The world of housing development projects has a jargon and a set of acronyms all its own. The following definitions, which include coverage and updated material specific to Uckfield and Wealden as well as country-wide matters, should help clear up some of the mystery.

Affordable housing
Housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market, including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers (see also Section 106)

Ancient or veteran tree
A tree which, because of its age, size and condition, is of exceptional biodiversity, cultural or heritage value. All ancient trees are veteran trees. Not all veteran trees are old enough to be ancient, but are old relative to other trees of the same species. Very few trees of any species reach the ancient-life stage

Ancient woodland
Defined as an irreplaceable habitat, ancient woodland is an area in England and Wales that has been wooded continuously since at least 1600 AD. Natural England and the Forestry Commission provides ‘standing advice’ for ancient woodland, ancient trees, veteran trees and protected species. It is a material planning consideration for local planning authorities (LPAs). Ancient semi-natural woodland mainly made up of trees and shrubs native to the site; wood pastures identified as ancient; historic parkland; and plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) are also distinct forms of ancient woodland. Ancient woodlands have equal protection in the the UK’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (see also AWI, Buffer Zone and NPPF)

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; two-thirds of Wealden is covered by the High Weald AONB/South Downs National Park

Article 4 Direction
An Article 4 Direction can be made by the local planning authority (LPA) under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 which withdraws permitted development rights granted by that Order (see also GPDO). An Article 4 Direction restricts the scope of permitted development rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority’s area. Article 4 Directions are used to control works that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance, such as a conservation area. Article 4 Directions can increase the public protection of designated and non-designated heritage assets and their settings.

Ancient Semi Natural Woodland

Maintained by Natural England, the Ancient Woodland Inventory (AWI) identifies over 52,000 ancient woodland sites in England. Many of the categories of ancient woodland do not appear on the AWI because their low tree density does not register as woodland on historic maps. Despite this large number of recorded AWI sites, only 2.5 per cent of the UK’s original ancient woodland is left (see also Ancient woodland)

Best and Most Versatile (BVM) Agricultural Land
Land in grades 1, 2 and 3a of the Agricultural Land Classification

Biological diversity; the variety of life on earth or in a specified region or area

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)
Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) has been developed as a new way to contribute to the recovery of nature while developing land, to ensure the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development. From November 2023 it will be necessary for all developments undertaken according to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, unless exempt, to achieve a BNG of 10 per cent before any work begins. It will apply to small sites from April 2024. The obligation was previously optional. Developers will have to prepare a BNG Plan to demonstrate exactly how their project will benefit the biodiversity of their proposed site

Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOA)
Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOAs) are the most important areas for biodiversity within a jurisdiction. BOAs represent a targeted landscape-scale approach to conserving biodiversity and the basis for an ecological network, with conservation needs being the top priority

Birds of Conservation Concern (BOCC)
Published in December 2021, the Birds of Conservation Concern 5 (BOCC5) is the fifth and latest of reviews into the status of UK birdlife. Over 245 species with breeding, passage or wintering populations in the UK were assessed and each was assigned to the Red, Amber or Green Lists of conservation concern. The Red List, comprising those species most at risk, increased from 67 to 70 in BOCC5. The first Red List, published in 1996, had only 36 species

Brownfield (or Previously Developed) Land
Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure (excluding agricultural or forestry buildings) and associated fixed surface infrastructure. The definition includes residential gardens but does not include parks, recreation grounds and allotments (see also PDL)

Buffer zones
A buffer zone is a landscape feature used to protect a sensitive area from the impact of disturbance both during and after construction. Standing advice on buffer zones from Natural England and the Forestry Commission states that “For ancient woodlands, you should have a buffer zone of at least 15 metres to avoid root damage. Where assessment shows other impacts are likely to extend beyond this distance, you’re likely to need a larger buffer zone. The zone should consist of semi-natural habitats such as woodland, a mix of scrub, grassland, heathland and wetland planting”. Root systems of several tree species extend beyond 15 metres.

