|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Hill: The Highways Agency is aware of the problems with junction 34 on the M6. Long term plans for the junction are dependent on decisions about the proposed local authority link road between Morecambe/ Heysham and the M6. In the interim, shorter-term measures have been identified by the Agency. Bids for funds for the 2002-03 financial year will be considered on their merits and in the light of other regional priorities. I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Tim Matthews, to write to my hon. Friend.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much has been spent by the South East England Development Agency in lobbying activities in the last twelve months. 
27 Mar 2001 : Column: 570W
developments affecting their region. It is not possible to disaggregate the costs of this liaison from RDA programme and administration budgets.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out the guidelines for overseas travel by (a) members and (b) officials of regional development agencies. 
Ms Armstrong: It is for the individual regional development agencies to set their own guidelines for overseas travel. The regional development agencies are expected to operate systems which are broadly in line with those for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made towards meeting the commitment set out in the Government's housing policy statement "A Way Forward For Housing", to strengthen the obligation on registered social landlords to co-operate with local authorities in the discharge of their statutory housing functions. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: In the Housing Policy Statement (The Way Forward for Housing, December 2000), the Government undertook to strengthen the obligation on registered social landlords to work with local authorities on lettings. We will deliver this undertaking through best practice guidance derived from the experiences of the 27 local authority choice-based letting pilots announced on 22 March 2001, Official Report, column 291W, and through strengthened guidance to registered social landlords from the Housing Corporation, under S36 of the Housing Act 1996. The Corporation plans to issue for consultation a draft of its revised Statutory Housing Management Guidance in May.
Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what performance targets he has set for the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre Executive Agency for 2001-02. 
The Agency is also being required to increase the number of banqueting events by 50 per cent. It also has the following quality of service targets: overall score of value for money satisfaction of 90 per cent.; the number of complaints received to be less than two per 100 events; and an average response time when answering complaints of less than four working days.
27 Mar 2001 : Column: 571W
right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 8 February on behalf of Sawtry parish council. 
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent investigations he has carried out into the possibility of saving energy through the use of micro combined heat and power; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: My Department is increasing its research in new technology such as micro CHP through both our Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme and new feasibility studies for low carbon technologies. This underlines our commitment to ensuring that households, suppliers and the environment can benefit from micro CHP technology. Micro CHP will also figure in our CHP Strategy, on which we will consult in the coming months.
Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had with the devolved Administrations in (a) Scotland and (b) Northern Ireland about extending the provisions of the Rating (Former Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Bill to those areas of the United Kingdom. 
Ms Armstrong: Rating in Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the Scottish Executive and Northern Ireland Executive respectively. We have kept all the devolved Administrations informed of our intentions to extend rate relief to certain rural enterprises in England.
Ms Armstrong: Bilston Urban Village is a proposed "mixed-use", housing, light industrial and open space development near Wolverhampton. Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency, has made a significant investment of £5 million to date via English Partnerships funds, to work up a feasibility study in partnership with Wolverhampton metropolitan borough council. An outline planning application is expected to be submitted to the local planning authority during 2001. Commencement of the scheme will depend on the outcome of the statutory procedures.
Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will amend the Highways Act 1980 to bring its provisions on the clearance of snow and ice from public roads into line with those of section 34 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1989. 
27 Mar 2001 : Column: 572W
Mr. Raynsford: We are today publishing the final version of PPG13. This is a major step towards integrating planning and transport at the local level and helping deliver the Government's 10 Year Plan for Transport. It forms a key part of our transport, urban and rural policies.
PPG13 is about getting the right development in the right place and ensuring people have a choice in transport. We want local authorities to actively manage the pattern of growth to make the fullest use of public transport and to integrate local transport investment decisions with location decisions for the major land uses.
PPG13 introduces Transport Assessments, to replace Traffic Impact Assessments, which will ensure that assessments of major development proposals cover access by all modes of transport. These assessments will help to promote development which is located and designed to provide access by a choice of modes and encourages developers to incorporate measures such as car-sharing schemes as part of travel plans. We will shortly be publishing good practice advice on undertaking Transport Assessments.
The guidance provides encouragement for well- designed and well-conceived park and ride schemes, ensuring that such proposals will be given favourable treatment through the planning system. In some circumstances, park and ride schemes may be permissible in the Green Belt, provided a thorough assessment shows the scheme to be the most sustainable of the available options.
PPG13 also carries forward proposals set out in the Rural White Paper to promote housing, jobs and services in rural service centres, including market towns. We also want local authorities to take a positive approach to farm diversification proposals to promote rural employment opportunities and to help reduce long-distance commuting to urban areas. Such diversification proposals should not be rejected where they would give rise to only modest additional traffic and would not have significant impact on minor roads.
The public consultation exercise on the draft version of PPG13 showed strong support for the guidance and for the use of national maximum parking standards for the major land uses. However, we have made changes to the standards, and how they are applied, to address business concerns and ensure the approach encourages investment in town centres and will be conducting a review of the impact of the standards over the next two to three years.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|