§ Jon Trickett
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister in what circumstances the Government will overrule a local council's decision as to a property's exemption from the right to buy scheme. 
§ Keith Hill
My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister may overrule a Council's decision in relation to the Right to Buy in only one circumstance.
Under paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 of the Housing Act 1985, a landlord may deny a social tenant's application to buy his or her home on the grounds that the dwelling is particularly suitable for occupation by the elderly, having regard to its location, size, design, heating system and other features, and if it was let to the tenant or a predecessor in title of his for occupation by a person who was aged 60 or more (whether the tenant or a predecessor or another person). In determining whether the dwelling is particularly suitable, no regard shall be had to the presence of any feature provided by the tenant or a predecessor in title of his.
Paragraph 11(4) provides that the question shall be determined by the Secretary of State if the tenant applies to him within the period of 56 days from notification of the landlord's decision. If on receiving such an appeal, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister considers that the property does not meet the criteria set out in paragraph 11, he can determine that the Right to Buy application should proceed. The main points on which my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister will normally expect to be satisfied before determining that a property is in fact particularly suitable for occupation by the elderly are set out in Department of the Environment Circular 13/93. They are that:there should be easy access on foot to the dwelling; access is unlikely to be regarded as easy, in an area which is not hilly, if it is necessary to climb three or more steps (in addition to the threshold) and there is no handrailthe accommodation should be on one levelin the case of a flat above ground floor level there should be access by liftthere should be no more than two bedrooms480Wthere should be adequate arrangements for heating the living room and at least one bedroomthe dwelling should be located reasonably conveniently for shops and public transport, having regard to the nature of the area.
My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister will also consider other features to which his attention may be drawn.
§ Jon Trickett
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many local council decisions on exemption from the right to buy scheme he has overruled since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Keith Hill
Secure tenants denied the Right to Buy by their landlords under paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 of the Housing Act 1985, on the grounds that their homes are particularly suitable for occupation by elderly persons, may appeal to my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister. The numbers of such appeals determined since 1997 are set out in the table (the figures do not include invalid or withdrawn appeals):
Total 1997 46 106 152 1998 53 121 174 1999 70 150 220 2000 55 120 175 2001 53 179 232 2002 71 243 314 2003 (as at 4 December) 112 303 415