Business Uses
Uses falling within Class B of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, including as offices (other than professional or financial services) for the research and development of products or processes, any industrial process, or storage or distribution

The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) promotes the highest standards of practice for the benefit of nature and society

See Community Infrastructure Levy

Climate change
The UK’s Climate Change Act 2008 established a legally binding target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent in 2050 from 1990 levels. The Climate Change Act requires the UK government to produce a Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) every five years. The CCRA assesses current and future risks to and opportunities for the UK from climate change. As part of its climate policy, the government has pledged to end deforestation by 2030. It has an ambitious target to plant 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2025

Climate change adaptation
Adjustments made to natural or human systems in response to the actual or anticipated impacts of climate change, to mitigate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities

Climate change mitigation
Action to reduce the impact of human activity on the climate system, primarily through reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Climate Emergency Plan
Following the declaration of a “climate emergency” in July 2019, Wealden District Council developed a Climate Emergency Plan and had it in place by December 2019. The Plan’s measures include the promotion of waste reduction activities; support for flood defence measures; and the advocacy of renewable energy sources

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge that local authorities can set on a new development in order to raise funds to help fund the infrastructure, facilities and services – such as schools or transport improvements – needed to support new homes and businesses

Community Planning Alliance (CPA)
The Community Planning Alliance was founded in March 2021 to unite and assist grassroots campaigners fighting to save their green spaces. The CPA website shows that over 610 local campaign groups have registered with this not-for-profit, volunteer-run group

Conservation (for Heritage policy)
The process of maintaining and managing change to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and, where appropriate, enhances its significance

Conservation areas
Areas defined as being of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance, and designated as such under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. There are 33 conservation areas in Wealden in areas where WDC is the local planning authority

Construction liaison officer
A designated liaison officer, employed by the principal contractor at the building site, who will deal with public and other complaints and enquiries during the construction phase

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is also called the Countryside Charity. While the CPRE Sussex branch does not offer a general public planning advisory service, it will discuss concerns with CPRE members about individual planning applications and other issues within its charitable remit. CPRE Sussex celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022

Core Strategy Local Plan (CSLP)
Core Strategy Local Plan (see Local Plan)

The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities

To be considered deliverable, sites for housing should be available now, offer a suitable location for development now, and be achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years

A measurement of either the number of habitable rooms or number of dwellings per hectare

Design Code
A design code is a set of simple, concise, illustrated design requirements that are visual and numerical wherever possible and provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area.

The UK’s National Model Design Code sets out design considerations which local planning authorities will be expected to consider when developing local design codes and guides and when determining planning applications

Designated and non-designated heritage assets
Designated heritage assets receive a greater degree of protection within the planning system than non-designated heritage assets. Designated heritage assets are World Heritage Sites, Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, Protected Wreck Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields and Conservation Areas. Non-designated heritage assets are locally identified buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified by plan-making bodies as having a degree of heritage significance meriting consideration in planning decisions but which do not meet the criteria for designated heritage assets. Works to some designated assets, such as listed buildings and scheduled monuments, are subject to additional consent regimes.

Defined in the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act as “the carrying out of building, engineering, operation in, on or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any building or other land”

Development Plan
The Statutory Development Plan sets out the policies that direct future development in an area. Section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 states that the Development Plan includes adopted local plans, neighbourhood plans that have been made and published spatial development strategies, together with any regional strategy policies that remain in force. Neighbourhood Plans that have been approved at referendum are also part of the Development Plan, unless the local planning authority decides that the Neighbourhood Plan should not be made

The UK’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) plays a pivotal role in the government’s agenda of levelling up the whole of the UK. It’s work includes investing in local areas to drive growth and jobs, delivering the homes the country is deemed to need, tackling homelessness, supporting community and faith groups and overseeing local government, planning and building safety systems. In July 2022 DLUHC published a refreshed Areas of Research Interest document, setting out the Department’s commitment to having robust evidence in place to enable it to continue to deliver on its wide-ranging priorities. An active programme of data and evidence gathering, analysis, research and evaluation is underway to underpin sound evaluations in key policy areas. DLUHC was formerly known as the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Downlands Farm
Save Downlands Farm is a Facebook group working to save the 46-hectare Downlands Farm site in North Uckfield from development

East Sussex Historic Environment Record (ESHER)
ESHER is a record of archaeological sites and historical finds covering East Sussex and Brighton and Hove. It is part of a national network of Historic Environment Records (HERs), supported by Historic England.

