§ Sir Michael Spicer
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effects of planning guidance on(a) B1 and (b) B8 categories in rural areas; and what plans he has to issue further guidance on these categories. 
§ Keith Hill
No specific assessment of this kind has been made. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissioned a wider study into planning for economic development. The report of this study, which we published in May 2004, will help inform the review of national planning policy guidance, including Planning Policy Guidance note 4, "Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms".
In August 2004 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7), "Sustainable Development in Rural Areas". PPS7 makes clear that local planning authorities should plan for and support a range of economic activity in rural areas, subject to sustainability considerations and with most new development being focused on existing towns and villages.
Copies of PPS7 and the research report, "Planning for Economic Development" are available in the Library of the House.