Preferred Options Local Plan

Ended on the 16 September 2016
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Affordable Housing - The council's definition will accord with the current definition in the National Planning Policy Framework. It 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.

Air Quality Management Areas - Areas designated by local authorities because they are not likely to achieve national air quality objectives by the relevant deadlines.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - Areas of high scenic quality that have statutory protection in order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of their landscapes.

Authority Monitoring Report - A report published annually by the Borough Council monitoring progress in delivering progress in Local Plan policies and allocations.

Brownfield Site (also known as Previously Developed Land) - Previously developed land that is unused or may be available for development. It includes both vacant and derelict land and land currently in use with known potential for redevelopment. It excludes land that was previously developed where the remains have blended into the landscape over time.

Community Facilities - Are buildings, which enable a variety of local activity to take place including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Schools, Universities and other educational facilities
  • Libraries and community centres
  • Doctors surgeries, medical centres and hospitals
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Child care centres
  • Sport and recreational facilities
  • Youth clubs
  • Playgrounds
  • Places of worship
  • Emergency services

Some community activities can also be provided via privately run facilities (eg pubs and village shops).

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - A mechanism by which local authorities can set a standard charge on specified development in their area to pay for new infrastructure required to support growth.

Development - The definition in Section 55 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 is '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 building or other land'.

Development Plan Document (DPD) - Development Plan Documents that the council are required to prepare include the core strategy, site specific allocations of land and area action plans. There will also be a proposals map, which will illustrate the spatial extent of policies that must be prepared and maintained to accompany all development plan documents. All Development Plan Documents must be subject to rigorous procedures of community involvement, consultation and independent examination, and adopted after receipt of the inspector's binding report.

Garden Community - Communities which are holistically planned new settlements that respond directly to their regional, local and individual site context and opportunities to create developments underpinned by a series of interrelated principles which are based on the following TCPA Garden City Principles:

  • Land value capture for the benefit of the community.
  • Strong vision, leadership and community engagement.
  • Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets.
  • Mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are genuinely affordable.
  • A wide range of local jobs in the Garden City within easy commuting distance of homes.
  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities, and including opportunities to grow food.
  • Development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and that uses zero-carbon and energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience.
  • Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant, sociable neighbourhoods.
  • Integrated and accessible transport systems, with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport.

Green Infrastructure- Green infrastructure is a network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities. Green infrastructure includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, street trees, allotments and private gardens. Green infrastructure provides attractive, safe and accessible spaces which contribute to positive social, economic and environmental benefits, improving public health, well-being and quality of life. Green infrastructure also provides the opportunity for sustainable travel between areas, adding to biodiversity.

Greenfield Site - Land which has never been built on before or where the remains of any structure or activity have blended into the landscape over time.

Gypsies and Travelers - For the purposes of section 225 of the Housing Act 2004 (duties of local housing authorities: accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers)

"gypsies and travellers" means:

a. persons with a cultural tradition of nomadism or of living in a caravan:


b. all other persons of a nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or

origin, including -

  1. such persons who, on grounds only of their own or their family's or dependant's educational or health needs or old age, have ceased to travel temporarily or permanently; and
  2. members of an organised group of Travelling Show people or circus people (whether or not travelling together as such).

Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) - The Habitat Regulation Assessment is a statutory requirement under the Conservation (Natural Habitats) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006. An HRA is required for a plan or project which, either alone or in combination with other plans or projects is likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of a European site (one that forms part of the Natura 2000 (N2K) network), plus Ramsar sites (collectively 'international sites').

Life Time Homes - Lifetime Homes make life as easy as possible, for as
long as possible because they are thoughtfully designed. They are homes for everyone and bring benefits to anyone who lives in them because of the individual choices that they make possible. The flexibility and adaptability of Lifetime Homes accommodate life events quickly, cost-effectively and without upheaval. (

Local Development Scheme (LDS) - This is the project plan for a three year period for the production of all documents that will comprise the Local Development Framework. It identifies each Local Development Document stating which are to be Development Plan Documents (see above) and which are to be Supplementary Planning Documents, and establishes a timetable for preparing each.

Local Wildlife Sites -Habitats identified by Essex Wildlife Trust as important for the conservation of wildlife.

Main Town Centre Uses - As defined in the National Planning Policy Framework, main Town Centre uses include retail development (Including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres); leisure, entertainment facilities the 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; and arts, culture and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries and convert halls, hotels and conference facilities).

Natura 2000 network - The European network of protected sites established under the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive (includes SPA, SAC, Ramsar).

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) - Government planning policy which replaces a large number of Planning Policy Guidance notes and Planning Policy Statements with one single document. It sets out new planning requirements and objectives in relation to issues such as housing, employment, transport and the historic and natural environment amongst others.

