The final confirmation of a development plan by a local planning authority (i.e. the plan becomes operative).


Advertisement Consent

A type of consent required for certain kinds of advertisements, such as shop signs and hoardings. Some advertisements are allowed without the need for an application by the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement)(England) Regulation 2007.


Affordable Housing

Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. 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.



The process by which a planning applicant can challenge the Local Planning Authorit'ys decision to refuse an application or impose  consitions.


Article 4 Direction

A direction restricting permitted development rights within a specified area. They are often used in conservation areas to provide protection for things like windows, doors, chimneys, etc.


Brownfield Land

Land that has been previously developed (and where there is visible evidence of previous development).


Certificate of Lawfulness

A certificate that can be obtained from the local planning authority to confirm that existing development is lawful. This is commonly used to prove that a use or development has been in existence for a certain length of time and therefore becomes lawful by default.


Change of Use

A material change in the use of land or buildings, e.g. from Retail to Residential which requires planning permission.


Community Consultation

Carrying out consultation with local residents and businesses before submitting a planning application is advisable in many cases so you can explain your proposals and consider addressing any issues raised.  This will help to avoid objections and improve your chances of success.   We can advise you on a consultation strategy and help you decide and organise methods of engagement.  We can also help with engagement strategies for strategic site allocations.  


Community Right to Build Order

Introduced by the Localism Bill, a Community Right to Build Order will allow a local community group to bring forward a small development for one or more purposes, including new homes, businesses and community facilities.


Conditions (Planning conditions)

Conditions are provisions attached to the granting of planning permission.


Core Strategy

See under Local Development Framework, below.


Design and Access Statement

A document providing guidance on how design and access has been thought about in a scheme proposed for planning permission. Most developments require a design and access statement and a professionally prepared statement will improve the application’s chance of success.



Legal definition is “the carrying out of building, mining, engineering or other operations in, on, under or over land, and the making of any material change in the use of buildings or other land.”


Development Control (also Development Management)

The process of administering and making decisions on different kinds of planning application.


Development Plan (see Local Plan below)


Enforcement Notice

The local planning authority can issue an enforcement notice if development has been carried out without the necessary permission, or not in accordance with a permission which has been granted.  If those responsible do not resolve the matter voluntarily, the authority will issue an Enforcement Notice to secure the discontinuance of the unauthorised development, or to secure compliance with the terms of the planning permission.  If you have received an Enforcement Notice you should seek professional assistance as soon as possible. Failure to act upon an enforcement notice could result in court action by the Council leading to substantial fines.


Green Belt

A designated band of land around urban areas, designed to contain urban sprawl.


Lawful Development Certificates (LDC)

You can apply to the local planning authority for an LDC to get confirmation that your development is lawful for planning control purposes.  If a building has been erected for 4 years or more without planning permission, or a change of use of land has occurred 10 years or more ago, you can apply for an LDC which confirms that no enforcement action can be taken.  This can be very useful when selling your home or property.


Listed Buildings

Any building or structure which is included in the statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.


Local Development Framework (LDF) or Local Plan

Local authorities must prepare a planning framework or local plan in order to guide development in their areas.  It is important to know what the local authority is proposing in its plan documents you are likely to be affected in some way.  This is because they set out out the policies that will be used to decide planning applications and identify land to be developed or protected against development.  If you want to the plan to allocate land for a certain type of development or see land protected against development, you can submit comments at plan consultation stages.  However, your case must be supported by evidence and must have regard to national planning policy.  A planning consultant can assist you in presenting and pursuing your case.  


The local plan or framework is likely to consist of more than one document.  These include:


  • Core Strategy - This sets out the Authority’s spatial vision for the area and its strategic objectives and policies.  It will set out the scale of development required (eg how many new houses) and the broad location of that development (e.g. strategic sites and areas where development should be focussed).  Some Core Strategies include non area specific policies for managing development.


  • Area Action Plan - A plan to manage or promote change in a specific area e.g. town centre, regeneration area or conservation area.


  • Supplementary Planning Document - These documents expand on policies in local plan documents and explain how they are to be interpreted.  They may provide detailed guidance for a particular area or provide detail on matters such as affordable housing, design, renewable energy, open space provision etc..  


Local Development Order (LDO)

This sets out the types of development and sizes of buildings that can be developed in an area without the need for a planning application.  They are used by planning authorities to remove bureaucracy and speed up development of a type that is acceptable and in line with the Local Plan.


