Cookies information uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Close banner

Current Local Plan Written Statement

Show all parts of this guide

16. Glossary

Appendix 1: Glossary


Adopted Local Plan

A Local Plan that has been through all the stages of preparation, including Local Plan Inquiry, and has been formally ‘adopted' by the Local Planning Authority.


Affordable Housing

That which is available below market price or rent - encompasses both low-cost market and subsidised housing.


Agricultural land Classification

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF, which classifies land according to its quality in terms of its soil productivity and topography). Grades I, II and IIIA are the most versatile grades.


Area of Archaeological Importance (AAI)

A designation given under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 - currently applies to only five cities in the Country that possess archaeological deposits of outstanding importance.


Article 4 Direction

Direction issued by the local planning authority, under Article 4 of the General Development Order, requiring planning permission to be obtained for works that would otherwise be permitted development. Allows the local planning authority to achieve greater control if there is a known or potential threat to the character or appearance of a particular area.



The variety of life on earth embracing all species, communities, habitats and ecosystems associated with the terrestrial, aquatic and marine environment.


Business Park

A development which comprises of business uses within B1-B8 of the Use Classes Order (see below, normally within a landscape setting).



Land which is, or has previously been, developed.



Embankments (bunds) created for landscape effect.


Conservation Area

An area designated by a local planning authority, under Section 69 of the 1990 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act, which is regarded as being of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.


Convenience Goods

Items purchased regularly for daily consumption, such as food, confectionery, tobacco products, magazines and newspapers, that need to be accessible to purchasers.


Cultural Facilities

Buildings and places used for artistic and educational purposes such as art galleries, museums and concert venues.


Detention Pond

A pond designed to temporarily detain storm run-off.



The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land (Town and Country Planning Act 1990).


District Centre

A feature of large urban areas which provide a focal point, separate from the town centre, for between 25,000-40,000 people. Usually containing at least one supermarket or superstore and non-retail services such as banks, building societies, restaurants and community facilities. The only District Centres in Exeter are St. Thomas and Heavitree and, to a limited extent, Topsham. These are identified on the Proposals Map.


Durable (Comparison and Bulky) Goods

Goods such as furniture, electrical or jewellery which are not purchased on a regular basis where comparison between style, quality, price at different retail outlets is usual.


Earth Science

Embraces all features of geological or geomorphologic interests including rocks, fossils, land form and land features and the natural processes which create them.


Edge of Centre

For shopping and leisure purposes, a site which is no more than 300 metres from the primary shopping area and is functionally or physically linked with the primary shopping area such that significant linked trips would occur. For office purposes, a site which is outside the primary shopping area and tourist areas but within the City Centre boundary, as identified on the Proposals Map.


Employment Land

All land and buildings which are used or designated for purposes within Use Class B1 (Business, Class B2 (General Industrial, and Class B8 (Storage or Distribution) and other uses of employment character which may include sui generis uses as car showrooms.


Equity Sharing Scheme

Scheme designed to help people who wish to buy a home of their own but cannot afford it. A share in a property is purchased with another party, usually a housing association, and rent is paid on the remainder.


Fauna and Flora

Forms of animal and plant life.


Flats and Self-Contained Bedsitters

A dwelling that has separate, not shared, access and has its own facilities such as kitchen, bathroom and W. C, although there may be ‘common areas' within a single building.


Flood Plain

All land adjacent to a watercourse over which water flows in times of flood or would flow but for the presence of flood defences where they exist. The limits of the flood plain are defined by the peak water level of 1 in 100 year return period flood or the highest known water level, whichever is the greater.


Food Supermarket

Single level self-service store selling food goods with a trading floorspace less than 2,500 sq. metres.


Food Superstore

Single level, self-service store selling mainly food, or food and non- food, goods with between 25,000- 50,000 sq. metres trading floorspace.


General Development Order

A Central Government Order made under the Town and Country Planning Acts which exempts certain types of minor or governmental/institutional development (‘permitted development') from the need to obtain planning permission.


Greenfield Site

Land which is not, or has not, been developed.


