Section 2 - Publication Draft Colchester Borough Local Plan

Ended on the 11 August 2017
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Affordable Housing – The Council's definition will accord with the current definition in the National Planning Policy Framework (or any successor document) but will also include those uses eligible under Essex County Council's Independent Living Programme. 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 (AQMA) – 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 (AONB) – Areas of high scenic quality that have statutory protection in order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of their landscapes.

Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) – A report published annually by the Local Planning Authority monitoring progress in delivering progress in Local Plan policies and allocations.

Brownfield Land (also known as Previously Developed Land) - Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals

extraction or waste disposal by landfill purposes where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures; land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously-developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape in the process of 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
  • Public houses and local shops
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Child care centres
  • Sport and recreational facilities
  • Youth clubs
  • Playgrounds
  • Cemeteries
  • Places of worship

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.

Competent person (to prepare site investigation information) - A person with a recognised relevant qualification, sufficient experience in dealing with the type(s) of pollution or land instability, and membership of a relevant professional organisation.

Development – The definition in Section 55 of the Town and 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 – This includes adopted Local Plans, neighbourhood plans and is defined in section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The development Plan is the starting point for decision making.

District Centre – important role serving the day-to-day needs of their local populations as well as providing access to shops and services for neighbouring areas across and beyond the Borough, but not to a level comparable with Colchester Town Centre.

Edge of centre - For retail purposes, a location that is well connected and up to 300 metres of the primary shopping area. For all other main town centre uses, a location within 300 metres of a town centre boundary. For office development, this includes locations outside the town centre but within 500 metres of a public transport interchange. In determining whether a site falls within the definition of edge of centre, account should be taken of local circumstances.

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

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 – 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.

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 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, but excluding members of an organised group of travelling showpeople or circus people travelling together as such. In determining whether persons are "gypsies and travellers" consideration will be given to the following issues amongst other relevant matters:

a) whether they previously led a nomadic habit of life

b) the reasons for ceasing their nomadic habit of life

c) whether there is an intention of living a nomadic habit of life in the future, and if so, how soon and in what circumstances.

Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) - The Habitat Regulation Assessment is a statutory requirement under the Conservation (Natural Habitats) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (as amended). 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').

Infrastructure - Infrastructure means any structure, building, system, facility and/or provision required by an area for its social and/or economic function and/or well-being including (but not exclusively):

  • footways, cycleways and highways
    • public transport
    • drainage and flood protection
    • waste recycling facilities
    • education and childcare
    • healthcare
    • sports, leisure and recreation facilities
    • community and social facilities
    • cultural facilities
    • emergency services
    • green infrastructure
    • open space
    • affordable housing
    • broadband
    • facilities for specific sections of the community such as youth or the elderly.

Local Centre – An essential role providing a range of small shops and services to meet the basic needs of local communities, serving a small catchment.

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 Plan. It identifies each Local Development Document and establishes a timetable for preparing each.

Local Plan - The plan for the future development of the local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community. In law this is described as the development plan documents adopted under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Current core strategies or other planning policies, which under the regulations would be considered to be development plan documents, form part of the Local Plan.

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).

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

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.'

Open space - All open space of public value, including not just land, but also areas of water (such as rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs) which offer important opportunities for sport and recreation and can act as a visual amenity.

Original building - A building as it existed on 1 July 1948 or, if constructed after 1 July 1948, as it was built originally.

Out of centre - A location which is not in or on the edge of a centre but not necessarily outside the urban area.

Out of town - A location out of centre that is outside the existing urban area.

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, as amended.

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, or an undertaking by such person, under which development is restricted, activities or uses required; or a financial contribution to be made.  Used to mitigate the impacts of development.

Previously Developed Land - see brownfield land above.

Primary shopping area - Defined area where retail development is concentrated (generally comprising the primary and those secondary frontages which are adjoining and closely related to the primary shopping frontage).

Primary and secondary frontages - Primary frontages are likely to include a high proportion of retail uses which may include food, drinks, clothing and household goods. Secondary frontages provide greater opportunities for a diversity of uses such as restaurants, cinemas and businesses.

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

Recreation Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) – A tool used to manage and mitigate the adverse effects from new developments on European Sites.

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.

Rural exception sites - Small sites used for affordable housing in perpetuity where sites would not normally be used for housing. Rural exception sites seek to address the needs of the local community by accommodating households who are either current residents or have an existing family or employment connection. Small numbers of market homes may be allowed at the local authority's discretion, for example where essential to enable the delivery of affordable units without grant funding.

Sequential Test (Retail) – A test required to demonstrate that no other sites are available in a location which is ranked as preferable. Centre sites are sequentially preferable, followed by edge of centre sites.  Sequential testing starts from the Primary Shopping Area for Retail Uses and the Town Centre Boundary for all other main town centre uses

Setting of a heritage asset - The surroundings in which a heritage asset is experienced. Its extent is not fixed and may change as the asset and its surroundings evolve. Elements of a setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the significance of an asset, may affect the ability to appreciate that significance or may be neutral.

Shoreline Management Plans - A plan providing a large-scale assessment of the risk to people and to the developed, historic and natural environment associated with coastal processes.

Significance (for heritage policy) - The value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. That interest may be archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic. Significance derives not only from a heritage asset's physical presence, but also from its setting.

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.

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 Local Planning Authority 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 Local Planning Authority has complied with its Statement of Community Involvement should accompany all Local Development Documents.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) - A study prepared for the Local Planning Authority'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 Local Planning Authority's Housing Strategy.

Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA) - A study prepared for the Local Planning Authority'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 Local Planning Authority 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.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) - A procedure (set out in the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004) which requires the formal environmental assessment of certain plans and programmes which are likely to have significant effects on the environment.

Sustainable Communities - 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. 

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 - Area defined on the proposal map, including the primary shopping area and areas predominantly occupied by main town centre uses within or adjacent to the primary shopping area. References to town centres or centres apply to town centres, district centres and local centres but exclude small parades of shops. At a local level, Colchester Town Centre is the 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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