Local Greenspace Designations

This is a new planning designation giving special protection to green spaces which can be applied by local authorities and communities through Local and Neighbourhood Plans.   By designating land as Local Green Space, local communities will be able to rule out new development other than in very special circumstances. We can advise you on making a case for such a designation.


National Planning Policy

The Department for Communities and Local Government sets national policies on different aspects of planning and the rules that govern the operation of the planning system.

Most national planning policies are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.  Local Plans are expected to interpret government policy at the local level.  


Neighbourhood Area

The local area in which a Neighbourhood Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order can be introduced.


Neighbourhood Development Order

An order introduced by a parish or town council, or a neighbourhood forum, as part of the Neighbourhood Planning process, which

grants planning permission for a specific development or type of development that will fulfill the vision and policies of the Neighbourhood Plan for the neighbourhood area.


Neighbourhood Forum

Designated by the local authority in non-parished areas, an organisation established for the purpose of Neighbourhood Planning to further the social, economic and environmental well being of the neighbourhood area. There can only be one forum in an area.


Neighbourhood Plan

A new type of plan introduced by the Localism Act which allows communities to set policies for the development and use of land in their area. This give neighbourhoods more control over their area but the plan must conform to the local authority’s Local Plan and cannot propose ‘less’ development.  The plan must be prepared by a neighbourhood forum or parish council and the neighbourhood area must be agreed with the local planning authority.  The local authority must co-operate with the community but may not have resources to assist communities as they would like.  We can advise communities on how to approach a neighbourhood plan and liaise with the local authority.


Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO)

An NDO would allow communities to specify the types of new development in their area that would have automatic planning permission. An order could, for example, apply planning permission to a particular site or building where a new local shop is wanted.


Permitted Development

Specified minor kinds of development (such as small house extensions) which are allowed to be undertaken without formal planning permission. Types of permitted development are identified in the statutory document - Town and Country Planning General (Permitted Development) Order .


Planning Appeals

The right of appeal can be used where the applicant wishes to challenge the local authority’s decision to refuse planning permission or to impose a condition as part of the planning permission; where the authority declines to determine a planning application; or where an enforcement notice is served. For those unfamiliar with planning policy, getting professional advice before pursuing an appeal can be beneficial. Appeals can be dealt with by written representations, hearing or public inquiry.


Planning Condition

A condition attached to planning permission in order to make the development proposal acceptable, e.g. by requiring that something be done (e.g. landscaping) or restricting the new development in some way (e.g. restricting hours of operation).  Applicants can appeal against conditions which they consider are not justified or after six months make an application to vary the conditions.


Planning Enforcement Action

Action can be taken by a local planning authority to ensure that the terms and conditions of a planning decision are complied with, or that development undertaken without planning permission is brought under control.  If you are served with an enforcement action or stop notice you may wish to seek professional assistance as failure to act could result in court action or substantial fines.  We may be able to resolve enforcement issues through negotiations with local authority enforcement officers.  


Planning Obligations (also  Section 106 Agreements)

These are agreements the developer or other parties makes to allow a development to be implemented.  They could include: a financial contribution towards facilities and services (e.g. transport improvements) or providing such services/facilities as part of the development (e.g. affordable housing) or to measures to mitigate the development’s impact. They are used when planning conditions are not appropriate. The re-negotiation of Section 106 Agreements is a topical subject for developers at present in cases where land purchased at the top of the market, no longer holds sufficient value to absorb contributions for local infrastructure. Sometimes developers can selfimpose

obligations to pre-empt objections to planning permission being granted.


Pre-application advice

Advice given by the local planning authority on the merits of a proposal prior to its submission as a formal planning application.  Presenting your proposal effectively is important to get the best from pre-application discussions and a consultant can advise on solutions to planning issues that may be raised and liaise with the local authority planners.  We can also help you to carry out consultation with neighbours and the local community to explain your proposals and to avoid objections.


Site Appraisal

This is a process to determine potential uses for a developed site or piece of land.  We can help those who wish to maximise the value of their land or land they are thinking of acquiring land by looking at what uses may be acceptable in planning terms having regard to national and local policy, adjoining uses and likely development constraints. Assessing site viability in economic terms or assessing physical constraints (e.g. land contamination and stability) will require specialist expertise.


Use Class

The legally defined category into which the use of a building or land falls (see Use Classes Order).


Use Classes Order

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) is the statutory instrument that defines the categories of use of buildings or land for the purposes of planning legislation. Planning permission must be obtained to change the use of a building or land to another use class.