HC Deb 29 April 1998 vol 311 cc128-9W
Mr. Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the amount of brownfield land available for development(a) in each region and (b) in each county; [40098]

(2) if he will take into account the amount of brownfield land available for development in each region and county when setting regional and county targets for housing provision. [40099]

Mr. Raynsford

The Government's policy statement "Planning for the Communities of the Future" proposes that regional planning conferences, not the Government, should set targets for their regions for the provision of new homes on previously-developed land.

To help assess what is feasible in each region, the Department is working with the Local Government Management Board, local authorities, English Partnerships and others to establish a National Land Use Database that will provide, as a priority, a consistent assessment of previously developed land available for housing. We already monitor land use change, including the degree to which new housing is being built on previously-developed land, and this should enable the regional planning conferences to assess what has been achieved. Both these sources will provide information both at regional and county level and will help ensure that the targets set by the regional planning conferences are both challenging and realistic.

Mr. Hesford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on progress towards implementing the proposal in "Planning for the Communities of the Future" to establish a task force to examine the use of recycled land for housing. [40243]

Mr. Caborn

I am pleased to announce that the membership of the Urban Task Force, to be chaired by Lord Rogers of Riverside, has now been finalised. The Task Force is:

  • Lord Rogers: Chairman
  • Richard Burdett: (Director, City Policy, London School of Economics)
  • Tony Burton: (Assistant Director (Policy), CPRE)
  • Alan Cherry: (Chairman, Countryside Properties plc)
  • Martin Crookston: (Director, Llewellyn Davis)
  • Anthony Dunnett: (Chief Executive, English Partnerships)
  • Peter Hall: (Bartlett Professor of Planning, University College London)
  • Stuart Lipton: (Chief Executive, Stanhope Property Developers)
  • David Lunts: (Chief Executive, Urban Villages Forum)
  • Anthony Mayer: (Chief Executive, Housing Corporation)
  • Anne Power: (Head of Housing, London School of Economics)
  • Sir Crispin Tickell: (Government Panel on Sustainable Development)
  • Wendy Thompson: (Chief Executive, London Borough of Newham)
  • Lorna Walker: (Director, Ove Arup)

This membership ensures a wide range of knowledge and experience relevant to the work of the Urban Task Force. The Task Force will act as a forum for developing best practice and innovation on housing on previously developed land, especially in urban areas. It will also act as a sounding board for work on the assessment of available, previously developed land.