Glossary of Terms used in Planning
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Local Planning Authority (LPA) – the District Council – responsible for the vast majority of planning decisions.
Delegated powers – when the planning decision is delegated (by the Planning Committee) to the principal/senior or Chief Planning Officer. Note – approx 75% of decisions are "delegated").
Called-in – when an application, that is earmarked as a 'delegated case', is called in (by an elected Councillor) for decision by the Planning Committee itself .
County matter – when (more rarely) a planning application is dealt with by the relevant County Council (e.g mineral extraction or land fill applications).
Government Office – this is the regional arm of central government and is either based in Guildford (for the South East of England, covering Bucks and Oxfordshire) or in Cambridge (for the east of England, covering Hertfordshire). When a major planning decision is potentially to be approved by a local planning authority that would represent a departure from the approved Development Plan, it will normally be formally refered to the regional government office to ascertain whether it should become the subject of a Planning Inquiry.
The Development Plan – this currently consists of the approved Regional Spatial Strategy (about to be abolished by the Coalition Government) and the adopted Local Plan (adopted by the LPA). Planning legislation currently requires all planning decisions to be taken having had full regard to the requirements of the Development Plan.
Regional Spatial Strategy – until recently these have been very important documents and took many years to produce – with County Councils working in close collaboration with LPAs. In particular the RSSs identified the levels of housing growth over 20-30 year periods that LPAs needed to meet in the processing of planning applications and in keeping the requirement of a 5 year supply of housing land. However the Coalition Govt has announced these are now to be abolished.
Local Development Framework (LDF) – a portfolio of local development documents (listed below), including the Core Strategy, which collectively form the planning strategy against which all planning decisions must have regard. Note – all LPAs are in the process of progressing (some more successfully than others) their LDFs but the imminent but well published abolition of the Regional Spatial Strategies has resulted in considerable confusion in terms of direction and outcome, especially in regard to housing targets.
Local Development Scheme (LDS) – a published three year timetable/project plan that the LPA intends to follow in the preparation (and finalisation) of the LDF. It includes a brief description of all the LDDs to be prepared.
Core Strategy – this will set out the vision for each LPA and the strategic objectives for meeting that vision. It will include broad strategies on housing, employment, transport, protecting the countryside and historic environment, town centres, sustainable development etc. In addition there is a requirement for a monitoring and implementation process.
Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) – a statement issued by the LPA as part of the emerging LDF that details how the Council intends to involve the community (either as groups, businesses amenity societies or individuals etc) in the planning process and who it should/will consult in the future as the LDF progresses toward adoption.
Development Plan Documents (DPDs) – these will include the core strategy, site specific allocations for new housing land and the Proposals Map (i.e., to identify all the policies in the form of a map – or series of maps – covering the area of the LPA). There will be detailed individual documents on the topics covered in the core strategy e.g. housing, employment, transport etc. These will be similar to the individual chapters in the existing Local Plans. Each document will be subject to independent examination (by a Planning Inspector) and, if approved, will be afforded full weight in all future decision making by the LPA.
Area Action Plan (AAP) – these will cover identified areas of significant change (e.g expansion or growth plans on the edge of an existing built up area) and areas of conservation where specific improvement schemes are proposed – although they will not be prepared for all conservation areas.
Sustainability Appraisal (SA) – this is carried out at the beginning of the LDF process and will be used to draw up a list of environmental, economic and social objectives to be covered by the LDF. It is designed to test the delivery/implementation of the LDF against the objectives of sustainable development.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) – this document will be prepared to comply with the relevant European Directive (2001/42EC). The environmental assessment will test the success (or otherwise) in the delivery of the LDF based on significant effects on the environment by virtue of the planning decisions after its adoption.
Examination in Public (EiP) – this will be the formal process through which the LDF will be taken prior to its adoption – overseen by a Planning inspector – where the planning policies proposed by the LPA in its LDF can be challenged by third parties (either in writing) or by appearing at the EiP.
Issued October 2011