Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Dominic Raab
(Esher and Walton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 April 2019
Home Office
Offenders: Deportation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of foreign national offenders have successfully appealed a deportation order under Article (a) 3, (b) 6 and (c) 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 April 2019

Information on how many and what proportion of foreign national offenders have successfully appealed a deportation order under Article (a) 3, (b) 6 and (c) 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in each year since 2010 is not available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Data on deportation appeal outcomes is published by HM Courts and Tribunals Service on a quarterly basis. A link to the latest published statistics is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunals-and-gender-recognition-certificate-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2018. The data in table FIA_3 of the Main Tables (October to December 2018) is the closest match to the requested information.

Q
Asked by Dominic Raab
(Esher and Walton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 March 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the Government plans to publish the outcome of its consultation entitled Planning reform: supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 26 March 2019

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 13 March 2018, HCWS1408, we intend to implement an immediate package of permitted development right measures in the spring, with the more complex matters, including on upward extensions, covered in a further package of regulations in the autumn.

Q
Asked by Dominic Raab
(Esher and Walton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Consumers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to respond to the Green Paper on modernising consumer markets.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 26 November 2018
Holding answer received on 23 November 2018

The Government is committed to ensuring markets work in the interests of ordinary people and the Consumer Green Paper contained a number of provisions which safeguard consumer rights whilst ensuring competition benefits consumers. We will continue to develop policy options across the range of measures proposed in the green paper and will respond in due course.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to assess the environmental effect of new housing using the DEFRA biodiversity metric; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

National planning policy continues to emphasise the role of planning in protecting and enhancing our natural environment, and helping to improve biodiversity. The National Planning Policy Framework is being revised, and during the recent consultation we received many responses regarding the importance of biodiversity and other environmental issues. We have considered all the consultation responses carefully. However, the Defra biodiversity metric is not for application at national level. Planning decisions about new housing and its location are for local planning authorities to make. They should determine each planning proposal in the light of the Local Plan and any other considerations they find material to the case, including the strong environmental policies set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Q
(Newcastle upon Tyne North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Rented Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2018 to Question 152765 on Social Rented Housing, what other sources of local authority borrowing used for the purpose of the provision of housing there are aside from (a) the European Investment Bank and (b) Public Works Loan Board.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

Primary legislation gives local authorities the power to borrow in sterling, from any lender, without prior government consent, subject only to assuring themselves that their borrowing is affordable.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing Revenue Accounts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many councils are eligible to bid for additional housing revenue account borrowing in each region.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

Of the 166 local authorities with a Housing Revenue Account, 104 are in an area of high affordability pressure and are eligible to bid for the additional borrowing programme (63 per cent). A list of eligible authorities is contained in the bidding prospectus.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing Revenue Accounts: Cheshire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether Cheshire West and Chester Council is eligible to bid for additional housing revenue account borrowing.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

On 26 June the Secretary of State invited local authorities in high affordability pressure areas to bid for the £1 billion additional borrowing programme. The prospectus inviting bids sets out which local authorities are eligible to bid. Chester and Cheshire West Borough Council is not eligible to bid as it does not meet the definition of affordability pressure as set out in the prospectus.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing Revenue Accounts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether when determining the high affordability pressure criterion of the additional housing revenue account borrowing programme prospectus he accounts for variations within local authority areas which mean some towns and cities face more significant cost pressures than the local average.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

The metric that is used to assess whether a local authority is in an area of high affordability pressure is whether it has a difference of £50, or more, per week between average social and private rents at the local authority level. As this data is only available at the local authority level, bids can not be accepted in respect of geographic areas that are smaller than local authority areas.

Q
Asked by Bill Wiggin
(North Herefordshire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Fire Prevention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he has taken to ensure the adequacy of the powers of local authorities to maintain the safety of residential properties which have suffered four fires in the course of twelve months.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

Local authorities have strong and effective powers to deal with poor quality unsafe accommodation and they have a statutory duty to keep housing conditions in their areas under review. They should take enforcement action against owners of buildings in their areas that are not acting responsibly in respect of hazards, and we encourage them to use these powers to the fullest to ensure residents are safe.

