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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
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
Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) – A report
published annually by the Local Planning Authority monitoring
progress in delivering progress in Local Plan policies and
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
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
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
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
Mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are genuinely
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
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
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
drainage and flood protection
waste recycling facilities
education and childcare
sports, leisure and recreation facilities
community and social facilities
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.