an announcement will be made once this has been completed. The collective passport remains available for those who require it.

14th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many stakeholders within the Collective Passport Service were consulted about the possible closure of the Collective Passport Office in Durham.

A review of the collective passport is ongoing and an announcement will be made once this has been completed. The collective passport remains available for those who require it.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answers of 23 February 2016 to Questions 27190, 27129, 27130 and 27131, what the nature and scope of the review of the Collective Passport Service is; which stakeholders and officials have been engaged on that review; when she plans to inform hon. Members about that review; when that review will be completed; and when the outcome of that review will be known.

As stated in my reply on 23 February 2016 an announcement will be made shortly.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to notify groups and organisations who may be affected by the potential closure of the Collective Passport Service.

The future use of the Collective Passport is under review in the light of changing demand for the product and the security of the document. We are engaging with staff and other stakeholders and expect to make an announcement shortly.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to close the Collective Passport Service by the end of February 2016; and if she will make a statement.

The future use of the Collective Passport is under review in the light of changing demand for the product and the security of the document. We are engaging with staff and other stakeholders and expect to make an announcement shortly.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the proposed closure of the Collective Passport Office on the costs of obtaining passports for (a) school groups and (b) families.

The future use of the Collective Passport is under review in the light of changing demand for the product and the security of the document. We are engaging with staff and other stakeholders and expect to make an announcement shortly.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the final decision was made to close the Collective Passport Service; and what discussions her Department has had with staff representatives on that closure.

The future use of the Collective Passport is under review in the light of changing demand for the product and the security of the document. We are engaging with staff and other stakeholders and expect to make an announcement shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for his Department to respond to it's consultation on the draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill; and what the timetable is for further steps to be taken in relation to that Bill.

On 8 March we launched a 12 week public consultation on proposals for a landmark domestic abuse Bill and a supporting package of practical action to transform the response to domestic abuse. The consultation closed on 31 May. Over 3,200 responses to the consultation were received. The responses to the consultation are being considered and a draft Bill will be published later this session.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2019 to Question 220837 on Local Plans, whether his Department has no plans to set a deadline for local authorities to have a local plan.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer of 22 February 2019 to Question UIN 220837.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 20 February 2019 to Question 220835 on Housing: Construction, when his Department will be setting out space standards for new homes.

The Nationally Described Space Standard for new homes has been in place since 2015. The Government will be considering the Nationally Described Space Standard as part of its programme to review planning practice guidance and building regulations guidance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2019 to Question 220834, what progress his Department has made since 2017 in increasing transparency on who owns land privately held and the options held over it.

The total amount of freehold land registered with HM Land Registry continues to increase at an average rate of 0.1 per cent a month, and now stands at 86.5 per cent (87.4 per cent in England and 80.6 per cent in Wales). HM Land Registry receives, on average, around 400 registrations of land each day which extends the Land Register.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2019 to Question 220826 on Housing: Construction, whether his Department has made an estimate of the amount of Section 106 funding lost to local authorities when new homes are created under permitted development rather than through granted planning permission.

We are clear that permitted development rights for the change of use to residential are making an important contribution to housing delivery, with over 46,000 homes to rent or buy delivered under the rights in the three years to March 2018. Where additional floor space is created through exercise of the permitted development rights, community infrastructure levy is payable where an authority has a charging schedule in place.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2019 to Question 220840 on Housing: Construction, whether his Department has made no assessment of the suitability of the location of housing created under permitted development.

Data is collected on how many homes are created under permitted development rights for change of use in each local authority. This does not include information on their location within the authority area. The National Planning Policy Framework recognises that local planning authorities can tailor planning controls to local circumstance, and make an Article 4 direction to remove a permitted development right where it is necessary to protect the amenity or well-being of the area.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the type of households living in permitted development compared to housing delivered through planning permission.

National permitted development rights for the change of use to residential are making an important contribution to housing delivery, bringing forward additional homes that may not otherwise have been developed. Nationally over 46,000 homes to rent or buy were delivered under the rights in the three years to March 2018. My department publishes Live tables on housing supply: net additional dwellings which includes information on the homes developed under permitted development rights in each local authority district.

In bringing forward permitted development rights we have recognised that the only additional funding to local planning authorities through planning obligations will be where additional floor space is created and there is a Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule in place.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate the Government has made of the number of planning officers required to bring planning departments to full capacity.

The Government recognises that having well-resourced and skilled planning departments is essential for the delivery of our ambitious housing programme. We are working with the Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute to understand the resourcing and skills needs in council planning departments.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government made of the skills gap in the planning sector.

The Government recognises that having well-resourced and skilled planning departments is essential for the delivery of our ambitious housing programme. We are working with the Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute to understand the resourcing and skills needs in council planning departments.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate the Government has made of the number of vacant posts in planning departments in England.

The Government recognises that having well-resourced and skilled planning departments is essential for the delivery of our ambitious housing programme. We are working with the Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute to understand the resourcing and skills needs in council planning departments.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to assess the safety of building materials used on houses built with permitted development.

All homes, whether granted permission through a national permitted development right or on a planning application are required to meet Building Regulations, including fire safety.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department has made since 2017 in reviewing space standards of new homes.

The Government will be considering the Nationally Described Space Standard as part of its programme to review planning practice guidance and building regulations guidance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to carry out an assessment on the location of homes created under permitted development.

National permitted development rights for the change of use to residential are making an important contribution to housing delivery, bringing forward additional homes that may not otherwise have been developed. Nationally over 46,000 homes to rent or buy were delivered under the rights in the three years to March 2018. My department publishes Live tables on housing supply: net additional dwellings which includes information on the homes developed under permitted development rights in each local authority district.

In bringing forward permitted development rights we have recognised that the only additional funding to local planning authorities through planning obligations will be where additional floor space is created and there is a Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule in place.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the number of local authorities that do not have a five-year land supply in place.

The Government does not monitor the number of authorities with a five year supply of housing land, as it is a dynamic measure that can change frequently as new permissions are granted and sites are built-out.

The revised National Planning Policy Framework, published in July 2018, allows local planning authorities adopting new plans to ‘fix’ their five year land supply for a period of a year, and subsequently to renew this using annual position statements. This will allow a more transparent and stable assessment of five year supply in those areas that choose to confirm their supply position in this way.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Department has taken since 2017 to make the planning system more transparent.

The revised National Planning Policy Framework, published in July 2018, brought in a number of reforms designed to increase the transparency of the planning system. These include expecting authorities to publish statements of common ground, making clear how strategic issues requiring the co-operation of other authorities are being addressed. The Framework also makes viability assessments publicly available, standardising how information on viability and planning obligations should be published, so that the process and findings are accessible to communities. The Housing Delivery Test, will also show which areas are delivering the homes their communities need.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress the Department has made since 2017 in increasing transparency on who owns land and the options held over it.

