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Mark Lazarowicz indicated dissent.

Mr. Chope: But what is to stop someone bulk buying 50 generators, and then putting up 50 windmills? I accept that they may be no larger than a TV aerial, but I do not know of anyone who has more than one television aerial or, for that matter, more than one satellite dish. The hon. Member for Eastleigh is looking at me in a certain way; perhaps he is the exception to my proposition.

Dr. Whitehead: It is subject to current planning law.

Mr. Chope: The hon. Gentleman comes at me with these short statements. He thinks that permitted development rights allow for one television aerial or one satellite dish without the need to get planning permission. That is fine, but unfortunately he has said nothing to suggest that the power would be used to prohibit the erection of more than one 1kW windmill generator on one particular set of premises. I am glad that I gave way to him because I recall our days in Southampton when we closely debated political issues, and it is good to renew that acquaintance across the Chamber, but he has not satisfied my concerns.

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point about bureaucracy and bureaucratic obstacles. I also understand how unsatisfactory some people, in particular the enthusiasts for microgeneration, might find a situation in which some local authorities allow people to put solar panels on their houses or to erect windmills without the need for planning permission, but others do not. Surely, however, it is a virtue of the nature of our society that we believe in localism, which necessarily involves individuality and diversity. He seems to want to promote uniformity and stereotyping. That cannot be a good thing. The idea of putting up lots of new windmills or photovoltaic equipment may be thought of as a good thing in some parts of the country, but why should an elected local authority not be able to decide the policy for itself?

If we remove the clause, it will not prevent the use of permitted development orders to relax the planning regime for some parts of the microgeneration industry. It will not do that at all, and any suggestion that the clause is a vital part of the Bill is misconceived. However, the Minister has, I think, accepted that as drafted, clause 9 is open to misinterpretation. He says that it does not reflect his intention, but we are dealingwith legislation that has to be precise in its
 
17 Mar 2006 : Column 1756
 
content. I hope that he will support me in the Division Lobby when I put the amendment to a vote. Removing the clause from the Bill will enable the Government to table a much better drafted version in the other place to make his intentions clearer and to put safeguards on the face of the Bill. I would welcome those, but at the moment they are articulated only in terms of expressions of intention by the Minister and the promoter, rather than being guarantees, which they would be if they appeared in the Bill.

1 pm

The debate has been constructive. The size of microgeneration plants causes a lot of concern. The Government have given us assurances about that. If we vote to remove the clause, they will be able to present clearer, fresh proposals that are more in tune with their real intentions.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 2, Noes 72.

Division No. 197
[1 pm


AYES

Evans, Mr. Nigel
Hollobone, Mr. Philip


Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Eric Forth and
Mr. Christopher Chope


NOES

Balls, Ed
Barker, Gregory
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bottomley, Peter
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Cash, Mr. William
Challen, Colin
Clark, Ms Katy
Coffey, Ann
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Davey, Mr. Edward
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dowd, Jim
Duddridge, James
Foster, Mr. Don
Galloway, Mr. George
Gapes, Mike
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hammond, Stephen
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Dr. Evan
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hoey, Kate
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Huhne, Chris
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jackson, Glenda
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Lynne
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kramer, Susan
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Lazarowicz, Mark
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
MacDougall, Mr. John
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Marris, Rob
McIsaac, Shona
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Merron, Gillian
Norris, Dan
Ottaway, Richard
Pound, Stephen
Randall, Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rowen, Paul
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Thornberry, Emily
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Watkinson, Angela
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Tom Watson and
Claire Ward


Question accordingly negatived.


 
17 Mar 2006 : Column 1756
 

 
17 Mar 2006 : Column 1757
 

Clause 12


Promotion of Reductions in Carbon Emissions: Gas Transporters and Suppliers



Amendments made: No. 41, in page 7, line 39, after 'of' insert 'any of the following'.

No. 33, in page 8, line 13, at end insert—



'( )   After subsection (10) insert—



"(10A)   An order under this section shall not include provision made by virtue of subsection (2)(b) which would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament if it were contained in an Act of that Parliament."'.

No. 42, in page 8, leave out lines 15 to 17 and insert—



'"(13)   In this section—

"microgeneration" has the same meaning as in the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006; "plant" includes any equipment, apparatus or appliance.'.

No. 43, in page 8, line 21, leave out



'subsection (7) of section 82 of the Energy Act 2004'

and insert



'section 23(2) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Clause 13


Promotion of Reductions in Carbon Emissions: Electricity Distributors and Suppliers



Amendments made: No. 44, in page 8, line 34, after 'of' insert 'any of the following'.

No. 34, in page 8, line 47, at end insert—



'( )   After subsection (10) insert—



"(10A)   An order under this section shall not include provision made by virtue of subsection (2)(b) which would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament if it were contained in an Act of that Parliament."'.

No. 45, in page 9, leave out lines 2 to 4 and insert—



'"(13)   In this section—

"microgeneration" has the same meaning as in the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006; "plant" includes any equipment, apparatus or appliance.'.

No. 46, in page 9, line 8, leave out



'subsection (7) of section 82 of the Energy Act 2004'

and insert



'section 23(2) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006'.—[Malcolm Wicks.]

Clause 15


Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Report Regarding Dynamic Demand Technologies

Mr. Forth: I beg to move amendment No. 72, in page 9, line 27, after 'Britain', insert


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