This glossary is neither a statement of law nor an interpretation of the law, and its status is only an introductory guide to some planning issues and other matters that might be relevant to the Heacham Neighbourhood Plan

Affordable housing – (definition from the National Planning Policy Framework published March 2012) -Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Affordable housing should:

  • Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices.
  • Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these restrictions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.
  • Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.
  • Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).
  • Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.

Amenity Green-space – Open land, often landscaped, that makes a positive contribution to the appearance of an area or improves the quality of the lives of people living or working within the locality. It often provides opportunities for activities such as sports, and can serve other purposes such as reducing the noise from a busy road or providing shelter from prevailing winds.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) -An area with statutory national landscape designation, the primary purpose of which is to conserve and enhance natural beauty. Together with National Parks, AONB represent the nation’s finest landscapes. AONB are designated by Natural England

Blight – In general terms, blight is the depressing effect on an area or property caused by potential development proposals, for example a proposed major new road.

Broadband -Fast, always-on internet connection.

Brownfield Land and Sites -Previously developed land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.

Change of Use – A change in the way that land or buildings are used (see Use Classes Order).  Planning permission is usually necessary in order to change from one ‘use class’ to another.

Climate Change – Long-term changes in temperature, precipitation, wind and all other aspects of the Earth’s climate. Often regarded as a result of human activity and fossil fuel consumption.

Communities and Local Government‘ – The Government department with responsibility for planning, housing, urban regeneration and local government (“DCLG”).

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)  – A capital cost (or planning charge) that will be payable by developers and contribute towards the cost of local and sub-regional infrastructure that the council or local community have identified such as new schools, health centres, and parks.

Conservation Area – Areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.

Core strategy -A Development Plan Document setting out the spatial vision and strategic objectives of the planning framework for an area, having regard to the Community Strategy (see also DPDs).

Development Plan Documents (DPDs) -Development Plan Documents are prepared by local planning authorities and outline the key development goals of the local development framework.

Eco-Friendly Housing – There is no single definition.  The nearest we get is: ‘a dwelling that uses materials and (perhaps) technology to reduce its energy needs and its impact on the environment’. Some definitions also include phrases like ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘sustainable materials’, ‘healthy living’. The idea could mean anything from a couple of solar panels to a house built entirely of reused tyres.

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

Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) –  identifies any aspects of the emerging Local Plan that would have the potential to cause a likely significant effect on Natura 2000 or European sites (Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Ramsar sites), (either in isolation or in combination with other plans and projects), and to identify appropriate avoidance and mitigation strategies where such effects were identified.  A Ramsar Site is a wetland site designated of international importance under the Ramsar Convention 1971

Housing Associations – A common term for the 2000 or so independent, not-for-profit organisations that work with councils to offer flats and houses to local people.

Independent Examination – Process by which a planning inspector may publicly examine a Development Plan Document (DPD) or a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), in respect, before issuing a binding report. The findings set out in the report of binding upon the local authority that produced the DPD or SCI.

Infrastructure – Basic services necessary for development to take place, for example, roads, electricity, sewerage, water, education and health facilities.

Listed Building – A building of special architectural or historic interest. Listed buildings are graded I, II* or II with grade I being the highest. Listing includes the interior as well as the exterior of the building, and any buildings or permanent structures (e.g. wells within its curtilage).

Local Development Framework (LDF) – A non-statutory term used to describe a folder of documents, which includes all the local planning authority’s local development documents. An LDF is comprised of:

  • Development Plan Documents (which form part of the statutory development plan)
  • Supplementary Planning Documents
  • The local development framework will also comprise of:
  • the Statement of Community Involvement
  • the Local Development Scheme
  • the Annual Monitoring Report
  • any Local Development Orders or Simplified Planning Zones that may have been added

Local Plan – An old-style development plan prepared by district and other local planning authorities. These plans will continue to operate for a time after the commencement of the new development plan system, by virtue of specific transitional provisions.

Local Planning Authority – The local authority or council that is empowered by law to exercise planning functions. Often the local borough or district council. National parks and the Broads authority are also considered to be local planning authorities. County councils are the authority for waste and minerals matters.

Natural England -Natural England is the Government’s statutory adviser on landscape in England, with responsibility for landscape designations such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coasts.  Natural England is also concerned with England’s future landscapes, with involvement in planning policy and a range of environmental land management projects.

Open Space – All space of public value, including public landscaped areas, playing fields, parks and play areas, and also including not just land, but also areas of water such as rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs, which can offer opportunities for sport and recreation or can also act as a visual amenity and a haven for wildlife.

Planning Permission -Formal approval sought from a local planning authority allowing a  proposed development to proceed. Permission may be sought in principle through outline planning applications, or be sought in detail through full planning applications.

Public Open Space – Urban space, designated by a council, where public access may or may not be formally established, but which fulfils or can fulfil a recreational or non-recreational role (for example, amenity, ecological, educational, social or cultural usages).

Section 106 Agreement – A legal agreement under section 106 of the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act. Section 106 agreements are legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer, or undertakings offered unilaterally by a developer, that ensure that certain extra works related to a development are undertaken.

Soundness – To be considered sound, a Development Plan Document must be justified (founded on robust and credible evidence and be the most appropriate strategy) and effective (deliverable, flexible and able to be monitored). This is consistent with PPS12.

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) – Sets out the processes to be used by the local authority in involving the community in the preparation, alteration and continuing review of all local development documents and development control decisions. The Statement of Community Involvement is an essential part of the new-look Local Development Frameworks.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) – a keymeans of integrating environmental and social considerations into policies, plans and programmes, particularly in sector decision-making and reform

Sustainable Communities – Places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. 

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.”

Use Classes Order – The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 puts uses of land and buildings into various categories. Planning permission is not needed for changes of use within the same use class.