My department is working with HM Land Registry to meet the commitment of registering all publicly-owned land by 2025, with the aim of achieving comprehensive registration in England and Wales by 2030. To assist this process, it has recently published a list of unregistered land believed to be owned by central and local government. The list is available at https://data.gov.uk/dataset/4f5ed3a2-1dbc-41bc-ba1b-bf840e781e08/central-and-local-government-un-registered-land.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to carry out analysis into why local plans are being delayed.

In 2015 the Government commissioned the Local Plans Expert Group to consider how local plan making could be made more efficient and effective. Their recommendations were reflected in the revised National Planning Policy Framework that was published in July 2018.

The Government wants to see all authorities produce up to date local plan policies that set a positive vision for the future of their area and has provided flexibility in the revised National Planning Policy Framework for how this is put in place.

In November 2017, the formal process of intervention commenced in fifteen areas that had failed to get a local plan in place for a more than a decade. We monitor plan progress to identify delays against authorities’ published timetables, and identify where additional support may be beneficial, as well as where intervention may be necessary as a last resort.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to set a deadline for local authorities to have a local plan.

In 2015 the Government commissioned the Local Plans Expert Group to consider how local plan making could be made more efficient and effective. Their recommendations were reflected in the revised National Planning Policy Framework that was published in July 2018.

The Government wants to see all authorities produce up to date local plan policies that set a positive vision for the future of their area and has provided flexibility in the revised National Planning Policy Framework for how this is put in place.

In November 2017, the formal process of intervention commenced in fifteen areas that had failed to get a local plan in place for a more than a decade. We monitor plan progress to identify delays against authorities’ published timetables, and identify where additional support may be beneficial, as well as where intervention may be necessary as a last resort.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Department has to carry out an assessment of the costs of providing infrastructure to deliver new homes.

In general, it is for Local Planning Authorities to assess infrastructure needs and set out contributions required from developers to support new homes in their local plans. Where local authorities have bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock homes, the Government is assessing these to ensure good value for money



Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate the Government has made of the amount of Section 106 funding lost from local communities when new homes are created under permitted development rather than through granted planning permission.

National permitted development rights for the change of use to residential are making an important contribution to housing delivery, bringing forward additional homes that may not otherwise have been developed. Nationally over 46,000 homes to rent or buy were delivered under the rights in the three years to March 2018. My department publishes Live tables on housing supply: net additional dwellings which includes information on the homes developed under permitted development rights in each local authority district.

In bringing forward permitted development rights we have recognised that the only additional funding to local planning authorities through planning obligations will be where additional floor space is created and there is a Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule in place.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate the Government has made of the number of affordable homes lost to local communities under permitted development.

National permitted development rights for the change of use to residential are making an important contribution to housing delivery, bringing forward additional homes that may not otherwise have been developed. Nationally over 46,000 homes to rent or buy were delivered under the rights in the three years to March 2018. My department publishes Live tables on housing supply: net additional dwellings which includes information on the homes developed under permitted development rights in each local authority district.

In bringing forward permitted development rights we have recognised that the only additional funding to local planning authorities through planning obligations will be where additional floor space is created and there is a Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule in place.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government plans to take to ensure that local authorities have a local plan in place.

In 2015 the Government commissioned the Local Plans Expert Group to consider how local plan making could be made more efficient and effective. Their recommendations were reflected in the revised National Planning Policy Framework that was published in July 2018.

The Government wants to see all authorities produce up to date local plan policies that set a positive vision for the future of their area and has provided flexibility in the revised National Planning Policy Framework for how this is put in place.

In November 2017, the formal process of intervention commenced in fifteen areas that had failed to get a local plan in place for a more than a decade. We monitor plan progress to identify delays against authorities’ published timetables, and identify where additional support may be beneficial, as well as where intervention may be necessary as a last resort.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the panel for the appointment of the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission took to ensure the principles of public appointments were satisfied through the appointment process.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he took to ensure the appointment of the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission was transparent.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the panel for the appointment of the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission took to ensure that the people shortlisted for the appointment had diverse (a) skills, (b) experience and (c) backgrounds.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who the Chair was of the advisory assessment panel for the appointment of the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who was on the advisory assessment panel for the appointment of the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the selection process for the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission was.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the candidates who applied for the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission were deemed appointable.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many candidates were were shortlisted for the role of Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many applicants there were for the position of Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (a) when and (b) where the position of Chair of that Commission was advertised.

In selecting Commissioners to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, the Secretary of State’s priority is to assemble experts who can provide expertise and challenge on design quality and who are committed to building places that communities value and support. The role of Chair is an advisory role and was appointed directly. Professor Sir Roger Scruton’s commitment to promoting beauty in the built environment is well known and he has published extensively on the subject.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department is making on implementing the housing white paper of February 2017, Fixing our broken housing market; and if he will make a statement.

Our recent Housing White Paper sets out a long term, comprehensive strategy to fix our dysfunctional housing market by tackling failures at every point in the system, whilst also taking more steps to help people now so that housing is more affordable and people have the security they need to be able to plan for the future.

Since its publication in February 2017, the actions we have taken include the following:

    • Launched the £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund. The fund will unlock up to 100,000 new homes by helping to fund much needed infrastructure in the areas of greatest housing need. We are currently assessing bids from local authorities.

    • Launched the £45 million Land Release Fund to ensure local councils release some of their unused or surplus land for housing. This will help to meet the ambition to unlock enough council-owned land for at least 160,000 homes by 2020. Closing dates for bids is 3 November.

    • Consulted on changing planning policy to support more Build to Rent homes, including affordable rental homes, as well as providing a £65 million boost to the biggest development of homes built specifically for private rent in the UK. Located at the Wembley Park Development in Brent, this will contain 6,800 homes for rent.

    • Consulted on a range of measures to help tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of the leasehold system. We are considering the responses and will respond in due course.

    • On Affordable Housing, to deliver more affordable homes and to ease the way for councils to build more social housing, including at a social rent, we will invest a further £2 billion in funding for housing associations and local councils in England.

    • On letting fees, we carried out an eight week public consultation to seek views on how the ban on letting fees paid by tenants should be implemented and enforced. The consultation closed on 2 June. We will be publishing the draft bill shortly.

    • We are consulting on proposals to reform the planning system to increase the supply of new homes and increase local authority capacity to manage growth. The consultation closes on 9 November.

    • Going further, we will bring forward a green paper on social housing in England which will be a wide-ranging top-to-bottom review of the issues facing the sector. The green paper will be the most substantial report of its kind for a generation.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
2nd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the oral contribution of 27 February 2017, Official Report, column 6, whether the Government plans to maintain the level of Community Infrastructure Levy returned to a community at 25 per cent once a Neighbourhood Plan is in place.

The Government will examine the options for reforming the system of developer contributions including ensuring direct benefit for communities, and will respond to the independent review and make an announcement at Autumn Budget 2017.

10th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to implement adequate permanent planning protections to help pubs to remain open; and if he will make a statement.

