Section 6: Glossary of Planning Terms

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Important Note: This glossary does not provide legal definitions, it merely serves as a guide to key planning terms.

Affordable Housing: Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the open market. To qualify as affordable, a property must be brought to market with at least 20% off versus the agreed market value for the area.

Appearance as defined in article 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015: The aspects of a building or place within the development which determine the visual impression the building or place makes, including the external built form of the development, its architecture, material, decoration, lighting, colour and texture.

Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV): A local landscape designation for an area considered to have high visual quality complementing areas designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). In 1958, 1971 and 1984 Surrey County Council designated parts of the county as AGLV. For much of the area in Waverley the AONB and AGLV designations are contiguous, however there are areas where the AGLV designation extends beyond the AONB.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB): Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are areas of high scenic quality that have statutory protection in order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of their landscapes. Natural England has a statutory power to designate land as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI): This designation affects certain areas of land around Haslemere so designated because they are considered important in preventing the coalescence of settlements or because they are open land that penetrate into the urban area like a green lung. They are considered to be ‘strategic’ because of the role they play in maintaining the character of Haslemere.

Biodiversity: Biodiversity is the term used to describe the whole variety of life on Earth, not only all species of plants and animals, but also the complex ecosystems they live within. It ranges from species and habitats which are considered commonplace to those considered critically endangered.

BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method): The leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building’s environmental performance.

Brownfield Land and Sites: See Previously Developed Land (page 65).

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.

Code for Sustainable Homes: A national standard for sustainable design and construction of new homes launched in December 2006. The code measures the sustainability of a new home against categories of sustainable design, rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package; minimum standards are set for energy and water use at each level. This code was withdrawn by the Government in 2015.

Conservation Areas: Areas designated by the Local Planning Authority under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 Section 69 as being of special architectural or historic interest, whose character is deemed desirable to preserve and enhance.

Density: In the case of residential development, a measurement of either the number of habitable rooms per hectare (rph) or the number of dwellings per hectare (dph). A rough guide for clarity: 100-125dph would represent 1&2bed apartments, 75dph: tall, terraced town houses with 2-3beds, 45dph: 3bed semi-detached, 30dph: 4bed detached with small gardens, 10dph: detached houses in substantial plots.

Development: Development is defined under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act as ‘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’.

Employment Land Review: Assessment of the supply of, and demand for employment land within Waverley.

Evidence Base: The information and data gathered by Haslemere Vision and local authorities to inform and support the policy approaches to be set out in local development documents, including physical, economic, and social characteristics of an area.

Examination: The Neighbourhood Plan is subject to independent examination which considers legal compliance and soundness. To be considered ‘sound’ a core strategy should be justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

General Permitted Development Orders (GDPO): General Permitted Development Orders legislation came into force in 2015 allowing developers to make certain changes to a building without the need to apply for planning permission. Before some permitted development rights proceed, the developer must first obtain ‘prior approval’ in relation to specified aspects of the development from the local planning authority.

Green Belt: A designation for land around certain cities and large built-up areas, which aims to keep this land permanently open or largely undeveloped. The purpose of the Green Belt is to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, to prevent neighbouring towns from merging, to safeguard the countryside from encroachment, to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns and to assist urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

Green Infrastructure: A strategically planned and delivered network of high quality green spaces and other environmental features. It should be designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities. Green Infrastructure includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, allotments and private gardens.

Greenfield Sites: Land (or a defined site) outside defined settlement boundaries that has not previously been developed. See definition of Previously Developed Land below.

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.

Habitats Regulation Assessment: A Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) tests the impacts of a proposal on nature conservation sites of European importance and is a requirement under EU legislation for land use plans and projects.

Haslemere Community Land Trust: A not-for-profit, community organization, set up to develop affordable housing and community assets around Haslemere.

Haslemere Design Statement: Design statement produced by the community in 2012 to identify local character and set out design guidance to guide new development. The design statement was adopted by Waverley Borough Council in 2012 as a material planning consideration.

Haslemere Vision: A not-for-profit company limited by guarantee set up as a community forum for the people of Haslemere and its surrounding villages for guiding the future of the Haslemere area. Membership is open to any individual, body corporate, unincorporated organisation and any parish, district or county council that has an interest in the issues and concerns of Haslemere and the villages and is prepared to sign up to the aims of Haslemere Vision. Many Haslemere Vision volunteers worked in the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Heritage Assets: Parts of the historic environment which have significance because of their historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest.

Housing Needs Register: The Housing Needs Register is the list of households who would like to be housed in council or housing association properties in Waverley.

Industrial and Commercial Land: This includes development classified as B1-B8 (inclusive) in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2006 and other commercial uses, such as those classified under Sui-Generis (buildings that do not fall within any particular class).

Intermediate housing: 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 (page 62). These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Landscape Appraisal: A method of assessing appearance and essential characteristics of a landscape.

Landscape Character: The distinct and recognisable pattern of elements that occur consistently in a particular type of landscape. It reflects particular combinations of geology, landform, soils, vegetation, land use and human settlement.

Listed Building: A building of special architectural or historic interest. Listed buildings are graded I, II* or II. Listing may include the interior as well as the exterior of the building, and any buildings or permanent structures (e.g. wells within its curtilage). English Heritage is responsible for designating buildings for listing in England.

Local Geological Sites (previously Regionally Important Geological/geological Site (RIGS)): Local Sites are non-statutory areas of local importance for nature conservation that complement nationally and internationally designated geological and wildlife sites. The term Local Geological Site (previously Regionally Important Geological/geological Site (RIGS)), as recommended in the Defra Local Sites Guidance (2006), is now widely adopted. Local Geological Sites are selected by voluntary geoconservation groups, such as RIGS Groups and Geology Trusts, which are generally formed by county or unitary authority area in England.

Local Nature Reserve (LNR): A habitat of local significance for nature conservation.

Local Plan: A development plan prepared by district and other local planning authorities, which sets out local planning policies.

National Nature Reserve (NNR) (from Natural England): NNRs were initially established to protect sensitive features and provide ‘outdoor laboratories’ for research. Their purpose has widened since those early days. As well as managing some of our most pristine habitats, rarest species and most significant geology, most reserves now offer great opportunities to the public as well as schools and specialist audiences to experience England’s natural heritage.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF): Issued by central government setting out its planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. It sets out the Government’s requirements for the planning system only to the extent that it is relevant, proportionate and necessary to do so. It provides a framework within which local people and their accountable councils can produce their own distinctive local and neighbourhood plans, which reflect the needs and priorities of their communities.

Natura 2000: A European network of protected sites which represent areas of the highest value for natural habitats and species of plants and animals which are rare, endangered or vulnerable in the European Community. The Natura 2000 network includes two types of area: Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA).

Neighbourhood Plan: A plan prepared by a town or parish council or neighbourhood forum for a particular neighbourhood area (made under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004).

Plan Period: This is the period during which Neighbourhood Plan policies have an effect. In the case of this Plan 2013-2032, though policies only come into effect once they have passed public referendum.

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, land that was previously developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape over time.

Ramsar Sites: Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance, designated under the Ramsar Convention, an international agreement signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, which provides for the conservation and good use of wetlands. Wetlands are defined as areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt.

Renewable Energy: Renewable energy comprises energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment, for example from the wind, water flow, tides or the sun.

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG): Green space used as mitigation or avoidance to reduce recreational use of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI): Locally important sites of nature conservation. These are adopted in local development plan documents.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI): The country’s very best wildlife and geographical sites, designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) by Natural England. They include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats. A large proportion of the total area of these sites in England are also internationally important for their wildlife, and designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) or Ramsar sites.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC): Areas which have been give n special protection under the European Union’s Habitat Directive. They provide increased protection to a variety of wild animals, plants and habitats.

Special Protection Areas (SPA): Sites which have been identified as being of international importance for the breeding, feeding, wintering or the migration of rare and vulnerable species of birds found within European Union countries. They are European designated sites, classified under the Birds Directive 1979 which provides enhanced protection given by the SSSI status which all SPAs also hold.

Stepping Stones: Pockets of habitat that, while not necessarily connected, facilitate the movement of species across otherwise inhospitable landscapes.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): A system of incorporating environmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA): A SFRA should be carried out by the local planning authority to inform the preparation of its Local Development Documents (LDDs), having regard to catchment-wide flooding issues which affect the area. Policies in LDDs should set out requirements for site-specific Flood Risk Assessments (FRAs) to be carried out by developers and submitted with planning applications in areas of flood risk identified in the Plan.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA): A study that provides information on housing land supply.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA): Assessment of the local housing market, which studies the supply and demand for housing, housing and planning policies, the need for affordable housing and the affordability of the local housing market.

Sustainability Appraisal (including Environmental Appraisal): An appraisal of the economic, environmental and social effects of a plan from the outset of the preparation process to allow decisions to be made that accord with sustainable development.

Waverley Local Plan Part 1 (LPP1): Part 1 of the local Plan adopted by WBC in Feb 2018. It contains Strategic Policies and Sites and sets out the Council’s spatial framework for delivering the changes needed to realise their vision for development in Waverley Borough up to 2032.

Waverley Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2): Will detail Site Allocations and Development Management Policies. Currently being prepared for public consultation expected to take place later in 2020.

Wildlife Corridor: Area of habitat connecting wildlife populations.

Windfall Site: Sites which have not been specifically identified as available in the local plan process. They normally comprise previously developed sites that have unexpectedly become available.

Sources of Information

Where possible explanations of terms are taken from the National Planning Policy Framework. Alternatively, the explanation of planning terms is taken from a range of sources, including Waverley’s previous Local Plan (2002), Planning Portal, South East Plan, Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Communities and Local Government.

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