To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of his Department's house building targets on the ability of local communities to determine the outcome of proposed green belt developments.
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his policy is on (a) removing land for the green belt and (b) building on greenbelt land in areas where contamination has reduced the number of available brownfield sites.
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will lower the target for house building in local authority areas which have a higher than national average number of contaminated sites.
The Government has not prescribed any house building targets. Furthermore, it is not appropriate for me to comment on the specific circumstances in Halton given the current consultation on its Draft Allocations Local Plan.
It is for local planning authorities to determine the housing requirement for their plans. This should be deliverable and take account of land constraints. The current approach for local authorities to assess housing need is too complex, costly and lacks transparency. This is why we have consulted on a new standard approach, which will provide a transparent and consistent basis for understanding the need for homes in each area. This is not a local housing target. Assessing need is the starting point in the process, not the end.