From 6 April 2015, the permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition are removed for those pubs the community has demonstrated that it values the most by having nominated them as an Asset of Community Value. Permitted development rights do not apply for as long as the pub is nominated or listed as an Asset of Community Value, and a planning application is required for the change of use or demolition of the building. Any pub can be nominated as an Asset of Community Value.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to publish the response to the consultation on restricted covenants for pubs carried out in 2011.

The Department carried out a consultation into whether the use of restrictive covenants by pub companies was having a negative effect on communities since, once sold with such a covenant, a pub could not continue to be used as a pub by its new owners. The consultation drew only a small number of responses and it was concluded that there was an insufficient evidence base to justify legislative action by the Government. Some respondents argued that such a use of restrictive covenants did have an impact upon communities, but others disagreed and maintained they are rarely used. We will seek to publish the response to this consultation in due course and are willing to consider the issue further if sufficient evidence is provided in the future.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many successful registrations of assets of community value have been listed in each of the last five years; and how many of those successful registrations were pubs.

In November 2016 the Department for Communities and Local Government commissioned work to ascertain how many assets have been listed as Assets of Community Value (ACVs). There are currently around 4,000 ACVs listed in England and 1,750 of these are pubs.

9th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if his Department will remove permitted development rights of pubs to reduce pub closures.

From 6 April 2015, the permitted development rights for change of use or demolition are removed for those pubs the community has demonstrated that it values the most by having nominated them as an Asset of Community Value. Permitted development rights do not apply for as long as the pub is nominated or listed as an Asset of Community Value, and a planning application is required for the change of use or demolition of the building. Any pub can be nominated as an Asset of Community Value.

7th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2016 to Question 49099, of the 244 of local planning authorities who have an adopted Local Plan, how many of those adopted local plans are in conformity with the contents of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) asked local planning authorities to review their Local Plans to ensure they took into account the policies in that framework. Where revisions were needed, authorities had 12 months from the date of publication (27 March 2012) to comply. Since the NPPF was published, 128 authorities have adopted a Local Plan or a Local Plan review. The Government has regularly made it clear that it expects Local Plans to be kept up to date and it is the responsibility of individual local planning authorities to ensure this happens.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Work and Pensions on proposed changes to housing benefit and the exemption of supported housing.

DCLG is working closely with the Department of Work and Pensions, and with the supported housing sector and other partners to develop a sustainable and workable future for supported housing.

11th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what exemptions there will be from the Government's proposed enforced sale of high-value council homes.

Through regulations, government has the power to exclude categories of housing when calculating local authority’s payment in respect of their higher value vacant housing. During the passage of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, government committed to exclude housing that is in a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and confirmed that it would consider other suggestions that had been made during the passage of the legislation and by stakeholders for excluding other categories of housing.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what criteria his Department plans to use in determining which council houses will be deemed to be higher value for the purposes of implementing the provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 relating to the sale of such houses.

Under the Housing and Planning Act, local authorities have a duty to consider selling vacant higher value housing and must, if the Secretary of State has made a determination under the Act, make a payment to government in respect of their higher value vacant housing. The definition of ‘higher value housing’ will be set out in regulations made under section 69(8) to (10) of the Act, and will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to apply the pay to stay provisions of the House and Planning Act 2016 in all areas regardless of the levels of market and social rents.

My officials are considering how the policy should apply to properties where market and social rents are close and the cost of operating the policy may be greater than the additional rent collected. We will be setting out the approach in detail in the pay to stay regulations and guidance will be provided to local authorities to support them through the implementation of the policy.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which tenants will be exempt from the Government's proposed phasing out of lifetime tenancies.

The provisions restricting the use of lifetime tenancies are intended to ensure we get the best use out of our social housing stock - ensuring that social housing is focussed on those who need it the most for as long as they need it. This is essential with 1.24 million households on council waiting lists. The changes will apply to new tenants, but will not apply to existing lifetime tenants who remain in their own home.

If tenants are required to move home by their landlord, for example to allow demolition and regeneration work to take place, they will be granted a tenancy with no less security in their new home.

Where existing lifetime tenants seek to transfer, local authorities will retain a discretion – in limited circumstances – to offer the tenant a further lifetime tenancy in their new home. We will set out the circumstances in which local authorities may exercise this discretion in regulations. We expect these will include where tenants downsize into a smaller home, move for work or to escape violence.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 1.121 of Budget 2016, HC 901, when his Department will commence working with local authorities to release land capacity for at least 160,000 homes; and when such houses will be built.

A guidance document for local authorities was published shortly after Budget. It set out how the Government will support and empower local authorities to dispose of assets that could be made surplus. This includes a broad range of policy measures, including: the expansion of the One Public Estate programme, funding for Starter Homes, flexibility in the spending of capital receipts, support for new Garden Villages, Towns and Cities, and support from the Homes and Communities Agency. The document can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-assets-disposal-guidance.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 2.291 of Budget 2016, when his Department plans to begin the consultation process on proposals to increase transparency in the land market.

Government will be consulting on improving the visibility of information relating to options to purchase or lease land during the summer.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 6 of the March 2016 Locally-led Garden, Towns and Cities prospectus, when he will introduce legislative proposals to update the New Towns Act 1981.

The government will introduce legislation to update the New Towns Act 1981 at the earliest legislative opportunity.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether it is his policy that his Department's changes to security of tenure for council tenants will apply to (a) the tenancies of existing tenants and (b) existing tenants when they transfer to a new local authority property; and when he plans that those changes will come into effect.

The changes will not apply to existing lifetime tenants who remain in their own home.

If tenants are required to move home by their landlord, for example to allow demolition and regeneration work to take place, they will be granted a tenancy with no less security in their new home.

Where existing lifetime tenants seek to transfer, local authorities will retain a discretion to offer the tenant a further lifetime tenancy in their new home. We will set out the circumstances in which local authorities may exercise this discretion in regulations. We expect these will include where tenants downsize into a smaller home or move for work.

We expect that the provisions will come into force early next year, subject to passage of the Bill and implementation of the regulations.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.15 of HM Treasury's policy paper, Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what steps he is taking to ensure proposals for automatic planning permission for brownfield sites include adequate provisions to enable local authorities to ensure new homes meet affordable housing standards under section 106 of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013.

We will publish details about how the policy will operate when the Housing Bill is introduced. This will include how further technical details will be agreed, and arrangements for securing essential infrastructure and design quality.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.15 of HM Treasury's policy paper, Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what steps he is taking to ensure proposals for automatic planning permission for brownfield sites ensure that local communities are consulted on such developments; and if he will make a statement.

We will publish details about how the policy will operate when the Housing Bill is introduced. This will include how further technical details will be agreed, and arrangements for securing essential infrastructure and design quality.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.15 of HM Treasury's policy paper, Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what steps he is taking to ensure proposals for automatic planning permission on brownfield sites enable local authorities to provide for adequate infrastructure in such applications.

We will publish details about how the policy will operate when the Housing Bill is introduced. This will include how further technical details will be agreed, and arrangements for securing essential infrastructure and design quality.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.15 of HM Treasury's policy paper, Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what steps he is taking to ensure proposals for automatic planning permission for brownfield sites include adequate provisions to enable local authorities to ensure new houses meet quality and space standards.