Green Travel Plan

A Plan to be prepared by major employers, such as businesses, schools and hospitals, and by applicants for major employment development, setting out measures to reduce car usage, encourage walking, cycling and public transport, reduce traffic speeds and provide more environmentally friendly delivery and freight movements.


Gross Retail Floorspace

All floorspace used for retail purposes, including offices, storage and preparation rooms, workrooms, lobbies, staircases, cloak rooms, staff rooms etc.


High Occupancy Vehicle

A vehicle occupied by more than one person - can be set as a minimum of two or three.


Historic Fabric

All below and above ground built elements, including fixtures, fittings and finishes which are understood to contribute to the historic character of the City.



A property providing accommodation for people with no other permanent place of residence.


Housing Association

An independent, non-profit making, organisation, funded primarily by Government grants, to build, improve and manage affordable housing for sale or rent.


Housing Need

Assessed by examining the suitability of present housing and the ability of households to afford market priced housing.



International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection.



Development of houses or buildings on sites which are gaps in an otherwise developed road frontage.


Infiltration Basin

A flat-bottomed grass depression where storm water infiltrates the soil.



The network of communications and utility services, such as roads, drains, electricity, water, gas and telecommunications, required to enable the development of land. The term is also used in relation to community or social services such as schools, shops, libraries and public transport.


Innovation Centre

Business accommodation providing ‘incubator units' for innovative small companies leading the field in new technologies with access to the University's technical expertise and to business, planning and financial support.


Intelligent Transport

A series of techniques using modern electronic technology for a variety of applications e. g. traffic system signal control, public transport information systems, car park signing and information.


Inter-Modal Freight Facility

Site equipped with facilities to transfer freight between road and rail.


Listed Building

Building included in the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest compiled under Section 1 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Listed Buildings are considered worthy of special protection because of their architecture, history or other notable features. Listed building consent must be obtained from the local planning authority before they can be altered, extended or demolished. Grade I buildings are of outstanding interest. Grade II buildings are of special interest and some particularly important buildings in this category are distinguished as Grade II*.


Local Centre

Small group of shops and services generally serving the immediate local area. Usually comprises a newsagent, a general grocery store, a sub-post office and, occasionally a pharmacy, a hairdresser and other small shops of a local nature. Local centres are identified on the Proposals Map.


Local Community

People who live or work, or who have written confirmation of work, in the City.


Local Distinctiveness

That which sets a locality apart from anywhere else.


Local Nature Reserve

A title confirmed by a local authority under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 on an area with habitats or species of conservation interest which provide an opportunity for the public to see wildlife in natural surroundings.


Local Services Centre

Building with a maximum floorspace of 1,000 square metres, sub-divided into small units which provides services to meet the day-to-day needs of the workforce on a local employment area. Suitable uses include dentists, doctors, chemists, post-offices, cash points and kiosks selling newspapers, sandwiches etc.


Long Stay Car Park

Car park principally for commuters and other long-stay purposes, controlled by management, pricing and locational policies, primarily for stays of more than half a day.


Material Consideration

A legal term describing a matter or subject which is relevant (‘material) for a local authority to consider when using its powers under planning law.


Mobility Housing

Ordinary housing built to a certain basic standard so that it can be adapted to be lived in by 75% of people with disabilities.


Modal Split Targets

Target figures for travel by different means of transport (bus, walk, cycle, car etc.) to developments.


Multiple Occupation

A property occupied by a number of persons who do not form a single household. This includes bedsits and other non self-contained property where sharing of facilities takes place.


Multi-Use Games Area

A floodlit hard play area which can accommodate 5-a-side football, netball, basketball, tennis and training in rugby, hockey and football. Minimum recommended size is 20 metres by 40 metres which can be accommodated on a site of 0.15 hectares.


Nature Conservation

Conservation of natural features, including geological and geomorphological features, earth science, fauna and flora.


Net Site Density

Net site density includes only those areas which will be developed for housing and directly associated uses. This will include access roads within the site, private garden space, car parking areas, incidental open space and landscaping and children's play areas where these are to be provided. It excludes major distributor roads, primary schools, open spaces serving a wider area and significant landscape buffer strips.


