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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether hereditaments which are levied on a workplace parking levy will receive any reduction in the rateable value calculated for their business parking spaces for business rates purposes. 
Barbara Follett: Rating is a tax on the rental value of non-domestic properties. If the imposition of a workplace parking levy in a town causes the rental values of affected hereditaments to fall then it is likely rateable values will be reduced by a similar amount.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 16 September 2009, Official Report, column 2219W, on non-domestic rates: ports, how many of the 154 settled appeals resulted in a lower rateable value; and how many and what proportion of the other outstanding appeals have been settled. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 591W, on non-domestic rates: religious buildings, for which faith communities and religions the Valuation Office Agency has determined that their premises, where used for public religious worship, may be eligible for exemption from non-domestic rating. 
Places of Public Religious Worship which belong to the Church of England and Church in Wales and all other religions certified under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 where there is an open invitation to the public to attend services are exempt from NNDR under the Local Government
Finance Act 1988. The exemption does not extend to organisations which practice a philosophy or where the invitation and access is restricted to certain members of the congregation.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on influencing levels of (a) car ownership and (b) car use through the planning system. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Planning policy influences car ownership by requiring maximum car parking standards to be applied to both residential and commercial developments, as described in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (PPG 13).
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 11 February 2009, Official Report, column 2070W, on planning permission: parking, whether following the revision of Planning Policy Statement 3 the maximum parking standards for residential parking introduced in Planning Policy Guidance 13 are (a) guidelines for or (b) binding on local authorities. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 11 February 2009, Official Report, column 2070W, on planning permission: parking, what maximum parking standards for residential parking are in place in each of the regional spatial strategies. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) asks Local planning authorities to develop residential parking policies for their area. pps3 does not require regional spatial strategies to set residential parking policies for their area and there are no maximum standards in place in regional spatial strategies other then in London. In London, maximum parking standards for residential parking are in place as follows:
|Predominant housing type bed units||Car parking provision|
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether any of his Department's non-departmental public bodies sent representatives to attend one or more political party conferences in 2009. 
Representatives from the Community Development Foundation and the Standards Board for England sought, and were granted, permission to attend the main political party conferences. Given its particular
status and remit, representatives from the Audit Commission attended all three main political party conferences with the permission from my Department. A representative from the Tenant Services Authority attended all three major political party conferences. The Homes and Communities Agency sent no staff representatives to any political party conferences but a member of its Board attended two party conferences in her capacity as Rural Housing Advisory Group chair.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) in respect of which local plans in which Government Office regions he and his predecessors have made a direction under paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 8 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 not to retain a local plan policy to protect agricultural land; 
(2) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1338W, on planning: agriculture, in respect of which local plans, broken down by Government Office region, the Secretary of State has made a direction under paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 8 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to not save a local plan policy of protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land since October 2007. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Local planning authorities apply to the Secretary of State where they consider it necessary for the Secretary of State to save policies under paragraph 1(3) of schedule 8 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. In the following cases the Secretary of State declined to save a policy relating to agricultural land:
Northamptonshire County Council Waste Local Plan
Buckinghamshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan
Milton Keynes Minerals Local Plan
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations he has received on the procedure by
which appeals against a decision by a local authority to refuse an advertisement application are considered by the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with the advertisement regulations and without taking into account the planning policies of the relevant local authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Secretary of State has received representations from the Chair of Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee through correspondence from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Clare Short) and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Simon). In considering an advertisement appeal an Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate would have regard to all the evidence presented, including any relevant policies in the development plan of a local authority.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 1437W, on planning permission: parking, (1) what planning guidance on car park charges was in force prior to 2001; and when such guidance was issued; 
Mr. Ian Austin: Prior to 2001 paragraph 4.7 and 4.8 of the 1994 version of Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport (PPG 13) provided planning advice on car parking charges. Paragraph 4.7 advised that:
"The level of car parking charges may also be used as an instrument to encourage the use of alternative modes.... Authorities should seek to agree appropriate levels and charges for parking broadly to maintain existing competitive positions between competing local centres... Income from parking charges can be used not only for providing off-street parking facilities, but also to support public transport and highway improvements...."
"Parking charges.... Should not appear in development plans as policies (except in so far as the authority proposes to secure levels of charges.... through agreements) but they should be mentioned in the reasoned justification in support of the relevant land-use policies and proposals for the management of traffic."
Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) and Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs), which apply at the regional and local level, should be read as a suite of documents. Planning Policy Statement 11: Regional Spatial Strategies (PPS 11) contains advice on Regional Transport Strategies, which set the context for car parking standards and charges. Paragraph 35 of PPS 11 states,
"RPBs should have regard to the guidance in PPG13 in setting parking standards appropriate to their region or parts of the region."
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether additional funding is being provided to local authorities in relation to additional functions and roles resulting from the establishment of the Infrastructure Planning Commission. 
John Healey: The provisions of the Planning Act 2008 do not place any additional requirements on local government, but instead give councils a much clearer statutory role in the process to ensure that proper regard is given to their views.
look closely at any major infrastructure projects proposed in their area;
engage with developers on potential applications and enforce subsequent consents; and
bear their own costs for their involvement in any inquiry held by the Planning Inspectorate.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of approved planning developments which have not proceeded pending resolution of applications to register land as a town or village green in the last five years. 
Mr. Ian Austin: This information is not collected centrally. While we do not have evidence that this is a widespread problem, we are aware of specific cases where this has occurred and the impact it can have on development. My officials are currently working with those in DEFRA to consider what changes to the current system may be required
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 591W, on regeneration: finance, which independent audit authority will carry out the programme of audits of expenditure through the lifetime of the European Regional Development Fund programmes. 
Barbara Follett: The independent Audit Authority for the ERDF programme is the Internal Audit Service of Communities and Local Government. CLG Internal Audit is functionally independent of the European Policy Division in CLG that is responsible for the overall management of the programme.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 591W, on regeneration: finance, if he will place in the Library a copy of the independent scrutiny report commissioned into explaining the management and financial control systems used by the regional development agencies and by his Department. 
Barbara Follett: The independent, final opinion by the Audit Authority of the management and control systems used by the Regional Development Agencies and by the Department for Communities and Local Government which endorses each RDA and my Department has been placed in the Library of the House.
Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes have been repossessed in (a) Mid Bedfordshire constituency, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) the East of England and (d) England in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to support small shops through the operation of the planning system. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Policy EC6 of Draft PPS4 supports small shops proposing that local planning authorities should recognise that such shops can significantly enhance the character and vibrancy of centres and make a valuable contribution to consumer choice.
Draft policy EC13 also requires local planning authorities to protect and strengthen local and village shops ensuring that their importance to the local community is taken into account when assessing proposals that would result in their loss.
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