Neighbourhood Plan - A plan prepared by a Parish Council, Neighbourhood Forum, or other locally constituted community group, for a particular neighbourhood.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) - The National Planning Policy Framework requires that local planning authorities should use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full, objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, including identifying key sites which are critical to the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period. Further guidance provided in Planning Practice Guidance provides that 'The assessment of development needs is an objective assessment of need based on facts and unbiased evidence. Plan makers should not apply constraints to the overall assessment of need, such as limitations imposed by the supply of land for new development, historic under performance, viability, infrastructure or environmental constraints. However, these considerations will need to be addressed when bringing evidence bases together to identify specific policies within development plans.'

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.

Planning Practice Guidance - Guidance and detail supporting the National Planning Policy Framework which is published online and regularly updated.

Planning Obligation/Section 106 Agreement - A legally binding agreement 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. See also Community Infrastructure Levy for contributions to strategic infrastructure outside the site of development.

Previously Developed Land (PDL) (also known as Brown field land) - Previously developed land that is unused or may be available for development. It includes both vacant and derelict land and land currently in use with known potential for redevelopment. It excludes land that was previously developed where the remains have blended into the landscape over time.

Ramsar Site - An area identified by international agreement on endangered habitats.

Rural Diversification (also known as Farm Diversification) - The alternative use of land or buildings which were once used for farming purposes or rural activity such as grain store, stables or poultry shed. The Local Plan definition is "alternative use of land or buildings that remains within the farming unit in the ownership of the farmer and run from the existing house.

Sequential Test (Retail) - A test required to demonstrate that no other sites are available in a location which is ranked as preferable in the Council's spatial hierarchy.

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.

Spatial Planning - "Spatial planning goes beyond traditional land use planning to bring together and integrate policies for the development and use of land with other policies and programmes which influence the nature of places and how they function. This will include policies which can impact on land use, for example, by influencing the demands on or needs for development, but which are not capable of being delivered solely or mainly through the granting of planning permission and may be delivered through other means." (PPS 1 ODPM, 2004, pp3).

Special Area of Conservation (SAC) - A site of European Community importance designated by the member states, where necessary conservation measures are applied for the maintenance or restoration, at favourable conservation status, of the habitats and/or species for which the site is designated.

Special Protection Area (SPA) - A site designated under the Birds Directive by the member states where appropriate steps are taken to protect the bird species for which the site is designated.

Starter Homes - Newly built properties that must be sold to someone who is a first-time buyer below the age of 40, with a discount of at least 20 per cent off the market value.

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) - This will set out the standards that the council intend to achieve in relation to involving the community and all stakeholders in the preparation, alteration and continuing review of all Local Development Plan Documents and in significant planning applications, and also how the local planning authority intends to achieve those standards. The Statement of Community Involvement will not be a Development Plan Document (see above) but will be subject to independent examination. A consultation statement showing how the council has complied with its Statement of Community Involvement should accompany all Local Development Documents.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) - A study prepared for the Council's Evidence Base further to national guidance which assesses the overall state of the housing market and advises on future housing policies used to inform the Council's Housing Strategy.

Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA) - A study prepared for the Council's Evidence Base further to national guidance which identifies sites with development potential for development and assesses their developability, deliverability and capacity.

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - A document produced by the Council to add further detailed guidance and information on a particular subject such as Sustainable Construction or Open Space, Sport and Recreational Facilities. An SPD is subject to a formal consultation period and then is used as a material consideration when determining planning applications.

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) - An appraisal of the economic, social and environmental effects of a plan from the outset of the preparation process, so that decisions can be made that accord with sustainable development.

Sustainable Communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.

Sustainable Construction - is the name given to building in an energy efficient way. The incorporation of many new technologies and energy saving techniques into a building can dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions and carbon foot print of a building. Initiatives include grey water recycling systems, solar panels, home recycling, wind turbines and ground water heating systems. Full details can be found in the Council's Sustainable Construction SPD.

Sustainable Development - Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs) - A sustainable drainage system is designed to reduce the potential impact of new and existing developments with respect to surface water drainage discharges.

Sustainable Transport - Sustainable Transport refers to walking, cycling and public transport, including train and bus. Sustainable Transport is transport that makes efficient use of natural resources and minimises pollution. In particular, Sustainable Transport seeks to minimise the emissions of carbon dioxide - a greenhouse gas associated with climate change - as well as nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide and particulates, all of which affect local air quality.

Town Centre - The Town Centre is cultural and commercial heart of the Borough. Colchester's Town Centre includes the historic core of Colchester and is characterised by a mix of retail, residential, office, community facilities and other uses. See Main Town Centre Uses for a list of town centre uses.

Travel Plan - A plan demonstrating how a development would encourage its users to use more sustainable methods of transport to access a development.

Use Class - Different uses are given a classification as defined by The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (As amended). For example an A1 use refers to retail and a C3 use would refer to a residential use.

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