Net Retail Floorspace

Trading floorspace used for retail purposes, excluding offices, storage and preparation rooms, work rooms, lobbies, staircases, cloak rooms, staff rooms etc.


Operational Parking

Parking spaces which are essential to the operation of the business being carried out at the premises e. g. servicing and delivery vehicles.



A location that is clearly separate from the town centre but not necessarily outside the urban area.



A location which is outside the current urban boundary, normally a greenfield site.


Planning Brief

Supplementary Planning Guidance which provides advice on how a site should be developed. In addition to outlining the statutory policies of the local plan, as they apply to the site, the Brief gives details of site characteristics and constraints and suitable land use (s).


Planning Obligation

Comprises both planning agreements between a developer and a local planning authority and a unilateral undertaking by a developer. Obligations regulate the development or use of land in a way that cannot be adequately controlled by a planning condition. May be used to provide facilities required as a result of development or to offset impact on amenity and can include payments to be made to the local planning authority. The benefit must be related to the development and necessary to the grant of permission.


Planning Policy

Government guidance notes on various aspects of planning. Local planning authorities must take Guidance Notes their content into account in preparing their local plans. The guidance may also be material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.


Playing Field

The whole of a site which encompasses at least one playing pitch.


Playing Pitch

Areas reserved and maintained as outdoor playing space principally for formal organised pitch sports (football, cricket, rugby and hockey). Excludes land suitable only for kick-a-bout or too small for formal (league) games.


Protected Species

Species which have legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. This provides protection for birds, general protection for a number of animals with more specific protection for some animals such as bats, newts, otters, reptiles and badgers, general protection for all wild plants and more specific protection for some plants.


Public Rights of Way

Public footpaths and bridleways constituting a definitive set of routes along which the public has the right to travel.



Wetland site of international importance as waterfowl habitat given special protection under a convention signed at RAMSAR in Iran. Such sites will already be SSSIs (see below) prior to such designation.


Retail Park

A group of 3 or more retail warehouse units with shared parking and shared access.


Retail Warehouse

Large single level store for the sale of bulky goods and provision of goods and services for the construction, repair, maintenance and improvement of the home, garden and motor vehicle.


Rough Sleepers Initiative

Programme, funded by Department of Environment and Transport (DETR), which aims to make it unnecessary for anyone to sleep rough. Monitoring, which is carried out in accordance with DETR guidance, informs the Exeter Single Homelessness Strategy.



That part of rainfall which finds its way into streams, rivers, etc. and flows eventually to the sea.


Safeguarded Land

Land which is not formally allocated for development pending the outcome of a given issue.


Scheduled Monument

Land and/or buildings scheduled by the Secretary of State under Part 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 whose preservation is of national importance because of its historical, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest.


Secondary Shopping Area

Retail area where rents tend to be lower than in the primary area - characterised by uses such as building societies, estate agents and specialist shops.


Sheltered Accommodation

Accommodation for a specific section of the community (e. g. elderly or handicapped) that allows residents to live independently but with provision of communal facilities and services.



A service which provides electric and other wheelchairs for hire by people with disabilities so that they can shop in the City Centre.


Short-Stay Car Park

Car parking principally for shoppers and other short- stay purposes controlled by management, pricing and locational policies, primarily for stays of less than half a day.


Sites and Monuments Register

A register of known archaeological and historic remains outside the central area of Exeter


Site of Special Scientific Interest

An area of land notified under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as being of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features. Selection (SSSI) of SSSIs is the responsibility of English Nature.



Stone filled pit into which surface water is drained to soak away into the soil.


Spatial Integrity

The completeness and overall character of a space which may be appreciated.


Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

Site of European conservation importance comprising habitats or species defined under the terms of the E. C. Habitats Directive (E. C. Directive 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats of Wild Fauna and Flora.


Special Needs

People whose need for housing, either because of material, physical or health disadvantages, cannot be accommodated in general housing.


Special Protection Area (SPA)

A site of European importance for bird conservation designated under the EC Birds Directive (EC Directive 1979 for the Conservation of Wild Birds).


Species Rich Grassland

Grassland often managed as meadow for many years and normally unimproved or unfertilised, which consists of a wide variety of grasses and wild flowers. A rare ecosystem of great value now disappearing rapidly due to changes in agriculture, development or poor management.


Starter Units

Small industrial units for firms starting up in business or activities operating within industrial or service sectors which do not have special locational requirements by virtue of their physical size, scale or nature of operation.


Structure Planting

Large scale framework planting.


Supplementary Planning Guidance

at a greater level of detail than is appropriate for inclusion in the local plan. Usually takes the form of design guides and planning (SPG) briefs. SPG will be taken into account as a material consideration in deciding planning applications or appeals if it is consistent with national and regional guidance and the policies set out in the Adopted Local Plan and has been subject to consultation.


Sustainable Development

without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This means that mankind should live off the Earth's income rather than erode its capital. The consumption of renewable resources must be kept within the limits which allow them to be replaced and future generations handed down not only man-made wealth such as building, roads and railways, but natural wealth such as clean and adequate water supplies, good arable land, wildlife and ample forests.


Sustainability Appraisal

Process which aims to ensure that the environmental implications of the local plan policies and proposals are made explicit and that environmental considerations are fully taken into account.


Swale Telecommunications

An expanding range of communication services involving radio, television and telephone networks provided by means of cable, microwave and satellite, which range from international to local in scope.


Town Cramming

The over-development of urban areas resulting in damage to the environment and the character of residential areas.


Transport Assessment

A system of assessment, to be submitted alongside applications for major development, which illustrates the likely modal split of split of journeys to and from the site together with details of proposed measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling.


Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

An Order made by a local planning authority under Section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; to protect selected trees and woodland if their removal would have a significant impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public.


Urban Archaeological Database

A database of information which is currently known about the archaeological and historic remains within central Exeter, dating up to 1750 AD.


Urban Capacity Study

A systematic assessment of the extent to which housing development may be accommodated on vacant land or on underused land and buildings in the urban area. Includes assessment of higher densities; revised parking standards; mixes of house types; infill; conversion of larger houses, offices and other buildings; and use of vacant and underused space above shops.


Urban Fringe

Land at the transition between the urban area and the surrounding countryside - tends to be where development pressures are greatest.


Use Classes Order

Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987: an order made by the Secretary of State for the Environment defining separate classes for the use of land or buildings. Planning permission is not required to change between uses in the same Use Class.

  • A1: Shops, including retail warehouses, post offices, hairdressers, etc.
  • A2: Financial and professional services - banks, building societies, estate agents, etc.
  • A3: Food and drink - restaurants, pubs, snack bars, take-aways, etc.
  • B1: Business, including offices not within A2, research and development ad industrial uses which can be accommodated in residential areas.
  • B2: General industrial.
  • D1: Non-residential institutions: church halls, clinics, health centres, crèches, nurseries, museums, public halls, non residential education and training centres
  • D2: Assembly and leisure: cinemas, concert halls, dance halls, sports halls, swimming baths, skating rink, gymnasiums, bingo halls.
  • SUI GENERIS: Uses not falling within a defined use class, e.g. car sales, laundrettes, petrol stations and amusement arcades.


Vitality and Viability

The factors which make a shopping centre successful or otherwise, including accessibility, parking, investment and concentration of shops.



Areas of land either permanently or occasionally wet which, as a result, support characteristic communities of flora and fauna. Poor drainage may be for geological or geomorphological reasons or as a result of land management or former agricultural techniques. They can be fresh or salt water habitats and include estuarine mud flats, salt marsh and other marsh land, raised and other bogs, fen land, damp or wet grassland, flood meadows, mire, swamp and ephemeral ponds.



Includes all rivers, streams, ditches, drains, cuts, dykes, slooses, sewers (other than public sewers) and passages through which water flows.


Wheelchair Housing

Housing needed by people permanently dependent on a wheelchair for mobility and specially designed and constructed to meet their needs.


Wildlife Corridor

Areas of natural/semi-natural habitat protected from development in order to maintain the movement of wildlife through the urban area.



Unidentified sites which may become available for development over the local plan period.