Draft Old Harlow Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan

Ended on the 2nd May 2011
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

APPENDIX C - Glossary of Terms

Accessibility: The ability of people to move round an area and to reach places and facilities

Active frontages: Street elevations that are enlivened by visible activity either within or outside the building.

Article 4 Directions: Designations imposed locally which restrict some of the permitted development rights which householders would otherwise enjoy under the General Permitted Development Order. Where an Article 4 Direction is in place, applicants would need to submit a planning application and obtain planning permission before carrying out any of the development referred to in the Direction.

Bargeboard: A timber piece fitted to the outer edge of a gable, sometimes carved for decorative effect.

Building line: The line formed by the frontages of buildings along a street.

Bulk: The combined effect of the arrangement, volume and shape of a building or group of buildings

Character assessment: An area appraisal identifying distinguishing physical features and emphasising historical and cultural associations.

Conservation areas: Areas of special architectural or historic interest designated by local authorities in order to protect and enhance their appearance.

Hipped roof: A type of roof where all sides are sloped, similar to a tent.

Conservation area character appraisal: A published document defining the special architectural or historic interest which warranted the area being designated.

Densities: This relates to the intensity of development. Residential densities are normally measured as the number of dwellings per hectare.

Desire line: An imaginary line linking facilities or places which people would find it convenient to travel between easily.

Dead Frontage: A building frontage lacking in animated entrances and windows which does not generate activity or natural surveillance of the street; the opposite of an active frontage.

Elevation: The external facade of a building

Enclosure: The use of buildings to create a sense of defined space. Façade: is generally one side of the exterior of a building, especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning “frontage” or “face”.

Fenestration: The arrangement of windows on a facade.

Flemish Bond Brickwork: A type of brick bond in which headers and stretchers are laid alternatively in each layer of bricks.

Form: The layout (structure and urban grain), density, scale (height and massing), appearance (materials and details) and landscape of development.

Gable: The vertical part of the end wall of a building contained within the roof slope, usually triangular but can be any 'roof shape’.

Garden City Movement
Like the New Towns movement, the Garden City Movement arose out of a reaction to the growth of cities and, in particular, the environmental and social problems found in large urban areas. The Garden City Movement began in 1898 when Sir Ebenezer Howard published his utopian book Tomorrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform, reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of Tomorrow. The Garden City Movement was utopian and idealistic in its ambition. At its heart was the idea that people's lives could be improved by good design and that people’s environment influences their well-being.

It proposed a new way of thinking in town planning in which housing developments were planned with the wellbeing of their occupants in mind. Homes were laid out close to parks and areas of the countryside, with each home having its own garden. Landscape features and the architectural quality were also priorities. Only two true garden cities were ever built in England, Letchworth and Welwyn. After the first Town Planning Act was passed in 1909, the influence of the garden city idea was considerable.

A number of garden suburbs built between 1918 and 1939, one of the most famous being Hampsted Garden Suburb in London, which was designed by Parker and Unwin. The legacy of the Garden City Movement was profound. Many of the original ideas of the Garden City Movement re-emerged in the planning of New Towns. The New Towns of the Post-War period – Harlow, Peterlee and Milton Keynes, were influenced by the Garden City Movement.

Human scale: The use within development of elements which relate well in size to an individual human being and their assembly in a way which makes people feel comfortable rather than overwhelmed.

In-curtilage parking: Parking within a building's site boundary, rather than on a public street or space.

Jettied: An upper floor is extended out over the floor below, usually on timber joists.

Landmark: A building or structure that stands out from its background by virtue of height, size or some other aspect of design.

Layout: The way buildings, routes and open spaces are placed in relation to each other.

Legibility: The degree to which a place can be easily understood and moved through.

Local distinctiveness: The positive features of a place and its communities which contribute to its special character and sense of place.

Massing: The combined effect of the height, bulk and silhouette of a building or group of buildings.

Mixed uses: A mix of uses within a building, on a site or within a particular area. 'Horizontal' mixed uses are side by side, usually in different buildings. 'Vertical' mixed uses are on different floors of the same building.

Natural surveillance: The discouragement to wrong-doing by the presence of passers-by or the ability of people to be seen out of surrounding windows. Also known as passive surveillance (or supervision).

Node: A place where activity and routes are concentrated often used as a synonym for junction.

Open Fronts: Front gardens open to the street with no fences, walls and intrusions

Pargeting: The use of external lime plaster in a decorative manner with incised or moulded surfaces, especially timber-framed houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Permeability: The degree to which a place has a variety of pleasant, convenient and safe routes through it. A permeable urban area has plenty of streets and it is possible to move through the area by a variety of routes.

Permitted Development: Small scale, often domestic, development which does not require formal planning permission provided it complies with criteria set out in Government legislation.

Public realm: The parts of a village, town or city (whether publicly or privately owned) that are available, without charge, for everyone to use or see, including streets, squares and parks. Also called public domain.

Planning Policy Statements (PPSs): Documents embodying Government guidance on general and specific aspects of planning policy to be taken into account in formulating development plan policies and in making planning decisions.

Public Realm: All external space to which the public have access including parks, streets and squares.

Original Dwelling: This means the dwelling as it was first built, or as it was on the 1st July 1948. Although you may not have built an extension to the dwelling, a previous owner may have done so. Therefore, any extension proposal must also be considered in light of any previous extensions to the dwelling.

Predominant Building Height: This is the height of the building as experienced from the street. It is measured from the ground to the eaves of the building and excludes roofs and plant provided that they are not visually dominant.

Scale: The impression of a building when seen in relation to its surroundings, or the size of parts of a building or its details, particularly as experienced in relation to the size of a person.

Sense of place: Local characteristics which give a place identity.

Plot size: The size of an individual piece of land.

Rendering: The covering of outside walls with a uniform surface or skin for protection from the weather.

Rhythm: The pattern of the height and proportions of a building or group of buildings e.g. vertically or horizontally.

Roofline: The line formed by a building or group of building’s roofs.

Roof pitch: Relates to the slope and angle of a roof elevation.

Street furniture: Structures in and adjacent to the highway which contribute to the street scene, such as bus shelters, litter bins, seating, lighting, railings and signs.

Topography: A description or representation of artificial or natural features on or of the ground.

Townscape: The character and appearance of the built environment, including its underlying landform, natural features and ecology, colours and elements and the way these components combine.

Urban grain: The pattern of the arrangement and size of buildings and their plots in a settlement; and the degree to which an area's pattern of street-blocks and street junctions is respectively small and frequent, or large and infrequent.

Street Frontage: The element of a site that faces the street. The extent to which streets are enclosed by buildings is measured in the percentage of the frontage that is enclosed. A 60% street frontage ratio would mean that 60% of the site’s frontage is filled by buildings.

Sash window: A window that slides vertically on a system of cords and balanced weights.

Street furniture: Structures in and adjacent to the highway which contribute to the street scene, such as bus shelters, litter bins, seating, lighting and signs.

Urban Blocks: These are the areas between the streets in the street grid. An urban block will normally be occupied by a number of individual buildings.

Urban Fabric: A general term referring to all of the buildings of a city and the extent to which they relate to the public realm.

Vista: An enclosed view, usually a long and narrow one.

Visual clutter: The uncoordinated arrangement of street furniture, signs and other features.

Vernacular: The way in which ordinary buildings were built in a particular place, making use of local styles, techniques and materials and responding to local economic and social conditions.

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top