We will publish details about how the policy will operate when the Housing Bill is introduced. This will include how further technical details will be agreed, and arrangements for securing essential infrastructure and design quality.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
17th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to sections 33 to 41 of the Deregulation Act 2015, when he expects to make the commencement order on retaliatory evictions.

The commencement order bringing in the provisions on retaliatory evictions was made on 27 March 2015. It is titled, the Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015, and available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/994/contents/made. Its provisions have effect from 1 October 2015.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.17 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what impact assessment his Department has made of any impact assessment of reducing net regulation on housebuilders on meeting climate change targets.

Estimates of the carbon savings from regulation on housebuilders in England have been included in the Updated Emissions Projections published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The Government will be taking into account changes in policy in the next update of those projections.

16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.10 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what steps he plans to take to ensure that there is adequate consultation with local people when imposing local plans on behalf of local authorities.

Our Ministerial Statement of 21 July, HCWS172, sets out our commitment to accelerate Local Plan production. We are clear that any intervention will not compromise effective comunity engagement.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of a rise in mortgage rates on future levels of house building.

There are many factors which can influence rates of house building. My Department keeps these issues under review. This Government’s stewardship of the economy has helped to keep interest rates at a record low, helping many families with their mortgages.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.17 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, how he plans to adequately resource local authorities to ensure planning decisions are made on time where they are currently failing to do so.

Most planning decisions are already made on time - 77% of major decisions in 2014-15. It is important for every council to give planning the priority it needs, as effective planning supports growth and revenue for the area. The resources available to local government as a whole will be considered as part of this autumn's spending review.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.10 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, how much time his Department will allow local authorities to put in place local plans where they have not yet done so before his Department will intervene to enforce this.

I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement of 21 July 2015, HCWS 172.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 921 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of removing the need for planning permission for upwards extensions on building safety.

In developing the detail of our proposals we will work with the Mayor of London, who has the strategic planning responsibility for London including for infrastructure plans. This will include consideration of what type of buildings should benefit from the new rights, and any necessary requirements to protect local amenity and address any impacts.

All developments benefiting from the new rights will still need to comply with current building regulations, as well any other relevant legislation such as the Party Wall Act and environmental legislation.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.21 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, whether height restrictions will apply in the policy to remove the need for planning permission for upwards extensions.

In developing the detail of our proposals we will work with the Mayor of London, who has the strategic planning responsibility for London including for infrastructure plans. This will include consideration of what type of buildings should benefit from the new rights, and any necessary requirements to protect local amenity and address any impacts.

All developments benefiting from the new rights will still need to comply with current building regulations, as well any other relevant legislation such as the Party Wall Act and environmental legislation.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.21 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, whether the policy of allowing extra storeys to be built on neighbouring properties in London will apply to (a) residential and (b) commercial property.

In developing the detail of our proposals we will work with the Mayor of London, who has the strategic planning responsibility for London including for infrastructure plans. This will include consideration of what type of buildings should benefit from the new rights, and any necessary requirements to protect local amenity and address any impacts.

All developments benefiting from the new rights will still need to comply with current building regulations, as well any other relevant legislation such as the Party Wall Act and environmental legislation.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.21 of the document Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what assessment his Department has made of additional infrastructure needs as a result of removing the need for planning permission for upwards extensions.

In developing the detail of our proposals we will work with the Mayor of London, who has the strategic planning responsibility for London including for infrastructure plans. This will include consideration of what type of buildings should benefit from the new rights, and any necessary requirements to protect local amenity and address any impacts.

All developments benefiting from the new rights will still need to comply with current building regulations, as well any other relevant legislation such as the Party Wall Act and environmental legislation.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the level of building on greenbelt sites in each year since 2010; and if he will make a statement.

An estimate of the amount of development on Green Belt land in the year 2011 was published in the Department’s Land Use Change Statistics in 2013:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/land-use-change-statistics-in-england-2011

Land Use Change Statistics for the year 2013-14, produced using a new and better methodology that will allow more detailed statistical and spatial analysis will be published on 6 August.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.17 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, how he will implement a dispute resolution mechanism for section 106 agreements.

During the last Parliament we undertook a high level consultation on speeding up Section 106 negotiations, which concluded that these can be a significant delay in processing planning applications, impacting on the delivery of much needed housing and local economic growth. Building on consultation responses, we are developing a dispute resolution process to speed up the determining of planning applications enabling development to be built more quickly.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 9.15 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published on 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, if he will issue guidance on the term zonal system, used in connection with brownfield sites; and if he will make a statement.

Our proposal is to grant permission in principle for identified sites in a new statutory brownfield register to move towards a zonal system similar to that seen in other countries. Further details on how the measure will work will be made available in the autumn.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the effects on housing supply and affordability of the practice of investors selling on a house at a higher price to another investor immediately after purchase; and if he will make a statement.

The Government makes no assessment of this issue, it is the operation of the free market.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 917 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, whether under these proposals local authorities could be required to allow new building on greenbelt sites in cases where the Government imposes a local plan on their behalf.

This Government reaffirmed in its election manifesto that we would maintain strong protection for Green Belt in line with our policy in the National Planning Policy Framework. The Framework makes clear that most new building is inappropriate in Green Belt, and that a Green Belt boundary may be altered only in exceptional circumstances, through the Local Plan. Planning guidance reminds local authorities that, in planning to meet housing need, they must have regard to policies in the Framework on the protection of areas such as Green Belt, which indicate that development should be restricted. Where there is no up-to-date Local Plan, new draft Plans will continue to be produced in consultation with local people.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 917 of Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation, published 10 July 2015, Cm 9098, what the scope is of those projects with an element of housing development which can be fast tracked through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

We are committed to allowing nationally significant infrastructure projects with an element of housing to be consented under the Planning Act 2008. This will require amendments to primary legislation and information on the scope of the proposal will be set out in a future Bill.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether councils will be required to sell off any property assets in addition to high-value residential council houses to fund his Department's proposed changes to housing policy.

We will be setting out details of the scheme when the Housing Bill is published.

All local authorities should use their resources effectively and efficiently. When there is an increased need for housing, it makes no sense for a council to keep hold of one vacant, high value, council house when it could be sold to fund the building of more homes.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, by what mechanism he plans to reduce the time period between the sale of social housing under right to buy and the receipt by housing associations of compensation from the Government.

Details will be set out when the Housing Bill is published.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the overall proportion of local authority housing stock that will be sold off as high-value properties under the Department's proposed changes to housing policy.

Ministers and senior officals are engaging with the sector on the details of the scheme, which will be set out in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the level of consistency in the way five-year housing supply is calculated by developers and local authorities.

National planning policy requires local planning authorities to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites to provide five years worth of housing against their housing requirement.

