Jargon Buster

Planning Terms

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Affordable Housing

Housing made available, based on the evidence of need, to people who are unable to afford housing at market prices, including Social Housing available to rent,

Ancient Woodland

Woodland known to have existed continuously since 1600 or before.

Assets of Community Value

A right for Communities to nominate certain local and public or privately owned buildings or land as an Asset of Community Value.

Brownfield Site

Land that has been previously developed.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Is a planning charge used as a tool by local authorities to help deliver infrastructure to support development in their area.

Conservation Area

An area designated under Section 69 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as being of 'special architectural or historical interest', the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance.

Construction Management Plan

A plan detailing how construction will be managed to ensure effects of construction on residents and businesses are kept to a minimum.


Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs.

Developer Contributions (or S106 Contributions)

Contributions required under a Section 106 agreement from developers to be set aside for future works and services directly related to the development and focused on site-specific mitigation of the impact of development.

Development Plan

Statutory Plans, including Local or District Plans and Neighbourhood Development Plans which are used to determine planning applications.

Flood Plain

An area of land liable to flood from a watercourse, defined by the Environment Agency.

Green Belt

This term describes land around certain cities and built‐up areas. The intention is to keep this land permanently open or largely undeveloped. The purposes of the green belt is to:

  • check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas  
  • prevent neighbouring towns from merging • safeguard the countryside from encroachment
  • preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • assist urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land
Green Corridor

A wildlife corridor, habitat corridor, or green corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures (such as roads, development or logging).

Green Energy

Green energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal heat. These energy resources are renewable, meaning they're naturally replenished. In contrast, fossil fuels are a finite resource that take millions of years to develop and will continue to diminish as we use them.

Green Infrastructure

A network of green spaces and other features, such as parks, open spaces, woodlands, playing fields, allotments and gardens providing a range of quality-of-life benefits for the local community.

Historic Environment

All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora.

Historical Feature

The oldest obvious historical feature in Hertford Heath is the route of the Roman road, Ermine Street, which crosses the Heath and continues from Hertford Heath Motors on London Road and on to the War Memorial.  Along this route, significant archaeological discoveries have been made of our ancestors' activities over 2000 years ago.

Housing Associations

Independent, not-for-profit organisations that work with councils to offer flats and houses to local people on the Housing Register.


Basic services necessary for development to take place, for example roads, electricity, sewerage, water, education and health facilities.


Local Green Space

Light Pollution

Light pollution is defined as “any adverse (or bad) effect as a result of man-made lights.” Usually, this means too much light. Several species, including plants and humans, are badly affected by light pollution.

Listed Building

A building is listed when it is of special architectural or historic interest considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting.

As the term implies, a listed building is actually added to a list: the National Heritage List for England. You can use this to discover whether your home is listed and if so, what grade it is.

You may also be able to find out what is particularly significant about the building. Some listing records are more detailed than others. Restrictions are there to protect the historic significance of the building.

Listed buildings come in three categories of 'significance':

  • Grade I for buildings of the highest significance
  • Grade II* and
  • Grade II

Most listed building owners are likely to live in a Grade II building as these make up 92% of all listed buildings.

Listed Buildings

Any building or structure which is included in the list of 'buildings of special architectural or historic interest' as defined in the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Local Referendum

A vote for electors in the Neighbourhood Area to accept or reject the Neighbourhood Plan.


Measures taken to lessen the force or intensity of the effects of a development.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Sets out national policy and how this is expected to be applied.

Neighbourhood Area

Area to which the Neighbourhood Plan relates

Neighbourhood Plan

A neighbourhood plan is a community-led plan for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution or noise disturbance is the disturbing or excessive noise that may harm the activity or balance of human or animal life. The source of most outdoor noise is mainly caused by machines and transport systems eg: motor vehicles engines, aircraft, and trains.


National Planning Practice Guidance


An aim or a goal to assist in achieving the overall vision for the area.

Open Space

All open space of public value including land, river, canals, and lakes.

Open Spaces for formal and informal use

All space of public value, including public landscaped areas, playing fields, parks and play areas, and also including not just land, but also areas of water such as rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs, which can offer opportunities for sport and recreation or can also act as a visual amenity and a haven for wildlife.

Sequential and Exceptions Test Locations

The methodology recommended by the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure that new developments are sited in the most appropriate locations.

Shared Equity Housing

Shared equity is where more than one party has an interest in the value of the home, with the aim of reducing the cost of occupancy.

Shared Space

Is a design approach that aims to reduce the dominance of motor traffic by reducing or removing traffic signs, road markings and in some cases kerbs, resulting in 'level surfaces'.

Sheltered Housing

Purpose built or converted housing exclusively for sale to elderly people; self-contained accommodation with communal facilities and warden.

Significant Development

A development of a scale sufficient to trigger the requirement for a Transport Assessment in accordance with Roads in Hertfordshire: Highways Design Guide 3 Edition.  e.g. residential development in excess of 80 units.


Site of Special Scientific Interest

A site identified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000) as an area of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features (basically, plants, animals, and natural features relating to the Earth's structure).

Strategic Environmental Assessement (SEA)

Ensures that the plan is environmentally sustainable

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Documents which add further detail to the policies in a Development Plan.

Supported Housing

As for 'Sheltered Housing', but designed for those with a physical or learning disability rather than just the elderly.

Sustainable Sustainable

Development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


A local style of architecture for homes and domestic buildings.


A pleasing sight seen from a particular place.


Description of how the community would like their area to be in the future.


A pleasing long narrow view.

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