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Airports (Landing Charges)

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what landing charges (a) are imposed and (b) have been

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imposed in each of the preceding four years for each civil airport in the United Kingdom operated by (i) BAA and (ii) each of the other airport operators. [43861]

Mr. Jamieson: Those airports subject to economic regulation by the Civil Aviation Authority notify CAA of the different airport charges levied at their airport. Landing charges are one of these. However, they vary for different categories of aircraft (eg by aircraft noise); by aircraft weight categories and sometimes by time of day. They may also include airport navigation charges. The resources required to process and collate the information on landing charges data for all airport operators, and in a form which would allow useful comparisons between airports, would be disproportionate and not show the level of the total airport charge.

The revenue from airport charges is published for about 30 airports by the Centre for the study of Regulated Industries (CRI) in their statistical series "Airport Statistics". This publication also includes passenger number so it would be possible to derive the annual revenue from airport charges per passenger for these airports.

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what factors the Civil Aviation Authority is required to take account of when considering applications from airport operators for increases in landing charges. [43864]

Mr. Jamieson: There are three categories of airport in respect of airport charges.

Airports with more than one million passengers each year are subject to economic regulation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and require their permission to levy charges. Below this threshold, airports are able to levy airport charges without permission. For the 'designated' airports of BAA's London airports and for Manchester airport, this permission is also subject to conditions regarding the maximum amounts that may be levied.

For the non-designated economically regulated airports with permission to levy charges, CAA are notified of the airport charges to be levied by the airport operator but they do not play a part in determining these.

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For the designated airports of BAA's London airports and of Manchester airport, the conditions imposed by CAA are the result of an extensive process every five years to set the maximum annual airport charge for the following five years. In doing this, CAA take account of their statutory objectives listed in Section 39 of the 1986 Airports Act. This price cap has been expressed in terms of the average revenue from airport charges per passenger (revenue yield). Provided the annual airport charges set each year by the airport operator would not be expected to result in the price cap being exceeded, CAA are not involved in their determination.

English Partnerships Review

Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he proposes to announce the outcome of stage one of the review of English Partnerships; and if he will make a statement. [45052]

Ms Keeble: Today we are announcing the outcome of the first stage of the current review of English Partnerships (EP), together with appointment of the new chair of the organisation.

The new chair of English Partnerships is to be Margaret Ford. She has extensive experience in economic development and of working with Government organisations within the UK and internationally. She has particular experience of leading organisations though periods of considerable change. We are confident that Margaret Ford is the right person to lead EP into its new role.

EP will become the Secretary of State's expert adviser on brownfield regeneration, managing a national portfolio of strategic sites, and managing demonstration projects. EP will work with national, regional and local partners, especially the RDAs, and the private sector, to identify strategic brownfield land, prioritise and facilitate its development. There is a continuing remit for EP as a national public sector body and as a vital component of the Government's programme for achieving an Urban Renaissance.

To sharpen the organisation's focus on brownfield regeneration, we intend EP progressively to transfer their non-strategic Commission for the New Towns (CNT) landholdings to other appropriate bodies, for example the local authority.

In the spirit of the two Green Papers we published last year setting out fundamental changes to local government and the planning system, EP will relinquish the use of their planning powers in the former new town areas, bringing control over the development of these areas under the democratic control of their local councils. This will be a staged process.

As part of stage two of review, we want to resolve the problems that have arisen in the past from the dual statutory function of the former Urban Regeneration Agency and the Commission for the New Towns. This will give EP a common purpose and help them in taking forward their changed agenda.

I am today placing in the Library of the House the report on stage one of the review, including the KPMG consultation report and key areas to be addressed in stage

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two. There is still important work to be done and we will continue to listen to and work with the widest range of interested organisations.

Brownfield Sites

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proposals he has to promote the development of brownfield sites. [40355]

Ms Keeble: The development of brownfield sites is a key priority for my Department. It underpins our policy for the revival of our towns and cities and for achieving more sustainable patterns of development.

We are radically overhauling the planning system so it helps promote economic prosperity by delivering land for development in the right place at the right time. Our planning policy guidance for housing (PPG3) sets out an "urban brownfields first policy" as we want to conserve greenfield land.

Planning Policy is directing private sector development towards brownfield land, and measures are in place within the development control and local plan system to ensure this. For instance, local authorities must reassess greenfield sites that have been previously identified in their local plans for development, and they must thoroughly re-appraise applications for the renewal of planning permission on such sites. Regional and local planning strategies are expected to focus new housing development where brownfield sites are available. The Department is also promoting a greater use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to assemble brownfield sites that are in multiple ownership.

The public sector also has a direct role to play, and in this respect the Department has a Public Service Agreement target under which it aims to:

The reclamation of over 1,100 hectares is specifically for the Regional Development Agencies and English Partnerships to achieve. With a forecast output of 1,200 ha for this year, they are on course to exceed it.

Within the Corporate Planning process, an annual target for brownfield land reclamation is being agreed with each RDA. DTLR officials will be monitoring and encouraging progress.

There are many examples of RDA involvement in the successful redevelopment of brownfield sites. For instance, the South East RDA is continuing the earlier work of English Partnerships in redeveloping the former Royal Naval Dockyard at Chatham Maritime in Kent, with a sustainable mixed development at this 140 ha site. The North West Development Agency is to develop a high quality business park in North Manchester, thereby bringing 25 ha of brownfield land back into use. Dursley and Gloucester Docks are sustainable mixed-use developments being undertaken by the South West of England RDA.

The Government are aware that the withdrawal of the Partnership Investment Programme, and its replacement with schemes of a more limited application, has restricted RDAs and EP in their ability to use the private sector in

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delivering brownfield land regeneration. To improve the flexibility of Government agencies in this regard, the Government:


Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2002, Official Report, column 1082W, on housing, what assessment he has made of whether Birmingham city council's assessment of likely future demand, the rate at which properties will be re-let and proposals for new build is sufficiently robust to ensure that homelessness in the city will not rise as a result of proposed demolitions. [44423]

Ms Keeble: This formed part of the assessment of Birmingham city council's application for a place on the housing transfer programme.

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