Local Development Plan Pre-Submission Publication

Ended on the 6th July 2018
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Disclaimer: The Glossary is neither a statement of law nor an interpretation of the law.
Its status is only an introductory guide to planning issues and should not be used as a source for statutory definitions.

Affordable Housing

Includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.

Aged or veteran trees

A tree which, because of its great age, size or condition is of exceptional value for wildlife, in the landscape, or culturally.

Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA)

Areas designated by local authorities where national air quality objectives are not likely to be achieved by set deadlines.


An allotment garden, or any parcel of land not more than five acres in extent, cultivated or intended to be cultivated as a garden farm, or partly as a garden farm and partly as a farm.

Ancient woodland

A protected area that has been wooded continuously since at least 1600.

Area Action Plan (AAP)

A Development Plan Document that provides specific planning policy and guidance for an area where significant regeneration or investment needs to be managed.

Article 4 Direction

Direction removing some or all permitted development rights, for example within a conservation area or curtilage of a listed building. Article 4 Directions are issued by local authorities.


Reduction of peak flow and increased duration of a flow event.

Authority Monitoring Report (AMR)

The Authority Monitoring Reports form part of the Local Plan. They are prepared annually and outline the timetable for preparing a Local Plan, development completions in that year, the effectiveness of policies and other such details. They replaced Annual Monitoring Reports.


The whole variety of life encompassing all genetics, species and ecosystem variations, including plans and animals.

Building Regulations

The minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to buildings. They are developed by the Government and approved by Parliament.

Claimant Count

Measures the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits.

Climate Change

A change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Climate change adaptation

Adjustments to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic factors or their effects, including from changes in rainfall and rising temperatures, which moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities.

Climate change mitigation

Action to reduce the impact of human activity on the climate, primarily through reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

A levy allowing local authorities to raise funds from owners or developers of land undertaking new building projects in their area. Learn more about the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Conservation Area

An area of notable environmental or historical interest or importance which is protected by law against undesirable changes.

Design Code

A set of illustrated design rules and requirements which instruct and may advise on the physical development of a site or area. The graphic and written components of the code are detailed and precise, and build upon a design vision such as a masterplan or other design and development framework for a site or area.

Development Management Policies

Local Plan policies which guide applicants applying for planning permission for proposed development. The proposed development is assessed on these policies and other policies in the Local Plan.

Development Plan Document (DPD)

Development Plan Documents provide a spatial strategy and, where needed, a more detailed action plan for a specific area. They are accompanied by a Policies Map which illustrates the spatial extent of policies in the DPD.

All DPDs must be subject to rigorous procedures of community involvement, consultation and independent examination. Once adopted, Development Management decisions must be made in accordance with DPDs unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Duty to Cooperate

Places a legal duty on local planning authorities, county councils and public bodies in England to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters.

Dwelling and Dwellinghouse

A self-contained building or part of a building used as a residential accommodation, and usually housing a single household. A dwelling may be a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette or converted farm building.

East of England Plan (EEP)

The plan set out an overarching development strategy for the eastern region and was officially revoked by Parliament in January 2013.

Employment Areas

Area allocated to meet the needs of local residents and reduce out-commuting, offering a wide range of jobs to create a well-balanced community.

Enterprise Zone (EZ)

An area in which state incentives such as tax concessions are offered to encourage business investment.

Flood Zone

The Environment Agency has devised a set of flood zones for guidance by developers, councils and communities to explain the probability of river and sea flooding, ignoring the presence of flood defences.

Zone 1: Low probability: This zone comprises land assessed as having a less than 1 in 1000 annual probability of river or sea flooding in any year (<0.1%)

Zone 2: Medium probability: This zone comprises land assessed as having between a 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000 annual probability of river flooding (0.1% - 1%) or between 1 in 200 and 1 in 1,000 annual probability of sea flooding (0.1% – 0.5%) in any year.

Zone 3a: High probability: This zone comprises land assessed as having a greater than 1 in 100 annual probability of river flooding (>1.0%) or a greater than 1 in 200 annual probability of flooding from the sea (>0.5%) in any year. Developers and local authorities should seek to reduce the overall level of flood risk, relocating development sequentially to areas of lower flood risk and attempting to restore the floodplain and make open space available for flood storage.

Zone 3b: Functional Flood plain: This zone comprises land where water has to flow or be stored in times of flood. Local planning authorities should identify areas of functional floodplain, in agreement with the Environment Agency. The identification of functional floodplain should take account of local circumstances.

Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA)

Functional Economic Market Areas are spatial areas that can be mapped by a combination of the key indicators of economic activity and across areas.

Garden City/Town/Community

Originating from Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities and now advocated by the Town and Country Planning Association, a Garden City/Town/Community is a holistically planned new settlement which enhances the natural environment and offers high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible work in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities.

