§ Mr. George Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his policy is towards land used as informal open public space being developed for housing purposes; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Keeble
The Government's policy is set out in the draft revision of Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG) 17—Sport, Open Space, and Recreation. This makes 159W it clear that existing open space should not be developed for housing or other forms of built development in urban areas, unless the planning authority's assessments undertaken in accordance with guidance in PPG17 shows the land to be clearly surplus to requirements.