A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. The integrity of an ecosystem is the degree to which all ecosystem elements (species, habitats and natural processes) are intact and functioning in ways that ensure sustainability and long-term adaptation to changing environmental conditions and human uses

A physical or measurable change to the environment attributable to a project. Cumulative effects are the summation of effects that result from changes caused by a development in conjunction with other past, present or reasonably foreseeable actions

Employment land
Land identified for business, general industrial or storage and distribution as per the Use Classes

Environment Agency (EA)
The UK’s Environmental Agency (EA) was established in 1996 to protect and improve the environment. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
An EIA is a procedure to be followed for certain types of project to ensure that decisions are made in full knowledge of any likely significant effects on the environment. For certain projects, the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 require a formal assessment to be carried out before planning permission may be granted. The regulations set out the type of projects where an Environmental Statement (ES) is required. An ES is the statutory report summarising the impact of an EIA. An EIA is one of two forms of an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), and by far the principal one

Environmental Protection Act (EPA)
The UK’s Environmental Protection Act 1990 established legal responsibilities for pollution control for land, air and water. The Act also covers waste disposal and statutory nuisances, such as noise or smells

East Sussex County Council

Low-lying areas adjacent to a watercourse, tidal lengths of a river or the sea, which can flood

Flood Risk Assessment (FRA)
A desk-based study which not only considers the contributing factors and predicts/quantifies the risk of flooding but also identifies a water level in the event of flooding. Housing proposals in Flood Zone 1 are most likely to be approved, Flood Zone 3 the least. If planning on building in Flood Zones 2 or 3, i.e. medium or high-risk areas, it will be necessary to carry out a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) before proceeding. However, even developments in Flood Zone 1 areas will require an FRA under certain conditions

Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial UK government department which is responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands

Full Planning Permission (OPP)
A Full Planning Permission Application presents full, exhaustive detail of the development proposal. Such applications are best made when getting principle consent is unlikely to be a problem. A developer must begin construction work within three years of full planning consent being granted

General Permitted Development Order (GPDO)
Legislation outlining planning procedures for the control of development. It excludes certain types of development from the need to obtain planning permission (see also Article 4 Direction)

The variety of rocks, fossils, minerals, landforms and soils along with the natural processes that shape the landscape

Green Belt
Land around large built-up areas, which aims to keep this land permanently open or largely undeveloped

A site which has never previously been developed

Any vegetated land or water within an urban area, including parks, gardens, playing fields, children’s play areas, woods and other natural areas, grassed areas, cemeteries and allotments

Water present in underground strata

Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA)
A Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) is a process that determines whether or not development plans could negatively impact local plans on a recognised protected European site beyond reasonable scientific doubt

Habitats site
A habitat is the place in which a particular plant or animal lives. An irreplaceable natural habitat is a habitat, such as ancient woodland, that, once destroyed, cannot be replaced. Regulation 8 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 defines a habitats site as any site within candidate Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Community Importance, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and any relevant Marine Sites

Habitat Survey
A Phase 1 Habitat Survey is an ecological survey technique that provides a standardised system to record vegetation and wildlife habitats. It enables a basic assessment of habitat type and its potential importance for nature conservation. Each habitat type or feature is identified and presented on a map

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing health and safety regulations at workplaces, including factories, farms and building sites

Heritage asset
Chapter 16 of the UK’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 16) covers heritage assets. The 2021 version of NPPF defines heritage assets as “buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest”

A road or footpath that is adopted or unadopted by the highways authority

Horstedpond Farm Action Group (HFAG)
The Horstedpond Farm Action Group is a group of local residents objecting to the proposed 400-home Horstedpond Farm housing project

Housing targets
In their 2019 manifesto the Conservatives pledged that 300,000 new homes per annum would be built in England by the mid-2020s. So far, the closest tally to that goal was the 242,700 net additional dwellings delivered in 2019-20. Of equal importance to the total number of homes set out in any national target are the type of homes and where the new homes will be built. The need for affordable social housing is particularly acute nationwide. The forecasts on population growth derived from the 2021 Census carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and any relevant rulemakings stemming from the Levelling Up White Paper, currently working its way through Parliament, will have a direct impact on the future provision of affordable homes as well as overall housing targets (see also HFAG Backgrounder No 2)

Infrastructure (blue, green and grey)
Blue infrastructure usually relates to urban water infrastructure, including ponds, lakes, streams, rivers and storm water provision. Green infrastructure refers to trees, lawns, hedgerows, parks, fields and forests. A green and blue infrastructure (GBI) combination is a network of multi-functional green and blue spaces and other natural features, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental, economic, health and wellbeing benefits for nature, climate, local and wider communities and prosperity. Grey infrastructure refers to human-engineered traditional approaches to water management such as pipes and hard surfaces

Infrastructure (general)
Services that support a new development or a settlement as a whole. These can range from hard engineering works, such as roads and drains, to social infrastructure, such as schools, surgeries and public transport

Judicial Review Period
A period of six weeks allowed for the process of challenging the lawfulness of decisions of public authorities, usually local or central government

Land Banking
The process whereby a property developer buys a plot of land to develop at some stage in the future. The acquisition is made as an investment, often without any specific longer-term plans for the land’s development at the time of purchase

Landscape Buffer
An area planted with trees and shrubs to create a natural visual barrier

Landscape Character
The distinct and recognisable pattern of elements that occurs consistently in a particular type of landscape, and how this is perceived by people. It reflects particular combinations of geology, landform, soils, vegetation, land use and human settlement. It creates the particular sense of place of different areas of the landscape

Landscape Sensitivity
The extent to which a landscape can accept change of a particular type and scale without unacceptable adverse effects on its character

Land Trust
The Land Trust is a charity committed to the long-term sustainable management of open space for community benefit. The Trust currently has ownership and responsibility for over 2,500 hectares of open space across the country. The diverse portfolio includes amenity spaces, country parks, SANGs, SuDS, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), nature reserves and Scheduled Ancient Monuments

Light Spill
The unwanted spillage of light onto adjacent areas. Such spillages may affect or cause nuisance to sensitive receptors, particularly residential properties and natural habitats

Listed buildings
Buildings of special architectural or historic interest, classified in grades (1, 2*, 2) to show their relative importance. The statutory list of such buildings is compiled by the Secretary of State on the advice of English Heritage. A listed building cannot be demolished, altered or extended without express consent from the council

Local Development Framework (LDF)
The new framework for delivering the spatial planning strategy for local planning authorities, introduced by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended). It comprises a portfolio of ‘Development Plan Documents’ that will replace the Local Plan and the Structure Plan

Local Geological Sites (LGSs)
Local Geological Sites (LGSs) are sites considered worthy of protection for their earth science or landscape importance but are not already protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS)
Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a new system of spatial strategies for nature, which will cover the whole of England. They are established by clauses 100 to 104 of the Environment Bill and are designed as tools to drive more coordinated, practical and focused action to help nature. The UK government anticipates that there will be roughly 50 LNRSs to cover the whole of England, with no gaps and no overlaps

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Any area of land designated by a local authority, in consultation with English Nature, in order to protect its wildlife value for the benefit of the local community

Local Plan
A plan for the future development of a local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community. In law this is described as the development plan documents adopted under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. A local plan can consist of either strategic or non-strategic policies, or a combination of the two. Wealden District Council’s earlier Local Plan has lapsed and work has been underway by WDC’s Local Plan Sub Committee on a revised Local Plan. In view of the fact that the UK government’s own revision of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is not due to be complete until late spring 2023, WDC is likely to publish its updated Local Plan for consultation in late summer/early autumn 2023

Local Planning Authority (LPA)
The public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area. In Wealden this is the Wealden District Council

Local Planning Regulation 18
Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) Regulations 2012 requires that various bodies and stakeholders be notified that the district council is preparing a plan. It invites them to comment about what that plan ought to contain.

Local Planning Regulation 19
Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) Regulations 2012 provides an opportunity for representations to be made on the amendments to the Local Plan before it is examined by the planning inspector

Local Transport Plan
Unlike Local Plans, which are written by districts, Local Transport Plans are prepared by county councils

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)
Local Wildlife Sites, formerly known as Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI), Local Wildlife Sites are sites with ‘substantive nature conservation value’. They are identified and selected locally using scientifically determined criteria and surveys. The Wildlife Trusts have worked with local authorities, statutory agencies, landowners and other local partners to establish effective systems for identifying, managing and monitoring Local Wildlife Sites

Major development
A project involving 10 dwellings or more, a site greater than 0.5 hectares or a floor area of 1,000 m2 or more

Material consideration
Consideration relating to the purpose of planning legislation

Medieval Pale of Ashdown Forest
An earth bank constructed in the 14th century to enclose a royal hunting ground and now defines the area within which specific Local Plan and Structure Plan policies apply

Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
The UK’s Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has been renamed the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), which see

Mitigation measures
Mitigation measures are actions proposed to moderate adverse effects arising from the whole or specific elements of a development project. Such actions include any process, activity or design intended to avoid, reduce, remedy or compensate for the adverse environmental effects of the project

National Character Area (NCA)
NCAs are areas of distinct and recognisable character at the national scale. Their boundaries follow natural lines in the landscape, not county or district boundaries. This makes them a good framework for decision-making and planning for future change. NCA 122 is the High Weald National Character Area and encompasses the ridged and faulted sandstone core of the Kent and Sussex Weald. It is an area of ancient countryside and one of the best surviving medieval landscapes in northern Europe

National Nature Reserve (NNR)
An area of land of national and sometimes international importance for nature conservation, which is owned or leased by English Nature or by a body approved by English Nature

National Park
An area designated by the Countryside Commission, the statutory purpose of which is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage, and to promote opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities

Natural England
Natural England is a UK non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Its purpose is to help conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations through sustainable development. The agency is responsible for enforcing laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment but seeks to use these enforcement powers only as a last resort.

Nature conservation
The protection, preservation, management or enhancement and the improvement of understanding and appreciation of flora, fauna and geological and geomorphological features

Neighbourhood Plan
A plan prepared by a parish or town council or neighbourhood forum for a designated neighbourhood area. In law this is described as a Neighbourhood Development Plan in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

Not In My Back Yard

The UK’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. The NPPF confirms that strategic policy-making authorities should have a clear understanding of the land available in its area through the preparation of a Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). Sustainability is at the heart of the NPPF. The Framework was first published in March 2012 and then revised in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The UK government is working on a new revision of the NPPF and plans to publish this in late spring 2023

The National Planning Policy Guidance document supports the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the UK government’s overarching planning policy document

Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN)
The UK’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that local planning authorities identify Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN) and that Local Plans translate those needs into land provision targets

Open space
An open space designated to be of public value by a local authority. Such spaces include land, water, canals, rivers, lakes and reservoirs; they offer important opportunities for sport and recreation and can act as a visual amenity

Outline Planning Permission (OPP)
An application for Outline Planning Permission (OPP) allows for a decision on the general principles of how a site can be developed. OPP is granted subject to conditions requiring subsequent approval of one or more ‘reserved matters’, i.e. specifics that were not part of the outline proposal. A Reserved Matters Application must be submitted within three years of being granted OPP

Parish Council
The third tier of local government established by the Local Government Act 1972. Parish and Town Councils provide certain services, such as allotments, playing fields and community halls, and represent the interests of the local community to the District Council

Previously Developed Land (formerly known as brownfield, which see)

People’s Plan for Nature
The Plan, created in collaboration with thousands of people across the UK, sets out their vision for the future of nature and the actions that we all need to take to protect and renew it

Permeable surface
Designed to allow rainwater to infiltrate through the surface

Permission in principle
A form of planning consent which establishes that a site is suitable for a specified amount of housing-led development in principle. Following a grant of permission in principle, the site must receive a grant of technical details consent before development can proceed

Permitted Development (PD)
Developments for which there is no need to obtain planning permission. These are specified in the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO)

Planning Brief
Guidance produced by the district council to indicate acceptable forms of development for a specific site

Planning Condition
A condition imposed on a grant of planning permission, in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, or a condition included in a Local Development Order or Neighbourhood Development Order

Planning Inspectorate (PIN or PINS)
The Planning Inspectorate deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications and examinations of Local Plans

Planning Obligation
A legally enforceable obligation, entered into under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, between a developer/landowner and the Council, to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal

Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG)
Government guidance on planning policy issues which must be considered, where relevant, in preparing development plans and in decisions on planning applications

Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS)
(See Ancient woodlands)

Plot Ratio
The proportion of a development site covered by buildings

Proposals Map
Part of the Local Plan showing development zones within the local community (or Policy Map)

Public Right of Way (PROW)
A right of passage by the public over the surface of the land without impediment. PROWS include public footpaths, bridleways and byways open to all traffic

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance that have been designated under the criteria of the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands for containing representative, rare or unique wetland types or for their importance in conserving biological diversity

Formal written notice that a planning application has been refused

Reserved matters
One or more matters reserved in an Outline Planning Permission (OPP). These can cover aspects such as access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping

Regional Planning Guidance (RPG)
RPG provides a regional spatial strategy within which Local Authority Development Plans and Local Transport Plans should be prepared. Existing regional planning guidance for the South East is contained in RPG9 and covers the period to 2016. RPG9 will become a statutory document under the terms of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

Regional Transport Strategy
Part of RPG9 published by the Government Office for the South East in July 2004, the Strategy provides the spatial framework for the preparation of Local Transport Plans as well as other strategies and programmes, and is material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.

Stop Ashdown Business PaRk Expansion SABRE) are a group of local residents objecting to the proposed 77-acre expansion of the Ashdown Business Park development at the junction of the A22 and the A272

Safeguarded land
Land which is designated for future development

Section 102
Section 102 of the Water Industry Act is an agreement for an already installed sewer to be adopted

Section 104
Section 104 of the Water Industry Act is an agreement to adopt a new sewer

Section 106 Agreement
A Section 106 (S106) Agreement is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission and the local planning authority which is used to mitigate the impact of new homes on the local community and infrastructure. It covers contributions made by landowners or developers towards infrastructure, education, health, affordable homes, etc under a legal agreement. S106 conditions can also require a certain proportion of affordable housing in residential developments. The vast majority of local planning authorities now attach S106 conditions, including affordable home quotas, to planning permission for new developments

Section 171
Section 171 of the Highways Act 1980 covers works to a highway, such as a vehicle access or placing materials on the road

Section 278
Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 allows developers to enter into a legal agreement to alter the public highway

Section 38
Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980 allows a developer to propose the construction of a new estate road for residential, industrial or general purpose traffic that may be offered to the Highway Authority for adoption as a public highway

Section 73Section 73 allows for minor material amendments to planning permission or an application for removal or variation of a condition following grant of planning permission

Site of Biological Importance (SBI)
A Site of Biological Importance (SBI) is a non-statutory designation used by some local planning authorities to protect locally valued sites of biological diversity described as local wildlife sites by the UK government

Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI)
A Site of Nature Conservation Interest is now known as a Local Wildlife Site (LWS), which see

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
Designated by Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, SSSIs are areas of land or water which in the opinion of Natural England is of special interest by reason of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features. Once notified of the presence of an SSSI, owners and occupiers must consult with Natural England before carrying out any potentially damaging operation

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Areas defined by Regulation 3 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 which have been given special protection as important conservation sites. There are 41 Conservation Areas within Wealden District, eight of which are managed by the South Downs National Park Authority and 33 for which Wealden District Council acts as the local planning authority

Special Landscape Area (SLA)
Areas of countryside of very high visual quality; a combination of impressive landscape, buildings of architectural and historical significance and areas of ecological importance

Special Protection Area (SPA)
Areas classified under Regulation 15 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 which have been identified as being of international importance for the breeding, feeding, wintering or the migration of rare and vulnerable species of birds

Standard Method
The UK government’s Standard Method uses a formula to identify the minimum number of homes expected to be planned for, in a way which addresses projected household growth and historic undersupply. The Standard Method identifies a minimum annual housing need figure but does not produce a housing requirement figure. The proposed revision of the Standard Method calculates an area’s housing need primarily based on the existing amount of housing stock, rather than projections of changes to household numbers.

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

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental implications of a proposed plan. It is a tool which is used at the plan-making stage to assess the likely effects of the plan when judged against reasonable alternatives. In contrast, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is applied to individual projects which are likely to have significant environmental effects

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)
The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment is a strategic document which assesses and maps all flood risks from tidal, river, groundwater, surface water and sewer sources, taking into account future climate change predictions

Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA)
Like other councils, Wealden District Council (WDC) uses its SHELAA as an essential piece of evidence to support its Local Plan. Once a year landowners are invited to submit their land for a formal assessment as to the site’s suitability and deliverability for development. The SHELAA list thus compiled becomes a starting point in enabling WDC to decide whether sites could be developed for housing, as employment land or other uses in its Local Plan. WDC drafted a new SHELAA methodology in 2020.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)
The primary objective of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) is to identify a location’s forthcoming housing requirements, including types, sizes and tenures. It also determines the area of land required for development and provides a breakdown of the land requirements in terms of location and quality

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG)
A Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) is a recreational site created to attract residents of new developments away from designated sites that are protected for their valuable ecology and are sensitive to recreational activities such as dog walking. The protected SANG sites are Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)

Supplemental Planning Guidance (SPG)
Additional planning guidance which elaborates upon a particular aspect of the Development Plan. It can take the form of design guides or development briefs, or supplement other specific policies in the Plan

Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP)
Surface Water Management Plans (SWMPs) are non-statutory plans which preceded the introduction of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. They can be useful tools for assessing the risk of surface water flooding; identifying options to manage risk to an acceptable level; making the right investment decisions; and planning actions to manage flood risk

Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre (SxBRC)
SxBRC is part of a joint project, in tandem with Sussex Wildlife Trust, and collects, manages and disseminates wildlife data. The Centre acts as a focus for environmental information in Sussex; the biodiversity data thus gathered is used to inform decision makers and the public alike

Sustainable development
A development which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising future generations. The principle of sustainable development is concerned with controlling and reducing damage to the environment, and seeks to meet the longer-term goals of preserving the ozone layer and life on earth

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are designed to manage stormwater runoff from buildings and hard standings as close to source as possible and to mimic natural drainage and encourage its infiltration, attenuation and passive treatment. Such systems can make use of swales and wetlands as well as conventional drainage practices as buffers

Sustainable transport modes
Any efficient, safe and accessible means of transport with an overall low impact on the environment, including walking and cycling, ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles, car sharing and public transport

The Save Wealden from Overdevelopment Team (SWOT) was originally established by Wealden residents to object to the Local Plan published by Wealden District Council in October 2015. SWOT has gone from strength to strength in the intervening eight years, not least in highlighting the fact that the methodology used by WDC in assessing the need for new homes in the district in its 2015 Local Plan overestimated the number of new homes required by a factor of two to three.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 90)
The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 regulates the development of land in England and Wales. Superseding the 1947 Act, the 1990 Act introduced several changes, principally by dividing planning into forward planning and development control. The 1990 Act thus not only sets out the future strategy of the local authority but also controls current developments

Transport assessment
A comprehensive and systematic process that sets out transport issues relating to a proposed development. It identifies measures required to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel, particularly for alternatives to the car such as walking, cycling and public transport, and measures that will be needed to deal with the anticipated transport impacts of the development

Travel Plan
A long-term management strategy for an organisation or a site that seeks to deliver sustainable transport objectives and is regularly reviewed

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are made on specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands to prohibit their cutting down, uprooting, topping or lopping, except with the express consent of the district council.

A highway that is not maintained at public expense

Urban Capacity Study
A study undertaken by the Council, and encouraged by the government, which establishes how much additional housing can be accommodated within urban areas through the re-use of previously developed and other land and buildings, and therefore how much greenfield land may be needed for development

Use Classes Order (UCO)
The UK’s Town & Country (Use Classes) Order 2005 puts properties into various planning categories. The legislation prescribes a number of broad ‘classes of use’ within which change can take place without the need to apply for planning permission

Upward Light of the Installation (ULR)
The maximum permitted percentage of luminaire flux that goes directly into the sky

Business organisations performing a public service, i.e. water, gas, electricity, etc

Visual Effect
A change in the appearance of the landscape from available viewpoints as a result of development

Wealden District Council

Wealden Green Spaces
Established to bring all relevant information together about the district, Wealden Green Spaces is a community action group dedicated to the preservation of Wealden’s distinctive rural character, not least its precious flora and fauna. It’s website – – is the repository of this wealth of information and is regularly updated with relevant data and news related to topical developments

Wildlife Corridor
Areas of habitat connecting wildlife populations

Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts is a movement made up of 46 Wildlife Trusts – independent charities with a shared mission. For more than a century The Wildlife Trusts throughout our history. For more than a century, The Wildlife Trusts have been saving, protecting and standing up for wildlife and wild places

Windfall Sites
Sites coming forward and gaining planning permission but which have not been specifically allocated or identified in the Local Plan or any other planning document

Woodland Trust
Fifty years old in 2022, the Woodland Trust is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. In January 2019 the Trust published Residential developments and trees: A guide for developers and planners

Working Group on Over-Development (WGOD)
Chiddingly Parish Council established its Working Group on Over-Development (WGOD) in July 2021. Initially focused on concerns about the growing number of new homes being proposed for the Chiddingly area, WGOD was put forward by the Parish Council in July 2022 as a working group of the Wealden District Association of Local Councils (WDALC). WDALC quickly assented to this proposal for the involvement of WGOD on a district-wide level. To date, 40 out of a total of 42 Wealden town councils, parish councils and parish meetings have formally agreed to join the WGOD initiative against overdevelopment

World Heritage Site (WHS)
A cultural or natural site of outstanding universal value designated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

Yes, In My Back Yard