West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Issues and Options October 2020

Part 1 - developing a spatial strategy

Appendix 1 - glossary of terms






The final confirmation of a local plan document as having statutory (legal) status for implementation by a local planning authority (LPA).


Affordable housing

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2019.

“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); and which complies with one or more of the following definitions:”

(see separate definitions for each of these in this glossary)

  • Affordable housing for rent
  • Starter homes
  • Discounted market sales housing
  • Other affordable routes to home ownership

Affordable housing for rent

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

”Meets all of the following conditions: (a) the rent is set in accordance with the Government’s rent policy for Social Rent or Affordable Rent, or is at least 20 per cent below local market rents (including service charges where applicable); (b) the landlord is a registered provider, except where it is included as part of a Build to Rent scheme (in which case the landlord need not be a registered provider); and (c) it includes provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. For Build to Rent schemes affordable housing for rent is expected to be the normal form of affordable housing provision (and, in this context, is known as Affordable Private Rent).”


Air quality

A measurement of the level of pollution within the air


Air quality management areas

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

”Areas designated by local authorities because they are not likely to achieve national air quality objectives by the relevant deadlines.”


(Anglian) Water Resource Management Plan

A suite of documents produced by Anglian Water to outline their strategy for managing the demand and supply of water in the East of England.


Authority monitoring report

Report produced every year on the progress of preparing the local plan and the extent to which policies within it are being achieved.


Best and most versatile agricultural land

Classifies agricultural land into five categories according to versatility and suitability for growing crops. The top three grades (Grade 1, 2 and 3a) are referred to as 'best and most versatile agricultural land' and enjoy significant protection from development. Grade 4 and 5 are described as poor quality agricultural land and very poor quality agricultural land.


Biodiversity net gain

An overall increase in biodiversity within a specified region or area.


Breckland Special Protection Area and special area of conservation

See special protection area (SPA).


Broad options for distribution of growth

The options for where housing and employment growth could be focussed within West Suffolk.


Brownfield land

(See previously developed land)


Buffer zones

Core strategy policies CS2 define buffer zones outside of the Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA) where development could have an impact on protected species.


Cambridge Autonomous Metro

The proposed metro system that is intended to operate within Cambridge and surrounding areas. Key corridors proposed suggest Haverhill, Mildenhall and Newmarket may be served by the Cambridge Autonomous Metro


Cambridge sub region housing market area

The Cambridge housing sub‐region is made up of seven district councils; five in Cambridgeshire and two in Suffolk:

  • Huntingdonshire
  • East Cambridgeshire
  • Cambridge
  • Fenland
  • South Cambridgeshire
  • The former Forest Heath (now West Suffolk Council)
  • The former St Edmundsbury (now West Suffolk Council)

Community facilities

A building used by a community for activities such as social gatherings or educational facilities.


Conservation area

Areas of special architectural or historic interest that we want to preserve the character, appearance and/or setting.


Core strategy

Outlines the key principles regarding the development and use of land within a local planning authority's area.



An area that has been identified as outside of a settlement boundary.


County wildlife site

This designation is non-statutory but is recognition of a site’s high value for wildlife, with many sites being of county and often regional or national importance. They often support characteristic or threatened species and habitats included in local and national biodiversity action plans.


Deferred site

A site that has been considered either unsuitable, unavailable or unachievable for development through the strategic housing and economic land availability assessment.


Development boundary

(See settlement boundary)


Development management

The term applied to the consideration and determination of planning applications by a local planning authority (LPA).


Development plan

The statutory development plan comprises the development plan documents contained in an authority’s adopted local plans and neighbourhood plans and is defined by section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


Discounted market sales housing

As defined by the NPPF 2019. 

“is that sold at a discount of at least 20 per cent below local market value. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Provisions should be in place to ensure housing remains at a discount for future."


Distribution of growth

The strategy for focusing housing and employment development across West Suffolk.


Duty to cooperate

The legal requirement to collaborate with neighbouring local authorities and other bodies as set out in section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


Employment land review

Assessment of the supply of and demand for employment land and floorspace.


Entry level exception sites

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“A site that provides entry-level homes suitable for first time buyers (or equivalent, for those looking to rent), in line with paragraph 71 of this Framework.”


Environmental constraints study

A study to establish the environmental constraints that are likely to impact on future growth of West Suffolk.


Find my nearest

West Suffolk Council’s public mapping system (https://maps.westsuffolk.gov.uk/)


Flood risk assessment

An assessment of the risk of flooding, particularly in relation to residential, commercial and industrial land uses. The Environment Agency requires a flood risk assessment (FRA) to be submitted alongside planning applications in areas that are known to be at risk of flooding (within flood zones 2 or 3) and/or are greater than one hectare.


Flood zones

Flood zones refer to the probability of a river or the sea flooding, ignoring the presence of defences. The zones are shown on the Environment Agency’s Flood Map available to view via their webpages.


Forest Heath Core Strategy 2010

An outline of the key principles regarding the development and use of land within the area formerly known as Forest Heath adopted in May 2010 (with a Single Issue Review of Core Strategy Policy CS7 adopted in September 2019).