They must also provide an additional buffer of 5% (or 20% where there has been a record of persistent under delivery of housing). The National Planning Policy Framework and planning guidance provide clear advice on what is meant by a deliverable site. Establishing which sites are deliverable can only be achieved at a local level and in the light of the specific circumstances that apply to each individual site.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to make additional financing options available to housing associations and charities to negate any short term adverse financial effects arising from house sales at discounted prices under the right to buy scheme.

Details will be set out when the Housing Bill is published.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what mechanisms he is assessing to ensure that houses sold under the right to buy scheme are replaced in the same area.

Details will be set out when the Housing Bill is published.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the implications of data on population growth published by the Office for National Statistics in June 2015 for its forecasts of housing need and supply shortfall.

My Department publishes household projections that show the projected long term increase in households based on the latest Office for National Statistics population projections. The household projections will be updated in 2016 after the Office for National Statistics has published 2014-based sub-national population projections, which will be based on the most recent demographic trends.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what proportion of homes in England were shared-ownership homes in each year since 2010.

Census 2011 counts of shared-ownership and total dwelling stock, from which the proportion of homes in England that were shared-ownership may be derived, are published by the Office for National Statistics, in table CT0259, which is available at the following link:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?newquery=ct0259

The Census showed that shared-ownership dwellings (173,582) represent 0.76 per cent of the total dwelling stock (22,976,066) in England, as at 27 March 2011.

The requested information is not available for non-Census years.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether it is his policy to extend temporary permitted development rights beyond May 2016.

On the 30 May 2013 a new permitted development right was introduced that grants planning permission for the change of use from offices (B1(a) use class) to residential (C3 use class). This right ends on 30 May 2016.


We issued a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2015, HCWS488, which noted that further consideration would be given to extending the office to residential permitted development right, and this remains the case.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of permitted development rights for converting offices to homes on office rental prices; and if he will make a statement.

On the 30 May 2013 a new permitted development right was introduced that grants planning permission for the change of use from offices (B1(a) use class) to residential (C3 use class). This right ends on 30 May 2016.


We issued a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2015, HCWS488, which noted that further consideration would be given to extending the office to residential permitted development right, and this remains the case.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to make additional financing available to assist housing associations invest in improvements to housing.

There are no plans to make additional financing available to assist housing associations invest in further improvements to housing at this time.

The Government provided £0.5 billion of gap funding to stock transfer landlords between 2011-15 to allow them to bring poor quality transferred stock up to the Decent Homes Standard.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what changes he plans to make to licence checks for landlords as a result of the west Birmingham Right to Rent pilot scheme.

My rt. hon. Friend, the Prime Minister has committed to rolling out the Right to Rent Check scheme nationwide. A decision on how the Government intends to complete roll out will take into account the findings from the evaluation of phase 1. The Department is currently considering what changes are necessary to licensing provisions applying in England to the private rented sector to reflect the roll out. We shall be publishing our plans shortly.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to incentivise the building of additional supported housing for older people.

This Government is committed to addressing the challenge of our ageing population, and is working to help older people to plan ahead and to provide them with choice over the housing that best meets their needs.

The National Planning Policy Framework requires local planning authorities to plan for the needs of different groups in the community, including older people.

Between 2011 and 2015 almost 14,000 specialised and mainstream housing units for older people were built through the affordable homes programme outside London. Of the allocations so far for 2015 to 2018, a further 6,000 specialised homes are expected to be delivered.

Up to £315 million has been made available through the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund. £141 million has been allocated for phase 1 of the programme and is on track to deliver around 4,000 new homes for older and disabled people by 2018. Assessment of the bids received for phase 2 is currently underway. It is expected that phase 2 could deliver another 3,000 specialised homes.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to encourage local authorities to adopt the National Space Standards for New Dwellings.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that local authorities should consider a range of issues in developing their local planning policy. The National Space Standard implemented as part of the Housing Standards Review is available for local authorites to adopt in their Local Plan where they decide it is necessary and desirable to do so, subject to development remaining viable. Planning Guidance provides advice on how to apply the National Space Standard.

8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that housing and planning policy takes account of best practice in architecture and design; and if he will make a statement.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that good design is indivisible from good planning and should contribute to making places better for people. Our planning guidance reinforces this strong focus on design and includes tools which local authorities may use.

We have already set out our aspirations for high quality design through our housing programmes such as Starter Homes, Housing Zones, Estates Regeneration, promoting locally-led garden cities and work on large housing sites. We are also encouraging industry-led innovation, such as through support for the Housing Design Awards.

In January this year, my Department set up a design panel to help raise the bar on housing design across the country. The Panel involves experienced representatives from the housing and design industry, including architects and design bodies, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects and Design Council.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure local authorities are able to co-operate to improve the effectiveness of the planning system.

My Department is keen to support local authorities in achieving positive outcomes from their discussions on cross boundary strategic planning issues. We will strengthen guidance to improve the operation of the Duty to Cooperate. We are also responding to places that seek to take action jointly such as in Manchester where the Mayor will take on strategic planning powers.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether it is his policy that his Department's proposed Mayoral Development Orders will be subject to the same guidance under the National Planning Practice Guidance as Local Development Orders.

Mayoral development orders will be a new power available to unlock development in London. We will work with the Mayor and London local authorities in developing any guidance in support of the legislation.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which organisations and individuals responded to his Department's recent consultation on the proposed zero carbon homes exemptions for small sites; and which such responses were (a) in favour of and (b) against the Government's proposals to exempt sites of 10 homes or fewer from the allowable solutions.

The consultation on ‘Next steps to zero carbon homes – allowable solutions’ closed on 7 January 2015 and we are currently considering responses. We will be publishing a report on the summary of all responses received in due course.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what support he has given to commissioners in local government to attend the Commissioning Academy.

The Government worked very closely with the Local Government Association to set up and develop the Commissioning Academy.

Since June 2012, 527 delegates have attended Commissioning Academy programmes. Of these 392 have attended the central Commissioning Academy programmes, including 206 (52%) from 53 local authorities.

A number of other programmes sit alongside the central programme under the Commissioning Academy umbrella. 78 have attended local programmes modelled on the central programme in Norfolk and Staffordshire, with participants drawn from local authorities and other public sector bodies in the local area. In addition, 8 councillors have attended a streamlined programme for local authority elected members.

Feedback from participants has been consistently positive. Independent research by the Local Government Information Unit on the impact of the Academy found that 71.9% of survey respondents felt their involvement in the programme was already having a tangible impact and they were confident it would lead to a positive outcome for citizens.

The Government continues to work with the sector to encourage even greater local authority take up of the programme.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department has published to ensure local authorities fulfil their duty to consider economic, social and environmental well-being through procurement.

The Government published Best Value Statutory Guidance in September 2011. Under the Duty of Best Value local authorities should consider overall value, including economic, environmental and social value, when reviewing service. The Guidance can be found at:


https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5945/1976926.pdf


In addition, the Cabinet Office/Crown Commercial Service have also provided guidance on the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 , which the Department has distributed to all local authorities including fire and rescue authorities.