Q
(Liverpool, Riverside)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many blocks of flats which have been found to have dangerous cladding after the Grenfell Tower disaster are owned by freeholders who have not funded removal of that cladding; and if he will he make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 06 July 2018

As of 14 June 2018, from the results of Building Research Establishment large-scale system tests and the information provided to us by local authorities we know of 297 private sector residential buildings with cladding systems that are unlikely to meet current Building Regulations guidance. Local authorities have told us about plans for remediating 72 buildings. Of these, 21 buildings have started remediation, of which 4 have completed.

We have made it clear that we expect building owners and industry to explore all options to protect leaseholders from incurring the costs associated with replacing unsafe cladding. Some in the sector, such as Barratt Developments, Legal & General and Taylor Wimpey, are doing the right thing and taking responsibility. We want others to follow their ​lead and we will continue to encourage them to do so. They must do the right thing, and if they do not, we are not ruling anything out at this stage.

Q
Asked by Crispin Blunt
(Reigate)
Asked on: 28 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 15 June to Question 151020, what the exceptional circumstances under which a strategic plan can successfully demonstrate a need for changes to green belt boundaries are.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 05 July 2018

For the first time, the Government has proposed that the new National Planning Policy Framework set out that a local authority, before planning to alter a Green Belt boundary, should show that it has examined all other reasonable options for addressing its identified development needs: making as much use as possible of brownfield and under-used land; optimising density; and discussing with neighbouring authorities whether they could take some of the necessary development, as agreed in a Statement of Common Ground. Beyond that, it is for the local authority to state which factors amount to exceptional circumstances. The local authority should also have regard to the purposes of Green Belt and the need for Green Belt boundaries that will endure. At examination of the revised Plan, the planning inspector will assess the soundness of any proposed change to a Green Belt boundary. Consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework closed on 10 May and, after carefully considering the comments received, we will issue the revised version before summer recess.

We are not proposing to alter the ‘very special circumstances’ test a local authority applies when it receives a planning application for inappropriate development on Green Belt land. It should generally refuse planning permission for such development, but it will be for the authority to determine whether there are very special circumstances in the case, and what weight to give to each. Even if a proposal is of a type listed in the Framework as not inappropriate in Green Belt, it may still not be successful if there are other grounds warranting refusal of permission.

Grouped Questions: 158649
Q
Asked by Crispin Blunt
(Reigate)
Asked on: 28 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraphs 142-3 of the draft National Planning Policy Framework, what are the very special circumstances that can lead to proposals for the Green Belt to be successful; and under what other circumstances would such proposal be successful.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 05 July 2018

For the first time, the Government has proposed that the new National Planning Policy Framework set out that a local authority, before planning to alter a Green Belt boundary, should show that it has examined all other reasonable options for addressing its identified development needs: making as much use as possible of brownfield and under-used land; optimising density; and discussing with neighbouring authorities whether they could take some of the necessary development, as agreed in a Statement of Common Ground. Beyond that, it is for the local authority to state which factors amount to exceptional circumstances. The local authority should also have regard to the purposes of Green Belt and the need for Green Belt boundaries that will endure. At examination of the revised Plan, the planning inspector will assess the soundness of any proposed change to a Green Belt boundary. Consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework closed on 10 May and, after carefully considering the comments received, we will issue the revised version before summer recess.

We are not proposing to alter the ‘very special circumstances’ test a local authority applies when it receives a planning application for inappropriate development on Green Belt land. It should generally refuse planning permission for such development, but it will be for the authority to determine whether there are very special circumstances in the case, and what weight to give to each. Even if a proposal is of a type listed in the Framework as not inappropriate in Green Belt, it may still not be successful if there are other grounds warranting refusal of permission.

Grouped Questions: 158648
Q
(Liverpool, Wavertree)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 28 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Occupational Therapy: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will encourage officials working on local strategic planning to include contributions from occupational therapists in that planning to seek to improve the physical health and activity of local populations.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 05 July 2018
Holding answer received on 03 July 2018

Contributions from development towards local infrastructure are collected primarily through two mechanisms, Section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Local authorities can use both mechanisms to help fund public health infrastructure.

Local planning authorities should work closely with healthcare infrastructure providers to identify infrastructure capacity and requirements over the plan period. Local planning authorities should assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure and the ability to meet forecasted demands to determine if such infrastructure is required.