Gateway location

Important entrance points for commuters and visitors to Harlow and linkages that connect the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town communities with the Harlow urban area.


The full range of rocks, minerals, fossils, soils and landforms.

Green Belt

An area of open land around an urban area, on which building is restricted, primarily to prevent unrestricted sprawl.

Green Finger

Linear, open and predominantly green spaces which link to Green Wedges and have a recreational/movement function.

Green Infrastructure (GI)

Refers to multi-functional green spaces that provide habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water.

Green Wedge

A series of green spaces, kept free from development, which run through the urban area and allow residents to access to important landscapes and countryside.

Greenfield Land/Site

Land (or a defined site), such as farmland, that has not previously been developed.

Gross Value Added (GVA)

A measure in economics of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy.

Gypsies and Travellers

Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds only of their own or their family's or dependants' educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily or permanently.

Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)

Tool developed by the European Commission to help local authorities carry out assessment to ensure that a project, plan or policy will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of any internationally designated wildlife sites.


Small area of shops/other units which serve specific local needs and provide for a range of community services.

Heritage Asset

A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. Heritage asset includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

HMOs are properties where three or more unrelated people share at least one amenity (such as a kitchen) and live in the property as their only or main home. A small HMO is where between three and six unrelated people share a home. A large HMO is where more than six unrelated people share a home.

Housing Market Area (HMA)

A defined area, across which the level of need and demand for housing, and the opportunities to meet that need and demand, is calculated.

Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP)

Outlines the pieces of infrastructure required to deliver the development identified in the Local Plan, who will deliver it and the likely costs.

Listed Building

A building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest and included on the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

Local Development Order (LDO)

An Order made by a local planning authority that grants planning permission for a specific development proposal or classes of development.

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

A body, designated by the Government, established for the purpose of creating or improving the conditions for economic growth in an area.

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)

LNRs are statutorily designated by district or county councils under relevant legislation. They are selected for their importance for wildlife, geology or public enjoyment. Some are also SSSIs. LNRs are controlled by local authorities.

Local Plan

Overarching strategy for an area setting out the future development proposals for at least 15 years.

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)

Area of land with significant biodiversity value. They are identified locally using scientifically-determined criteria and ecological surveys. They vary in size from open marshes and river valleys to small meadows and secluded ponds.

London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC)

The Consortium brings together public and private sector organisations which have the common aim of seeking economic growth, higher employment rates, providing places for people and business while preserving the quality and character of the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor, from the Royal Docks to Cambridge/Peterborough.

Main Town Centre Uses

Retail development; leisure and entertainment facilities; more intensive sport and recreation uses (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls); offices; culture and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities).

Major Development

Development involving any one or more of the following -

(a) the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;

(b) waste development;

(c) the provision of dwelling houses where -

(i)the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more; or

(ii)the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development falls within sub-paragraph (c)(i);

(d) the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more; or

(e) development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

Market Housing

Private sector housing whose prices is set by the market.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

A Memorandum of Understanding is a non-binding, non-exclusive, mutually beneficial agreement with a partner body. It sets out a statement of the responsibilities, activities, outcomes, and lead contacts between the parties involved in the project.

Mineral Safeguarding Area (MSA)

An area designated by Minerals Planning Authorities (e.g. Essex County Council) which covers known deposits of minerals which are desired to be kept safeguarded from unnecessary sterilisation by non-mineral development.

Minor Development

Development involving any one or more of the following -

(a) 1-9 dwellings (unless floorspace exceeds 1000m² / under half a hectare)

(b) Office / light industrial - up to 999 m²/ under 1 hectare

(c) General industrial - up to 999 m²/ under 1 hectare

(d) Retail - up to 999 m²/ under 1 hectare

(e) Gypsy/traveller site – 0 to 9 pitches

National Park

The statutory purposes of national parks are to conserve and enhance their natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and to promote opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment of their special qualities. National parks are designated by Natural England, subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (as amended).

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Sets out the Government's planning policies for England, and provides a framework within which local people and their Councils can produce their own distinctive Local and Neighbourhood Plans, which reflect the needs and priorities of their communities. Key topics include what should be included in Local Plans, Design, Ensuring the viability of town centres and Renewable and Low Carbon Energy. The Planning Practice Guidance adds further context.

Neighbourhood Centres

Shops and other uses serving the local neighbourhood area; larger than hatches. Sometimes referred to as a Local Centre.

Neighbourhood Service Areas

Provide important employment provision at the neighbourhood level and are well suited to meet the needs of small start-up businesses, with units of approximately 20 to 40 m² in size being typically available.