10th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of 15 January 2015, Official Report, Public Bill Committee, column 386, when and in what ways part M of the building regulations have been strengthened as a baseline accessibility standard since 2010.

The statutory guidance in Approved Document M was most recently updated in 2013. The changes in Approved Document M resulted from a rationalisation of guidance supporting Parts M, K and N (Access, Protection from falling, collision and impact and Glazing respectively) to address areas of conflict and overlap to make it easier to comply with requirements. At the same time the guidance on Access Statements in Approved Document M was amended to promote a more proportionate, risk-based approach and guidance relating to Changing Places toilets was strengthened.

New, improved guidance will be issued as part of the Housing Standards Review and we are also introducing new optional Building Regulations requirements for wheelchair adaptable and accessible housing.

15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many injunctions against unauthorised developments were pursued by local authorities in each year since 2005.

The numbers of enforcement injunctions granted and refused can be found in the Government statistical tables: Table P127: district planning authorities - enforcement action and Table P145: 'county matters' planning authorities - enforcement action on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-planning-application-statistics

These tables contain information from 2004-05 to September 2014 (latest figures available).



As we stated in our departmental press release of 10 January 2015, on the new Planning Enforcement Fund, whilst most planning breaches are resolved without use of the courts, over the last 10 years local planning authorities in England have issued an average of 60 injunctions a year. These are typically for serious breaches of planning rules.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to bring forward housing development on sites where construction has been delayed.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, Question UIN 207630.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the amount of undeveloped brownfield land which his Department considers suitable for development.

The National Land Use Database provides data from local authorities on all previously developed land in England that may be available for development.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-land-use-database-of-previously-developed-land-nlud-pdl

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of sites where planning permission for housing development has been granted but construction has not yet started.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, to Question, UIN 207630.

We do not hold the requested figures on planning permission and the length of time.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of homes not yet under construction but for which planning permission has been granted.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, to Question, UIN 207630.

We do not hold the requested figures on planning permission and the length of time.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of sites for which planning permission for housing development has been granted but where construction has been stalled for more than one year.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, to Question, UIN 207630.

We do not hold the requested figures on planning permission and the length of time.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of sites where planning permission for housing development has been granted but where construction has been stalled for more than five years.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, to Question, UIN 207630.

We do not hold the requested figures on planning permission and the length of time.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of homes for which planning permission has been granted but on which construction has been stalled for more than five years.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, to Question, UIN 207630.

We do not hold the requested figures on planning permission and the length of time.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of homes for which planning permission has been granted but on which construction has been stalled for more than one year.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 30 October 2014, to Question, UIN 207630.

We do not hold the requested figures on planning permission and the length of time.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to bring forward housing development on brownfield land.

We have introduced a package of measures designed to accelerate the development of brownfield land and deliver more homes. We expect local authorities to be proactive in bringing forward housing on brownfield land and to ensure they have local development orders in place, granting planning permission for new homes on over 90 per cent of brownfield land suitable for housing by 2020. This reflects the priority given to re-using brownfield in the National Planning Policy Framework. In particular:

  • We have reformed the planning system to ensure that it supports the delivery of housing, including homes on brownfield land. The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that planning should encourage the effective use of land by re-using brownfield sites, provided they are not of high environmental value and that local councils can set locally appropriate targets for using brownfield land.
  • We have amended planning practice guidance to stress the importance of bringing brownfield land back into use
  • Local authorities have been invited to bid for funding from a £4.4million incentive fund to support up to 100 local development orders.
  • We are currently consulting on measures to underpin the Government’s programme.
  • We are developing a support package, including local development order templates, to help authorities develop local development orders on smaller sites.
  • Included powers in the Infrastructure Act which will enable the Mayor of London to produce Mayoral Development Orders that will remove planning obstacles to help deliver more housing in London.
  • We are providing £400 million of recoverable investment funding to create Housing Zones to support development on brownfield land. 9 housing zones have already been announced in London.
  • We have changed the Community Infrastructure Levy rules to provide an increased incentive for brownfield development, and extended exemptions for empty buildings being brought back into use.
  • We have also introduced changes to national policy to lift Section 106 burdens on vacant buildings being returned to use or demolished for re-development and made it easier to convert empty buildings into homes.
  • We have introduced a new national Starter Homes exception site planning policy to make it easier to secure planning permission for Starter Homes on underused or unviable commercial and industrial land which is not currently identified for housing - to be offered exclusively to young first time buyers at a 20% discount
  • We have provided tax relief where brownfield land suffers from contamination
  • We have provided access to funding for developers through initiatives such as the Local Infrastructure Fund, Get Britain Building investment fund and the Growing Places Fund
  • We have secured the release of enough unused public sector land to build over 103,000 new homes and announced the establishment of a London Land Commission, based at the Greater London Authority, which will be tasked with identifying public sector brownfield land that is no longer needed in London.

We have also, as outlined in Question UIN 227326 of 17 March, implemented a package of proposals to get empty homes back into use.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department has made on improving access standards for new homes as part of the Housing Standard Review.

The Government believes it is vital that people have access to housing which supports them in being independent and living life to the full. We want to see the right housing provision for everyone including older and disabled people and this is already clearly set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The Housing Standards Review technical consultation, which closed last November, explained how we are taking forward legislation to enable the introduction of higher optional levels of accessibility in Part M of the Building Regulations, including for the first time a fully wheelchair accessible standard, as well as an intermediate standard similar to the Lifetime Homes Standard. This is a significant step forward for accessible housing in England.

9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals relating to development on green belt land have been recovered for a decision by the Secretary of State in each of the last five years.

A recovery entails a planning appeal decision being made directly by Planning Ministers, rather than planning inspectors on behalf of the Secretary of State.

15 appeals were recovered in 2010, 20 in 2011, 55 in 2012, 45 in 2013 and 23 in 2014.

As outlined in previous Written Ministerial Statements, the recovery criteria was intentionally changed to consider recovering more appeals, following changes made to planning policy and guidance to increase protection of the Green Belt.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, from which local authorities planning appeals were recovered in 2014.

A planning recovery entails the appeal being decided by Ministers directly, rather than the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State. A list is attached.

As I noted in my answer of 16 January 2015, PQ UIN 220298, in 2013-14, just 0.9% of planning and enforcement appeals were decided by Ministers.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals have been recovered from local authorities which have an adopted local plan which (a) dates from later than 2004 and (b) is compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework; and how many such appeals resulted in a refusal decision.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to her today to PQ UIN 220269 which lists the local authorities in which appeals were recovered in the last year.

The Planning Inspectorate maintains a national database of Local Plan progress, which is regularly updated. The data can be found at:

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/planningsystem/localplans

However, I would remind the hon. Member that appeals are recovered in line with the published recovery criteria; the status of the Local Plan itself may be totally unconnected to the decision to recover. In turn, planning appeal decisions must be taken in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Appeal decisions will thus depend on the local circumstances of each individual case. In that context, I have not undertaken a detailed analysis of the underlying reasons for recovered appeal decisions, and cursory comparisons are likely to be misleading.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals have been recovered from local authorities which have no local plan or whose plan (a) dates from earlier than 2004 and (b) is not compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework; and how many such appeals resulted in a refusal decision.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to her today to PQ UIN 220269 which lists the local authorities in which appeals were recovered in the last year.

