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Planning Glossary

Below you will find a glossary of commonly used planning terms and further guidance on how these are used.

Term Definition Further guidance
Advert control application for consent to display an advertisement(s) See our planning applications and fees page for more information
Agent the person/company instructed to act on behalf of the applicant.  
Appeal if the applicant disagrees with the local planning authority’s decision they can challenge that by appealing to the planning inspectorate, who are independent from the local authority See appealing your planning decision (external website) for more information.
Applicant The person submitting the planning scheme. Often the owner
of the property or an interested party seeking advice or approval
of a scheme.
Application Describes the collective information consisting of application form, plans and drawings and and supporting documents. See how to prepare a valid planning application for examples and best practice.
Article 4 directions Removes certain types of permitted development. See the apply for planning permission page for guidance.
CIL Community Infrastructure Levy - a tax on certain forms of development to contribute to local infrastructure Rochford District Council does not currently have CIL in place
Conservation  Area An area designated for its historic value as identified in the conservation area appraisal  
Constraints A restriction of development due to it being located in a designated area See our FAQs for more information.
Rural land outside of the Green Belt Areas outside of the Green Belt that are not within an identified settlement within the settlement hierarchy  
Designation An area that has a special status, such as Green Belt,
Conservation Area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or a 
Flood Risk area, within which a site/address may be located.
See the FAQs page for information on how to see if your land is designated.
Decision The formal determination of an application, usually in the form of a decision notice. This may include conditions.  
Decision codes The abbreviation of a decision made on an application. See the planning applications and fees page for a full list of decision codes and what this means for you.See other decision codes that we use below.
Development The carrying out of building or engineering work in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land See the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for the legal definition of 'development'.  
Flood Risk area An area identified as being at risk of flooding. Flood risk can be either 'fluvial' (from watercourses/rivers), or 'surface water' (from rainwater) or 'ground water' (from the ground). Fluvial flooding is zoned from Zone 1 (low risk) to Zone 3 (high risk). Surface and ground water flood risk is graded as 'low', 'medium' or 'high'.  
Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) This is a document that contains information about the risk of flooding and what steps have been considered to reduce the risk of flooding to a site and its surroundings. See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for guidance on how/when to do this
Geographic Information System (GIS) A mapping system containing information on planning policies and constraints. See MyMaps
Green Belt Green Belt is a designation that restricts certain types of development. Its aims and purposes are set out in the NPPF under protecting Green Belt Land.  
Householder application Planning applications for development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse (not change of use)Includes: extensions, conservatories, loft conversions, dormer windows, alterations, garages, car ports or outbuildings, swimming pools, walls, fences, domestic vehicular accesses including footway crossovers, porches and satellite dishes. Excludes: any work to flats, changing the number of dwellings (flat conversions, building a separate house in the garden), changes of use to part or all of the property to non-residential (including business) uses, or anything outside the garden of the property (including stables if in a separate paddock). See planning applications and fees for more information.
Listed building A building, structure or wall that has historic value and interest
will be graded as either Listed, Grade I, Grade II or Grade II* to protect the fabric and historic value.
Local Plan The plan for future development in the Rochford district which sets out planning policies (rules) for planning applications. Also identifies future areas for housing, employment and other uses. See the development 
 for the adopted local plan. See new local plan for the plan currently being worked on.
Local Planning Authority (LPA) The authority responsible for decisions on planning matters. See the Planning Portal for information on how to find your local planning authority.
Location plan Aerial view of a map showing where a development is proposed in the context of the surrounding area See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for examples and best practice.
Minor applications Planning applications for:1 - 9 dwellings;site area less than 0.5 hectares (residential uses);1000sqm or less / 1 hectare or less (other uses). See planning applications and fees for more information.
Main Town Centre Uses Uses commonly found in a town centre, including:retail (including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres);leisure and entertainment facilities (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars, pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls);offices;arts, culture, and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls, hotels, and conference facilities). See the Area Action Plans for each Town Centre in the district and the Development Plan for the policies on how these uses are dealt with
Major applications Planning applications for:10 or more dwellings;site area of 0.5 hectares or more (residential uses);site area of 1000 sqm or more / 1 hectare or more (other uses) See planning applications and fees for more information.
Material considerations Matters that we must take into account when determining a planning application. These can include (but are not limited to)
overlooking, loss of privacy, loss of light or overshadowing.
See the Material considerations on the planning portal website for guidance
Minor amendment Small changes to the originally permitted scheme i.e works that do not materially impact upon neighbouring properties. See amending your application for details on how to do this.
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) National planning policy and guidance produced by Central Government. View the NPPF online.
OS datum point a vertical datum used as a reference point for determining altitude (height above sea level)  
Ownership certificate Forms part of the planning application form. There are four options: 
certificate A, B, C or D – check the form and opt for one
certificate only.An ‘owner’ is anyone with a freehold interest, or leasehold interest the unexpired term of which is not less than 7 years. In the case of development consisting of the winning or working of minerals, a person entitled to an interest in a mineral in the land is also an owner.An ‘agricultural tenant’ is a tenant of an agricultural holding, any part of which is comprised in the land to which the application relates.
See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for guidance.
Permitted development Allows certain development to be carried out without express permission from the LPA. See the Government's guidance on permitted development (external website)
Planning conditions Restrictions imposed with a planning permission, which are set out on the decision notice. These conditions in certain situations can be discharged. See the Planning Portal (external website) for more information.
Planning history A history check on a specific site, building or area. Planning
records date back to 1 July 1948. All planning applications are
recorded and stored at the Council offices and via the Council's
See the apply for planning permission page for details on how to do this.
Planning policy These are either national or local policies, eg NPPF or Local Plan. For national policy see NPPF (external website). For local policy see the Local Plan.
Planning Portal An external website providing planning guidance and where you can
submit an online online planning application. 
See the Planning Portal website.
Proposal Description of works proposed.  See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for examples and best practice.
Register Processing of planning application, checking correct and completed documents have been submitted.   
Section 106 agreements Legal document setting out terms of implementation of a
development and/or schedule of fees upon completion. 
See the apply for planning permission page for more information on this process.
Scale bars Found on all plans indicating a recognised scale of 1:20, 1:50,
1:100, 1:200, 1:500, 1:1250 or 1:2500. The scale bar will show
distances in metres. 
See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for examples and best practice.
Site plan Aerial view of a map indicating proposed works.  See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for examples and best practice.
Use class Categories of various 'uses' for a building or land (eg shops, drinking establishments, hot food takeaways).  See further guidance on use classes (external website).
Valid Planning application has been fully processed and proceeds
to a planning officer for determination.
See the how to prepare a valid planning application page for more information on how to make a valid application.
Validation Planning application is at the final stages of being assessed
before becoming a valid application. 

Other decision codes

You may see the following codes below for applications before a final decision notice is issued. These are also used at Planning Committee.

For a list of decision codes used in planning applications, see our Planning applications and fees page.

Code What this stands for What this means
WDN Withdrawn The application has been withdrawn by the applicant.
OPEN No recommendation If a planning application does not meet the requirements of section 70A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the LPA is not required to make a formal decision. If the determination period expires, and the applicant does not appeal to the Secretary of State, the application remains 'open'. To 'close' the application, it must be 'finally disposed of'.