HC Deb 13 September 2004 vol 424 c1432W
Mr. Keetch

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to amend planning guidance to local authorities on the development of residential homes for adults with learning difficulties in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. [188451]

Keith Hill

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister consulted last year on a proposed update to Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing (PPG3), titled "Influencing the Size, Type and Affordability of Housing". The proposed update places more emphasis, than currently in PPG3, on producing a better match between the housing planned and the needs of the community, particularly in terms of the size, type and affordability of housing, both in urban and rural areas. We intend to publish the update in the autumn.

Local planning authorities should already be assessing the housing needs of specific groups, including adults with learning difficulties, as part of their local housing needs assessment. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently revising the guidance to local planning authorities on carrying out such assessments and will be publishing an updated guide by the end of the year.