The Planning Inspectorate maintains a national database of Local Plan progress, which is regularly updated. The data can be found at:

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/planningsystem/localplans

However, I would remind the hon. Member that appeals are recovered in line with the published recovery criteria; the status of the Local Plan itself may be totally unconnected to the decision to recover. In turn, planning appeal decisions must be taken in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Appeal decisions will thus depend on the local circumstances of each individual case. In that context, I have not undertaken a detailed analysis of the underlying reasons for recovered appeal decisions, and cursory comparisons are likely to be misleading.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals were recovered from local authorities in each of the last five years.

A planning recovery entails the appeal being decided by Ministers directly, rather than the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State.

As I noted in my previous answer, in 2013-14, just 0.9% of planning and enforcement appeals were decided by Ministers.

To assist scrutiny, the table below lists the number of recoveries from the last ten years.

Date of recovery

Appeals recovered

2005

228

2006

166

2007

123

2008

97

2009

48

2010

74

2011

84

2012

132

2013

137

2014

82

As outlined in previous Written Ministerial Statements, in recent years, the recovery criteria were intentionally changed to consider recovering more appeals in specific areas.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many recovered planning appeals he has refused in each of the last five years.

To assist the hon. Member, the attached table shows the figures for recovered appeals for the last ten years.

To place these figures in context, in 2013-14, 15,982 planning and enforcement appeals were decided by planning inspectors, whilst just 149 appeals (0.9%) were decided by Ministers.

Where an appeal is dismissed, the application is refused in line with the original decision by the local authority to reject the planning application (non-determination appeals excepted).

The number of recovered appeals has increased in the last year in light of the intentionally revised recovery criteria (as explained to Parliament in previous Written Ministerial Statements) to consider recovering more appeals in relation to traveller sites in the Green Belt, and on renewable energy.

All decisions are made with due process, based on the material considerations of the case.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many recovered planning appeals he has upheld in each of the last five years.

To assist the hon. Member, the attached table shows the figures for recovered appeals for the last ten years.

To place these figures in context, in 2013-14, 15,982 planning and enforcement appeals were decided by planning inspectors, whilst just 149 appeals (0.9%) were decided by Ministers.

Where an appeal is dismissed, the application is refused in line with the original decision by the local authority to reject the planning application (non-determination appeals excepted).

The number of recovered appeals has increased in the last year in light of the intentionally revised recovery criteria (as explained to Parliament in previous Written Ministerial Statements) to consider recovering more appeals in relation to traveller sites in the Green Belt, and on renewable energy.

All decisions are made with due process, based on the material considerations of the case.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of homes planned for in development applications which were refused by the Secretary of State in each of the last five years.

We have made no such estimate.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals related to Gypsy and Traveller sites were recovered for a decision by the Secretary of State in each of the last five years.

A planning recovery entails the appeal being decided by Ministers directly, rather than the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State.

13 traveller site appeals were recovered in 2010, 11 in 2011, 53 in 2012, 36 in 2013 and 15 in 2014.

As outlined in previous Written Ministerial Statements, in recent years, the recovery criteria has been intentionally changed to consider recovering more appeals in specific areas, including those relating to traveller sites in the Green Belt.

Overall, in 2013-14, 0.9% of planning and enforcement appeals were decided by Ministers.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals related to wind energy projects were recovered for a decision by the Secretary of State in each of the last five years.

A recovery entails a planning appeal decision being made directly by Planning Ministers, rather than planning inspectors on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Four appeals were recovered in 2010, five in 2011, 19 in 2012, 23 in 2013 and 11 in 2014.

As outlined in previous Written Ministerial Statements, the recovery criteria was intentionally changed to consider recovering more appeals, following changes made to planning guidance to strengthen the protection of landscape and heritage assets.

8th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether homes converted from office space as a result of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right conferred by section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 (S.I., 2013, No. 1101) are subject to building regulations.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

Planning and building regulations are two separate processes. This policy does not affect the need for all the usual necessary building regulations approvals, including fire safety, sound insulation and energy efficiency. The new dwellings would also be subject to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System regulations on space and crowding.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the amount of office space, in square metres, converted to residential property since the introduction of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what evidence his Department has sought on the effect on local businesses of the implementation of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's publication, Technical consultation on planning, published in July 2014, what representations his Department has received in support of the proposal in that publication to extend the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2011 on a permanent basis.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 7.42 of the National Infrastructure Plan published in December 2013, what the outcome was of the Government's plan to consult on measures to improve local plan-making, including a statutory requirement to put a local plan in place.

The Localism Act has strengthened the role of Local Plans, allowing local councils – in consultation with local residents – to draw up plans and determine where new development should and should not go.

However, we have resolved not to take forward the December 2013 proposal for consultation at this point in time. Paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework already provides a very strong incentive for councils to have a Local Plan in place.

As a result, 80 per cent of councils now have a published Local Plan. In addition, there are high numbers of Plans at examination. To place this in context, six years after the Labour Government's 2004 Planning Act, by May 2010, only one in six local planning authorities had an adopted Core Strategy, reflecting how the torturous regional planning process slowed down development and stymied local plan-making and local decision-making. We are working with the remaining local councils to help them deliver up to date plans.

I am aware that the Labour Party's Lyons Review proposed that sanctions should be imposed against councils without a Local Plan and that the Secretary of State should direct the Planning Inspectorate to produce a Local Plan in place of the Council. However, I believe that proposal is excessively centralising, and would be an unpalatable re-creation of the top-down planning regime that we abolished in the Localism Act.

Drawing up a Local Plan can be challenging – it involves trade-offs and hard choices, and there is no longer Regional Planning Guidance or Regional Spatial Strategy imposed from above to hide behind and blame. But it is our preference for this to be a locally-led process.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect on the number of units of affordable housing of the implementation of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the change in business rate revenue to local authorities as a result of the implementation of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many eviction notices have been served to businesses occupying premises classed as B1(a) since the introduction of the B1(a) to C3 permitted development right in section J.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.

The permitted development rights to allow the change of offices to residential use were introduced in May 2013. These rights are contributing to a more efficient use of our existing building stock, and are providing badly needed new homes such as studios and one-bedroom flats for young people. This is especially true in London where there is a particularly acute need for more housing. In turn, bringing new residents to the local area also brings business and helps generate growth.

This market-led approach reflects that business patterns are changing with new technology: as a whole, while there is increasing demand for new housing due to a growing population, modern firms need less physical office space than they used to.

The information requested in the hon. Member’s questions is not centrally held, as the rights are overseen by local authorities. But I would observe that research published by Knight Frank in May 2014 has shown that nationally, prior approval applications have been secured for over 3.2 million square feet of new housing. Moreover, an analysis by Planning magazine last month, surveying London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, estimated that a total of 17,425 new homes have been given permission across those specific cities.