New Town

Cities or towns that are designed from the outset and built in a relatively short period of time. They are designed by according to a master plan on a site where there was no settlement before. This distinguishes a New Town from a traditional urban area that gradually grows and evolves over time.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN)

The assessment of housing need and the Council's housing strategy, reflecting principles set out in national policies and guidance.

Older people

People over retirement age whose housing needs include those looking to downsize from family housing and the full range of retirement and specialised housing for those with support or care needs.

Other Open Spaces

Open spaces, both private and publically owned, which are not allocated as Green Belt, Green Wedge or Green Finger in the Local Plan. Other Open Spaces vary in nature and quality and can include: strips of landscaping, amenity spaces and gardens, areas of land between buildings, informal recreational areas, and woodland and landscaping belts.

People with disabilities

People have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and that impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. These persons include, but are not limited to, people with ambulatory difficulties, blindness, learning difficulties and mental health needs.


Anything that affects the quality of land, air, water or soils, which might lead to an adverse impact on human health, the natural environment or general amenity. Pollution can arise from a range of emissions, including smoke, fumes, gases, dust, steam, odour, noise and light.

Permitted Development Rights (PDR)

Permission to carry out certain limited forms of development without the need to make an application to a local planning authority, as granted under the terms of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (as amended).

Planning Condition

A condition imposed upon grant of planning permission (in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) or a condition included in a Local Development Order or Neighbourhood Development Order.

Planning Obligation

A legally enforceable obligation entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal. Sometimes called "Section 106" agreements.

Planning Practice Guidance (PPG)

National guidance which adds further context to the NPPF and it is intended that the two should be read together.

Policies Map

Outlines a Local Plan's policies and allocations on a map form.

Previously Developed Land or Brownfield Land

Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including at least some of the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. Excludes land occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal; land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land previously-developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape in the process of time.

Primary and Secondary Frontages

Lengths of shopping units which provide a visual indication of the use of the units. Primary frontages include a high proportion of retail uses, including the sale of food, drinks, clothing and household goods. Secondary frontages provide greater opportunities for a diversity of uses such as restaurants, cinemas and other businesses.

Scheduled Monument

Nationally important monuments, usually archaeological remains that are afforded greater protection against inappropriate development through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (as amended).

Self-build and Custom-build Housing

Self-build usually means that people are directly involved in organising the design and construction of their new home. Custom build usually means working with a specialist developer to help deliver a home.

Sequential Approach Test

A planning principle that seeks to identify, allocate or develop certain types or locations of land before others. For example, brownfield housing sites before greenfield sites, or town centre retail sites before out-of-centre sites.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

A site designated by Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) as an area of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features (plants, animals and natural features relating to the Earth's structure).

Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)

UK government use the EU definition of an SME. A medium business is one with less than 250 employees and turnover under £50 million.

Social Housing

Accommodation that is affordable to people on low incomes. Limits to rent increases set by law mean that rents are kept affordable.

Source Protection Zones (SPZ)

The Environment Agency identifies SPZs to protect groundwater (especially public water supply) from developments that may damage its quality.

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

A document setting out how the Council will consult people and organisations on the preparation of the Local Plan and also on planning applications.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

An assessment of the likelihood of flooding in a particular area so that development needs and mitigation measures can be carefully considered.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

A technical study which identifies sites with development potential for housing and assesses their developability, deliverability and capacity.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

Assesses the housing market for a particular area and sets out the housing demand and the scale of housing need required to satisfy that demand over a given period.

Sui Generis

Uses of land or buildings not falling into any of the use classes identified by the Use Classes Order, for example theatres, launderettes, car showrooms and filling stations.

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Document which adds further detail to policies in a Local Plan. They can be used to provide further guidance for development on specific sites, or on particular issues, such as design. SPDs are capable of being a material consideration in planning decisions but are not part of a development plan.

Sustainability Appraisal (SA)

A tool used to appraise planning policy documents in order to promote sustainable development. Social, environmental and economic aspects are all taken into consideration.

Sustainable Development

A widely used definition drawn up by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Government set out four aims for sustainable development: social progress which recognises the needs of everyone, effective protection of the environment, prudent use of natural resources, and maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

A sequence of management practices and control structures designed to drain surface water in a more sustainable fashion than some conventional techniques.

Transport Assessment/
Statement (TA/TS)

Transport Assessments are thorough assessments of the transport implications of development, and Transport Statements are a 'lighter-touch' evaluation to be used where this would be more proportionate to the potential impact of the development.

Travel Plan

Long-term management strategies for integrating proposals for sustainable travel into the planning process. They are based on evidence of the anticipated transport impacts of development and set measures to promote and encourage sustainable travel (such as promoting walking and cycling).

Use Class

Uses of land and buildings in various categories under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).

Windfall Sites

Sites which become available for development unexpectedly and are therefore not allocated as housing land in a Local Plan.

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