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Glossary Alphabet


The ability of people to move around an area and reach places and facilities, including elderly and disabled people, those with young children and those encumbered with luggage or shopping.

Adopted Proposals Map

A component of a Local Development Framework and an important part of the development plan, or DPD itself, showing the location of proposals in all current Development Plan Documents, on an Ordnance Survey base map.


The final confirmation of a development plan or Local Development Document status by a local planning authority (LPA).

Advisory Team for Large Applications (ATLAS)

Body funded by Government to help unblock the issues holding up decisions on large planning applications, increase the knowledge and expertise of local authorities in handling such projects, share good practice across the sector and act as a partner to local authorities and independent reviewer of large applications and issues. Now archived; view their guidance at:

Aerobic Digestion

Biological treatment of biodegradable organic waste in the presence of oxygen, producing a residue suitable for use as a soil improver.

Affordable Housing

Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

Aftercare (minerals operations)

The steps to be taken to bring land to the required standard for use for its intended use once mineral working has taken place, and its subsequent maintenance.

Aged or veteran tree

A tree which, because of its great age, size or condition is of exceptional value for wildlife, in the landscape, or culturally.


Sand, gravel, crushed rock and other bulk materials used by the construction industry.

Agricultural (Forestry or Other Rural Occupational) Dwelling

A dwelling which is subject to a planning condition or legal agreement restricting occupation to someone employed, or was last employed, in agriculture, forestry or other appropriate rural employment.

Agricultural Waste

Waste from a farm or market garden, consisting of matter such as manure, slurry and crop residues.

Air Quality Management Areas

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

Air Quality Management Strategy (AQMS)

A designation made by a local authority where an assessment of air quality results in the need to devise an action plan to improve the quality of air.

Amenity 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. It often provides opportunities for activities such as sports, and can serve other purposes such as reducing the noise from a busy road or providing shelter from prevailing winds.

Ancient Woodland

An area that has been wooded continuously since at least 1600 AD.

Ancillary Use / Operations

A subsidiary or secondary use or operation closely associated with the main use of a building or piece of land.

Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)

A report submitted to the Government by local planning authorities assessing progress with and the effectiveness of a Local Development Framework.


The process whereby a planning applicant can challenge an adverse decision, including a refusal of permission. Appeals can also be made against the failure of the planning authority to issue a decision within a given time, against conditions attached to permission, against the issue of an enforcement notice and against refusals of listed building and planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area. In England and Wales, appeals are processed by the Planning Inspectorate. 


The special underground rock layers that hold groundwater, which are often an important source of water for public water supply, agriculture and industry.


A row of arches supported by columns


A section above a door or opening window with the structural function of dispersing the weight from above around the opening. Also referred to as a head above a door or window. The shape will determine its name; most common are segmental (semi-circular), lancet (pointed) and gauged (composed of shaped bricks).

Archaeological Assessment / Evaluation

An assessment of the potential archaeological interest of a site or building. This can be either a desk-based assessment or a field assessment, involving ground survey and small-scale pits or trial trenching carried out by professionally qualified archaeologist(s) looking for historical remains.

Archaeological Interest

There will be archaeological interest in a heritage asset if it holds, or potentially may hold, evidence of past human activity worthy of expert investigation at some point. Heritage assets with archaeological interest are the primary source of evidence about the substance and evolution of places, and of the people and cultures that made them.

Archaeological Reserve

A non-statutory designation for protecting archaeological remains.


In Classical architecture, the lower part of a moulded cornice. Commonly used term for the moulded surround of a door or window.

Area Action Plan

A type of Development Plan Document focused upon a specific location or an area subject to conservation or significant change (for example major regeneration).

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

An area with statutory national landscape designation, the primary purpose of which is to conserve and enhance natural beauty. Together with National Parks, AONB represent the nation’s finest landscapes. AONB are designated by

Area of Search

A broad area within which sites are sought for development, for example, for housing, mineral extraction, or renewable energy.

Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO)

A company set up by a local authority to manage and improve all or part of its housing stock.

Art Nouveau

An artistic movement of the turn of the century characterised by stylised forms of flowers and animals, prevalent in Edwardian buildings.

Article 2(3) Land

This includes land within a National Park, the Broads, an area of outstanding natural beauty, an area designated as a conservation area, and land within World Heritage Sites.

Article 2(4) Land

This includes land within the following areas – a National Park; the Broads; land outside the boundaries of a National Park which is within the parishes listed in a number of parishes in the district of Allerdale, Copeland, Eden, High Peak, South Lakeland and West Derbyshire.

Article 4 Direction

An Article 4 direction removes certain permitted development rights for a specific property or area, meaning a planning permission from the council will be needed should someone wish to carry out the prescribed development.

Arts and Crafts

Derived from an artistic movement of the late C19, based on the ideas of William Morris, which promoted traditional forms of design and the use of craft techniques in construction. Its architectural expression is seen in the use of traditional materials and restrained vernacular decoration.


Smoothed, even blocks of stone masonry.


a large open-air or skylight-covered space surrounded by a building.[2] Atria were a common feature in Ancient Roman dwellings, providing light and ventilation to the interior. Modern atria, as developed in the late 19th and 20th centuries, are often several stories high, with a glazed roof or large windows, and often located immediately beyond a building’s main entrance doors (in the lobby).

Back-land development

Development of ‘landlocked’ sites behind existing buildings, such as rear gardens and private open space, usually within predominantly residential areas. Such sites often have no street frontages.

Backland Development

Backland development is a term used for land that may not be visible from the usual roadways. For example, the land behind a row of houses. A backland site is usually a section of garden with road access at the rear or side of a property. Or it could be building homes on a small plot of land in between gardens with communal or a private access alley.

For some time this kind of site was included within the definition of ‘previously developed land’. That meant when local authorities were assessing which land could be built on to meet housing targets, it was included.


the upright in a staircase or balustrade that supports the horizontal top rail or coping.


The upstanding part of a stair or balcony that supports a rail or coping. The individual uprights (balusters) may be decorated or ornate, for example in the shape of bottles, in which case it is termed a bottle balustrade.


A timber piece fitted to the outer edge of a gable, sometimes carved for decorative effect.


A style associated with late Classical architecture, that evolved during the C17 and C18 and is characterised by exuberant decoration overlaid on classical architectural details.


a feature, such as a chimney, with sloping faces or sides making it narrower at the top than at the bottom.


the top part of a castle wall, often used to detail a parapet; also known as crenellation.


an extension to the main building line, termed canted or splayed when angled back at the sides, and squared when perpendicular (see also Window).

Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land

Land in grades 1, 2 and 3a of the Agricultural Land Classification.

Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO)

There are many different ways of dealing with waste, and the BPEO is basically the waste management option that provides the most benefit or least damage to the environment as a whole, at an acceptable cost, in both the short and long term. For example, recycling versus landfill.

Biodegradable waste

Waste that is capable of breaking down naturally, such as food, garden waste and paper.


The whole variety of life encompassing all genetics, species and ecosystem variations, including plants and animals.

Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

A strategy prepared for a local area aimed at conserving and enhancing biological diversity.