I appreciate that the Labour Party have opposed these reforms – yet HM Opposition have failed to say exactly where they think new homes should be provided instead if they oppose such brownfield regeneration.

We are considering the responses to the Technical consultation on planning which included a proposal on the change of use from offices to residential; any subsequent legislative changes will be brought forward in this Parliament. We will also publish the Government response to the consultation and an Impact Assessment in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the proposal in the Government's Technical Consultation on Planning to grant permitted development rights to allow change of use from some sui generis uses to residential without the need for planning permission, what amount he has made of the potential effect of that proposal on affordable housing numbers.

We are currently considering responses to the consultation on this matter and will publish the Government response in due course.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the draft National Pollinator Strategy as it relates to planning.

Ministers within the Department for Communities and Local Government regularly meet colleagues from other Departments to discuss a range of matters.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to ensure that measures to protect bees and other pollinators are fully reflected in planning practice guidance.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out our policies for the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment. The biodiversity, ecosystems and green infrastructure section of our new web-based planning guidance explains how these matters should be taken into account in the planning system. Defra is consulting on a National Pollinator Strategy and my officials are working with Defra officials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if his Department will remove permitted development rights of pubs to reduce pub closures.

From 6 April 2015, the permitted development rights for change of use or demolition are removed for those pubs the community has demonstrated that it values the most by having nominated them as an Asset of Community Value. Permitted development rights do not apply for as long as the pub is nominated or listed as an Asset of Community Value, and a planning application is required for the change of use or demolition of the building. Any pub can be nominated as an Asset of Community Value.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 025 of the section entitled Viability in his Department's online National Planning Policy Guidance, what the different funding mechanisms available are.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 3 April 2014, Official Report, Column 780-782W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the likely effect of the Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulations 2014 on the amount of Community Infrastructure Levy collected.

Over the next 10 years it is estimated that the average annual Community Infrastructure Levy revenues could be in excess of £450 million. This is based on forecasts of the latest household projections and that adoption rates of the levy will steadily increase over the next few years, leading to a rise in overall levy revenues. We now have 30 charging schedules in place and anticipate a further 10 to be adopted by early June 2014.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what proportion of the development announced in Budget 2014 at Ebbsfleet will consist of affordable homes.

The Government does not impose a particular level of affordable housing for housing schemes. The percentage of affordable units will be a matter for local decision making taking account of the local authorities' local plans and site viability. Unrealistic Section 106 agreements result in no development, no regeneration and no community benefits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to establish garden city principles in Ebbsfleet.

[Holding Reply: Monday 31 March 2014]

We expect the new Ebbsfleet Urban Development Corporation, once established, to develop the vision for Ebbsfleet Garden City in co-operation with local partners.

We would expect the Corporation, working with local partners and other experts, to consider how accepted Garden Cities principles, such as high quality, imaginative design, the provision of generous green space, mixed tenure homes and a strong local jobs offer, could be delivered in a way appropriate to local needs and circumstances.

The Government wants Ebbsfleet to set high standards in terms of design quality. The Built for Life principles are industry developed standards for good design. We would look to those coming forward with development proposals at Ebbsfleet to adopt them, and encourage them to be ambitious by aiming for a ‘green' rating.

1st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners took their own lives by using an upended unsecured bedframe as a ligature point in each of the last five years in (a) HMP Northumberland, (b) private prisons, (c) public sector prisons; if she will take steps to ensure that all bedframes in prisons are securely fixed; and if she will make a statement.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) records the methods used in self-inflicted deaths, including ligature points. However, the data do not show the precise way in which the ligature point was created.

Since 2005 all new and refurbished cells have been built to the safer cell standard, which minimises the availability of ligature points. This includes beds that are fixed in place and do not offer ligature points. In response to the recommendations of the review into self-inflicted deaths of young adult offenders conducted by Lord Harris, the Government committed to continuous improvement in this design, and to maintaining designated safer cells to the appropriate standard. We are clear, however, that designated safer cells must be seen as part of a wider care plan and can only complement, and not replace, a regime providing individualised and multi-disciplinary care for at-risk prisoners.

4th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were employed in (a) Durham, (b) Frankland and (c) Low Newton prisons each year since 2010; and in what category of occupation those people were employed in each such year.

Safe prisons are fundamental to the proper functioning of our justice system. Our dedicated prison officers, who support tens of thousands of prisoners every day, are vital to the safe running of our prisons. We have recruited 2,541 in the 12 months to 30 September 2016 and are taking significant action to make sure we have appropriate staffing levels. As I announced last week, we will be investing in an additional 2,500 prison officers across the prison estate.

Information on staff in post within the establishments requested for 31 March from 2010 to 2013 is contained in the attached table. Operational includes, operational support staff, prison officers and operational managers. Non-operational covers all other directly employed grades within the establishment such as administration staff, managers, psychologists, chaplains and facilities staff.

Information from 2014 onwards is published in the NOMS Workforce Statistics Bulletin available on the gov.uk website.

Date

Durham

Frankland

Low Newton

31-Mar-10

Operational

408

759

202

Non-Operational

134

202

76

Total

542

961

278

31-Mar-11

Operational

393

739

200

Non-Operational

128

198

77

Total

521

937

277

31-Mar-12

Operational

339

707

191

Non-Operational

118

189

78

Total

457

896

269

31-Mar-13

Operational

304

681

185

Non-Operational

95

178

71

Total

399

860

256

26th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she is taking to increase prison staffing numbers.

I completely agree with the Honourable Lady that we do need appropriate staffing levels in our prisons. Prison officers are vital, both to maintaining safety but also in terms of turning offenders around. That’s why we’ve announced that in 10 of our most challenging prisons we are increasing staffing levels by 20% by March 2017. I will be saying more on the subject in the White Paper.

13th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2016 to Question 33183, whether his Department advises prisons (a) to ask prisoners upon induction if they are already organ donors or if they wish to become one and (b) to keep records of which prisoners are registered organ donors; and if he will amend prison service orders to ensure that the organ donors register is taken into account if a prisoner dies in a prison or in a hospital.

The Organ Donor Register is a confidential record maintained by NHS Blood and Transplant and patient details are not shared with other organisations; asking prisoners if they are registered could serve to compromise their confidentiality. Joining the Organ Donor Register is a voluntary matter and there are no plans to focus on specific groups such as prisoners. The decision to be a donor is one which prisoners should discuss with their next of kin.

The Government remains fully committed to the strategy agreed in 2013 “Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020” (www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/to2020/) which aims to enable the UK to match world-class performance in organ donation and transplantation.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
8th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether prisons record whether inmates are registered as organ donors; and what protocols are in place for donation of organs after a death in custody.

The decision to be an organ donor is for prisoners to discuss with their next of kin and to decide whether they wish to add their name to the National Organ Donor Register. Organ donation by prisoners who are transferred to hospital prior to death may be considered in certain clinical circumstances and providing that it does not affect any coroner investigation.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner