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Appendix 8 - Glossary of Terms

Definitions of terms used in the Local Plan Review


‘Development’ ‘means the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operation in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land.’ (Section 55, Town & Country Planning Act 1990)

‘Sustainable Development’ implies an approach to progressing our society in a way which accepts that the natural environment provides the fundamental resources through which society’s needs are met. In making decisions, it requires that equal consideration is given to the impacts of a decision on the natural environment, society and the economy. Through developing in a sustainable manner, society can achieve a better quality of life.

Essex and Southend-on-Sea Structure Plan 2001-2011: Part of the statutory Development Plan for the combined Essex and Southend-on-sea area (which includes the Minerals Local Plan and the Waste Local Plan). It provides the county-level strategic guidance for land use planning, including the preparation of the District Local Plan. The Structure Plan makes specific reference to the number of houses and amount of employment development to be provided within the District.

Regional Planning Guidance (RPG): Produced by the Secretary of State, RPG provides the regional strategic guidance for land use planning and transportation.

Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) - Being replaced by Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) : Produced by Central Government, these documents set out the national policy position on issues related to the Planning system. They act as the policy base on which local planning authorities prepare their development plans and may be material to considering planning applications and appeals.

Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG): Produced by the Local Planning Authority, these documents are supplementary to the Development Plan and are used to provide additional detail as deemed necessary e.g. The Essex Design Guide for Residential and Mixed Use Areas.

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD): These documents, introduced by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, replace supplementary planning guidance.

Planning Obligation/Section 106 Agreement: A legally binding settlement between a local planning authority and any person interested in land within the area of the local authority, in which development is restricted; specified operations, activities or uses required; or a financial contribution to be made.

‘Greenfield’ site: Land that has not previously been subject to development.

‘Brownfield’ site: Land that has previously been, or currently is, subject to development. Previously developed land is defined as ‘that which is or was occupied by a permanent structure (excluding agricultural or forestry buildings), and associated fixed structure infrastructure’ (Annex C, PPG3)


Urban Capacity Study: A review of the land within urban areas, undertaken by independent consultants, to advise the Local Planning Authority on the potential for housing development.

Braintree District Housing Strategy: Produced annually by the Local Housing Authority, this sets out the major priorities for public-sector housing provision in the District over a five year period.

Affordable Housing: Housing provided with subsidy for people who are unable to resolve their housing requirements in the local housing sector market because of the relationship between housing costs and incomes.

Permitted Development Rights: The level of development that can take place before planning permission is required, as stated in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.


‘Employment’ site: Land developed, or to be developed, for the provision of workplaces.
Use Class: The planning classification given to land or buildings depending on their function as defined under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. Changes in the use of land or buildings within a ‘use class’ are excluded for the definition of development and therefore do not require planning permission.

B1 Use: Business Use:

  • as an office (except those providing financial and professional services);
  • for research and development of products or processes; or
  • for any industrial process which can be carried out in an residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.

B2 Use: General industrial processes

B8 Use: Storage or distribution

East Braintree Initiative: The regeneration of east Braintree, including new employment, housing, environmental and road improvements carried out between 1995 and 2001.

Braintree Retail Study: A review of the trading patterns and characteristics; position within the regional retail hierarchy, and the growth potential of Braintree, Halstead and Witham, commissioned by the Council and undertaken by independent consultants.


Essex Local Transport Plan 2001-2006: The document and process by which Essex County Council plans the development of integrated transport in the County over a five year period, and by which District Councils can submit bids for local transport initiatives which require capital funding.

A Transportation Strategy for Braintree District 2001-2006: Prepared in parallel with the Essex Local Transport Plan, the Strategy sets out the Council’s approach to developing a sustainable, integrated transport system for the District. This assists Essex County Council in allocating funding for local transport initiatives.

Travel Plan: A package of measures adopted by employers to manage and reduce the impact of work-related journeys on our environment.

The Highways Agency: The Central Government body responsible for the construction and maintenance of motorways and trunk roads.

Safer Journeys to School:
An initiative aimed at increasing safety and reducing congestion and pollution by encouraging parents and pupils to use modes of travel other than private car to get to and from school.

LOIS London to Ipswich Multi-Modal Study: A study of travel by all modes of transport within the A12 &120 corridor, January 2001-April 2002.

Sustrans: A national charitable organisation concerned with the promotion of sustainable transport, responsible, among other things, for developing the National Cycle Network.

Locally Determined Programme: Finance made available by Essex County Council for local transport initiatives.

Environmental Resources and Protection

Environmental Impact Assessment: An evaluation and appraisal procedure carried out prior to a planning authority’s determination on a development proposal, into the potential consequences of that proposal on the natural environment.

Swale: Gently sloping depressions planted with native grasses to slow water runoff and facilitate surface water soakaway.

Design and Heritage

Listed Building: A building listed by the Secretary of State for the Environment as being of special architectural or historic interest.

Tree Preservation Order: Provides protection to individual trees, groups of trees or woodland by prohibiting topping, lopping or felling except by the consent of the Local Planning Authority.

Conservation Area: A defined area designated by the Local Authority under Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, for which it is considered desirable to preserve and/or enhance an historic interest and/ or a special architectural character.

Scheduled Ancient Monument: A building or structure considered by the Secretary of State to be of national importance and given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Registered Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest: Sites included in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest compiled and maintained by English Heritage, that make a significant contribution to the diversity of the local and/or national landscape and/or which are of particular historical importance.

Structural Landscaping: The treatment of land, usually by including substantial tree and shrub planting, to enhance visual amenity and integrity with surrounding landscape features.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI): Land notified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as an ecosystem of flora and/or fauna considered by English Heritage to be of significant national value and interest to merit its conservation and management.

Local Nature Reserves: Habitat recognised under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 as an ecosystem of flora and/or fauna considered by the Local Authority to be of significant County or District wide value and interest to merit its conservation and management for public enjoyment.

Wildlife Sites: Semi-natural habitats identified by Essex Wildlife Trust as important for the conservation of wildlife.

Sport, Recreation and Tourism

Formal Recreation: Recreational activities which use or require dedicated or purpose-built facilities, either in public or private ownership, for example, sports pitches, swimming pools, playing fields, tennis courts, bowling greens.

Informal Recreation: Recreational activities which do not make use or require dedicated or purpose-built facilities, either in public or private ownership. Informal recreation land would include trails and walks.

Proposals Map Designations

Development Boundary / Village Envelope: The line around a defined settlement, indicating a limit to the land to be developed within that settlement, and outside of which countryside policies apply.

Special Landscape Areas (SLAs): High quality, distinctive and attractive landscapes, defined by specialised staff and derived from their combination of natural features including, topography, vegetation cover and water and river features.

Protected Lanes: Minor public roads designated by Essex County Council for their historic significance or the contribution they make to an area’s character.

Cyclepath: Either a mandatory or an advisory route along which bicycles may travel, either segregated from pedestrians or as shared users.

River Flood-plain: An area of land adjacent of a watercourse, liable to inundation in times of excess flow or spate.

‘Mixed use’ sites: Land developed to consist of a combination and integration of uses including residential, employment and community.

Visually Important Space: Open-space which is considered to make a significant contribution to the visual character of an area.

Gypsies: Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin. Persons who wander or travel for the purpose of making or seeking their livelihood, not including persons who move from place to place without any connection between their movement and their means of livelihood.

Comprehensive Development Area: Land defined for development which consists of the removal of the existing use of the land.

Special Policy Area: Parcels of land for which specific development objectives exist. These may relate to the density, nature and/or use of the land.

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