Former Forest Heath area

The area of land previously under the authority of Forest Heath District Council.


Former St Edmundsbury area

The area of land previously under the authority of St Edmundsbury Borough Council.


Green infrastructure

As defined by the NPPF 2019. 

“A network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities.”


Greenfield land

Land (or a defined site) which has never been built on before or where the remains of any structure or activity have blended into the landscape over time (opposite of brownfield).


Gypsies and Travellers and travelling showpeople

For the purposes of planning policy 'gypsies and travellers' means:

Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds only of their own or their family’s or dependants’ educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excluding members of an organised group of travelling show people or circus people travelling together as such. 

In determining whether persons are ‘gypsies and travellers’ for the purposes of this planning policy, consideration should be given to the following issues amongst other relevant matters:

a)  Whether they previously led a nomadic habit of life.

b)  The reasons for ceasing their nomadic habit of life.

c)  Whether there is an intention of living a nomadic habit of life in the future, and if so,  how soon and in what circumstances.

For the purposes of this planning policy, 'travelling showpeople’ means:

Members of a group organised for the purposes of holding fairs, circuses or shows (whether or not travelling together as such). This includes such persons who on the grounds of their own or their family’s or dependants’ more localised pattern of trading, educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excludes Gypsies and Travellers as defined above.

(Planning Policy for Traveller sites, CLG, August 2015.)


Habitats directive

A European Union directive adopted in 1992 as an EU response to the Berne Convention. It is one of the EU's two directives in relation to wildlife and nature conservation, the other being the Birds Directive.


Habitats regulations assessment

An assessment undertaken to consider and appraise the likely impact of a plan or project upon internationally designated sites of nature conservation importance.


Historic environment record

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“Information services that seek to provide access to comprehensive and dynamic resources relating to the historic environment of a defined geographic area for public benefit and use.”


Horseracing industry

A term applied to the unique assembly of horse racing related interests concentrated in and around Newmarket.


Horse walks

The infrastructure that allows the movement of horses through Newmarket


Housing need assessment

An assessment that quantifies the future housing needs of the district, in terms of the size, type and affordability of dwellings.


Housing or dwelling stock

The total number of houses or flats in an area.


Housing requirement

The number of houses that need to be provided over the plan period


Housing settlement boundary

Represents the development limits of residential areas within which development proposals would be acceptable subject to complying with other policies contained in the development plan. They seek to prevent development from gradually extending into the surrounding countryside.


Included site

A site that has been considered either suitable, available and achievable for development through the strategic housing and economic land availability assessment.


Indicative capacity

An estimate of the number of housing or intensity of economic uses that can be developed in an area.


Infrastructure delivery plan

A document setting out the infrastructure issues and requirements for the area to facilitate growth within a given plan period.


Issues and options

Documents produced during the early stages in the preparation of development plan documents and issued for consultation (in accordance with Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning Regulations).


Joint Development Management Policies (local plan) Document

The document containing policies that that are used in day-to-day development management decision making in the former Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury areas.


Key service centres

Settlements that have a wide range of services that support the day to day needs of its residents.


Landscape character area

An area containing a set of landscape features that create a unique landscape.


Listed building

This is a building that has been placed on the statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.


Local development scheme

This sets out a programme for the preparation of local plan documents. It is a project management tool that identifies which documents are to be prepared, the various stages required in their production together with a detailed timetable.


Local housing need

As defined by the National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG) 2019.

“An unconstrained assessment of the number of homes needed in an area.”


Local plan

A plan prepared by a local planning authority to guide the future development of the local area.


Local service centres

A settlement with a smaller range of facilities when compared with a key service centre but contain a school and a convenience shop as a minimum.


Local wildlife site

These are areas which are important for the conservation of wildlife. They may support threatened habitats, such as chalk grassland or ancient woodland, or may be important for the wild plants or animals which are present.


Major development

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“For housing, development where 10 or more homes will be provided, or the site has an area of 0.5 hectares or more. For non-residential development it means additional floorspace of 1,000 m2 or more, or a site of 1 hectare or more, or as otherwise provided in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.”


Ministry of Defence

A part of the Government responsible for matters of defence.


National planning policy framework

Designed to consolidate all policy statements, circulars and guidance documents into a single, simpler National Planning Policy Framework. The framework is intended to be user-friendly and accessible with clear policies for making robust local and neighbourhood plans and development management decisions.


National planning practice guidance

Online suite of national planning guidance intended to elucidate on sections of the national planning policy as contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


Natura 2000 sites

A European Union designation for protecting significant natural environments.


Neighbourhood plans

A plan prepared by a parish council or neighbourhood forum for a particular neighbourhood area made under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


Neighbouring authorities

The local authorities who are adjacent to West Suffolk Council. Namely: 

  • The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Braintree District Council
  • Babergh District Council
  • Breckland Council
  • Mid Suffolk District Council
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council

Net biodiversity gain

An overall increase of biodiversity within an area.


