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The recent review of surplus sites owned by central Government Departments and their agencies identified over 550 new sites, in addition to those which were not already on the register of surplus
public sector sites. The review of central Government surplus sites is continuing and English Partnerships is undertaking an immediate evaluation of the potential for additional housing on these sites, including one site owned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The Ministry of Defence will release seven major sites immediately to English Partnerships with potential for 7,000 new and affordable homes, including sites at Aldershot and Chichester. A review is being undertaken to identify further sites.
The Department of Health will transfer 13 new sites into the programme for new and affordable homes. In addition, NHS Trusts are identifying the surplus land they hold with potential for further new housing.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of houses were sold by the Government in (a) Cornwall, (b) the south west and (c) England in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information is available on numbers of local authority dwellings sold through the right to buy scheme. The numbers of right to buy sales and local authority stock figures for each year since 1998-99 are tabulated as follows. Figures for these areas prior to 1998-99 are not readily available.
|Sales and stock of local authority social rent housing|
1. Figures shown are as reported by local authorities.
2. Cornwall has been defined to include the local authority areas of Caradon. Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Penwith and Restormel.
Statistical returns from local authorities (HSSA. P1B)
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that the Planning Inspectorate make clear to developers and local authorities that low quality in the design of housing schemes is a legitimate basis upon which planning applications may be refused; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 16 July 2007]: Planning policy statement (PPS) 1: Delivering Sustainable Development emphasises the importance of good design in new development and PPS3: Housing seeks to achieve high quality housing. Planning inspectors are aware of the heightened importance of good design in new housing development, of the need for housing schemes to be appropriate to their context and locally distinctive, and to take opportunities for improving an areas character and quality. The Department is aware that inspectors, in applying the policies in these PPSs and related Government documents, are refusing housing appeals on grounds of failure to meet these policies.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she received the Sutton Housing Partnership's decent homes funding bid; when she expects to acknowledge its receipt; and when she expects to make a decision about the bid. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government received the funding bid from Sutton Housing Partnership on 31 July 2006 under Round 6 of the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) decent homes programme, and acknowledged receipt on that date. We have received many bids in Round 6 from local authorities who are seeking to secure additional funding and join those already on the ALMO programme. We are continuing to consider these bids very carefully, paying particular attention to overall costs and value for money, in the context of the current Comprehensive Spending Review.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what response she has made to the recommendations made by the Williams Commission in its report, Quality First: The Commission on Design of Affordable Housing in the Thames Gateway; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright [holding answer 16 July 2007]: The Housing Corporation will launch its full prospectus for the next Affordable Housing Programme in September. The Corporation is proposing to include a substantial section on the Thames Gateway covering the approach and response to the Williams report. We will consider these proposals prior to publication of the prospectus.
Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning guidelines she plans to issue to local authorities on the effect of the climate change targets for 2010 on planning applications for industrial development. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The Government published a draft planning policy statement (PPS) on climate change for consultation at the end of 2006. This makes clear that planning should be a positive force for change and help secure progress against the UK's emissions targets, both by direct influence on energy use and emissions, and in bringing together and encouraging action by others. The PPS will apply to all development; it expects all planning authorities, in enabling the provision of new homes, jobs, services and infrastructure and shaping the places where people live and work, to secure the highest viable standards of resource and energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. The final PPS will be published later this year.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to assist local authorities in implementing their obligations under the single status agreement. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will ensure that a current Minister in her Department meets representatives from Cumbrian district councils before any decision is made on the bid for unitary status from Cumbria county council. 
John Healey: During our stakeholder consultation there was the opportunity for all local authorities to meet Ministers and to make written representations. The consultation period ended on the 22 June. In the interests of fairness and impartiality, during this stage of the process, it would not be appropriate for me to have meetings with any affected councils to discuss unitary proposals.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many houses in multiple occupation there were in each local authority in Tyne and Wear in each year since 2001 as recorded in the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix. 
Mr. Iain Wright: The number of houses in multiple occupation in each local authority within the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in each year since 2001, as recorded in the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix, is given in the following table:
|Number of houses in multiple occupation (whether registered or not) as at 1 April by region, as reported by local authorities|
Communities and Local Government Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix return (HSSA)
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