Q
Asked by Scott Mann
(North Cornwall)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Rented Housing: South West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support the building of new social housing in the South West.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018

There are a number of innovative social housing projects in the South West, with social housing providers actively working with SMEs, leveraging small sites to increase delivery and offering custom build affordable housing.

The Government is continuing to support the delivery of social housing in the South West and across the country. We are providing over £9 billion funding for the Affordable Homes Programme, this includes an additional £2 billion available for social rent.

We have confirmed long-term rent certainty for social landlords in England and announced that we will be providing councils with £1 billion of additional borrowing to deliver homes where demand is greatest. In March we announced plans to consult on options for allowing local authorities more flexibility in the use of their Right to Buy receipts.

These measures will support housing associations and local authorities to build more genuinely affordable homes where they are needed most, including areas of high affordability pressure such as the South West.

Since 2010, we have delivered over 378,000 new affordable homes including over 273,000 affordable homes for rent. The Department does not publish delivery information on a regional basis.

The Nelson Project in Plymouth, for example, is a custom build partnership which supported returning veterans by training them to build their own homes. 24 affordable apartments were delivered, housing twelve veterans, six persons from the housing waiting list, and six people with mild learning disabilities. The returning veterans gained skills, qualifications and experience of the construction industry, making them more employable and helping them to assimilate into normal civilian life. The Government supported this project with £880,000 of funding.

Another innovative approach that received government funding is a development of low energy affordable homes in Somerset. Built in partnership between Southwestern Housing Society and Man Green Homes, the homes are extremely energy efficient and help to future proof again fuel poverty.

Q
(Oxford East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Rented Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish regulations on local Tenancy Strategies in relation to the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018
Holding answer received on 25 June 2018

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced changes to local authority tenancies by making it mandatory for most new council tenancies to be for a fixed term.

Regulations and statutory guidance are necessary to implement the fixed term tenancy provisions in the Housing and Planning Act and the next steps will be set out in due course.

Q
Asked by Damian Green
(Ashford)
Asked on: 25 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Nature Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he has taken to protect local wildlife sites through the National Planning Policy Framework; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018

This Government is committed to the strengthened environmental protections proposed in the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and making these clear. The revised Framework we consulted on proposed a number of measures, including by requiring local authorities to improve biodiversity and air quality, and delivering our manifesto commitment to increase the protection for ancient woodland. We engaged relevant stakeholders during the consultation, which closed on 10 May 2018, and we are currently considering responses. The revised NPPF and the Government’s response will be published this summer.

Q
(Bolton South East)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Right to Buy Scheme: Housing Associations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to extend the right to buy scheme to tenants of housing association properties.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018

We remain committed to ensuring that housing association tenants have the opportunity to own their homes, and are using pilots to make sure we get the policy right. The forthcoming large-scale regional pilot in the Midlands, which will launch in the summer, will test key aspects of the voluntary agreement with housing associations not tested in the initial small-scale pilot, including the portable discount and one for one replacement.

Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken to encourage councils to bring forward Rural Exception Sites.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018

The rural exception sites policy has been revised in the draft National Planning Policy Framework to make it clear that local authorities should support opportunities to bring forward sites that will provide affordable housing to meet identified local needs.

We intend to publish the final version of the revised Framework this summer.

Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what safeguards on (a) quality and (b) design are planned to be placed on houses built on the proposed Entry Level Exception Sites.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018

The Government believes that good design is fundamental to creating attractive, safe and healthy places, where people genuinely want to live.

The draft revised National Planning Policy Framework sets out a range of policies to improve the quality and design of new housing stock which applies across all tenures and sites.

Q
Asked by Neil Parish
(Tiverton and Honiton)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether a local authority should consider its housing need when assessing a proposed Neighbourhood Plan and its proposals to build new local homes; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 04 July 2018

Government wants to ensure that plans start from an honest assessment of need for new homes, the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework proposes that local authorities provide designated neighbourhood planning areas with a housing requirement figure.

Our guidance is also clear that local planning authorities should provide constructive comments on an emerging neighbourhood plan before it is submitted for examination. Following examination a Local Planning Authority is required to decide whether a plan meets the basic conditions, which include whether the making of the neighbourhood plan is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area.

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