New settlement(s)

A large-scale development that would result in the creation of a settlement


Non-designated heritage assets

A heritage asset that does not meet the definition of a designated heritage asset.


Other affordable routes to home ownership

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“is housing provided for sale that provides a route to ownership for those who could not achieve home ownership through the market. It includes shared ownership, relevant equity loans, other low cost homes for sale (at a price equivalent to at least 20 per cent below local market value) and rent to buy (which includes a period of intermediate rent). Where public grant funding is provided, there should be provisions for the homes to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for any receipts to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision, or refunded to Government or the relevant authority specified in the funding agreement.”


Planning Policy for Traveller Sites

Government planning policy ‘Planning Policy for Traveller Sites, August 2015’


Preferred options

Documents produced as part of the preparation of development plan documents and issued for formal public participation (in accordance with Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning Regulations). The document shows the preferred ‘direction’, but not the final version, of a development plan document.


Previously developed land

Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill purposes where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures; land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously-developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape in the process of time.


Rural areas or designated rural areas

Designated areas where provision of affordable housing can be sought for residential development of five units or fewer.


SA scoping report

A report that outlines the scope and level of detail to be included in the sustainability appraisal.


Scheduled ancient monument

A scheduled monument is a 'nationally important' archaeological site or historic building given protection against unauthorised change.


Settlement boundary

A settlement boundary represents the development limits of the built-up areas within which development proposals would be acceptable subject to complying with other policies contained in the development plan. They seek to prevent development from gradually extending into the surrounding countryside.


Settlement hierarchy

A method of arranging settlements into a hierarchy based on set criteria and services and facilities.


Site allocation

A site that is allocated within a local plan for development.


Site allocations local plan

Allocates sites for homes, jobs and community facilities.


Site of special scientific interest

Sites designated by Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom.


Special areas of conservation

Areas given special protection under the European Union’s Habitats Directive, which is transposed into UK law by the Habitats and Conservation of Species Regulations 2010.


Special landscape areas

A non-statutory designation which can be used to recognises an area as having a sensitive landscape.


Special protection area

Areas which have been identified as being of international importance for the breeding, feeding, wintering or the migration of rare and vulnerable species of birds found within European Union countries. They are European designated sites, classified under the Birds Directive. 

Special protection area (SPA) components – These are the sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) which make up and underpin the special protection area designation.


St Edmundsbury Borough Council

The previous local authority for the former St Edmundsbury Borough Council area which as has been superseded by West Suffolk Council.


St Edmundsbury Core Strategy 2010

An outline of the key principles regarding the development and use of land within the area formerly known as St Edmundsbury adopted in November 2010.


Starter homes

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“is as specified in Sections 2 and 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and any secondary legislation made under these sections. The definition of a starter home should reflect the meaning set out in statute and any such secondary legislation at the time of plan- preparation or decision-making. Where secondary legislation has the effect of limiting a household’s eligibility to purchase a starter home to those with a particular maximum level of household income, those restrictions should be used.”


Statement of community involvement

A statement which sets out how the community will be consulted and engaged with throughout the plan making and decision-making processes.


Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive

The European Strategic Environment Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC) (set out in the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004) requires an assessment of certain plans and programmes including those related to planning and land-use.


Strategic flood risk assessment

Combined strategic flood risk assessment and water cycle study, assessing the impact of new development on flood risk, water supply and discharges within the district.


Strategic framework priorities

An outline of what West Suffolk Council will focus on developing between 2020 and 2024. The strategic priorities are:

  • Resilient families and communities that are healthy and active.
  • Growth in West Suffolk’s economy for the benefit of all our residents and UK plc.
  • Increased and improved provision of appropriate housing in West Suffolk in both our towns and rural areas.


Strategic housing and economic land availability assessment

One of the principal documents used in the preparation of the local plan. This document is produced periodically to help demonstrate that the area has sufficient sites to meet demand and it is a key evidence base for the local plan insofar as it considers the ‘status’ of all known sites within the area i.e. their availability, suitability, viability and deliverability.


Strategic housing market assessment

A document which provides an objective assessment of the need for all homes, as well as for affordable homes, to inform local plan reviews.


Strategic road network

The structure of motorways and major trunk or A roads in England that are managed by Highways England.


Supplementary planning document

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“Documents which add further detail to the policies in the development plan. They can be used to provide further guidance for development on specific sites, or on particular issues, such as design. Supplementary planning documents are capable of being a material consideration in planning decisions but are not part of the development plan.”


Sustainability appraisal

A tool for appraising policies to ensure that they reflect sustainable development objectives. An appraisal is required by legislation for all local plans and many SPDs.


Sustainable settlements Study

A study undertaken by West Suffolk Council to identify settlements in the district which would be most appropriate to deliver sustainable growth.


The standard method(ology)

A standardised system introduced by central government for calculating the local housing need.


Town centre

As defined by the NPPF 2019.

“Area defined on the local authority’s policies map, including the primary shopping area and areas predominantly occupied by main town centre uses within or adjacent to the primary shopping area. References to town centres or centres apply to city centres, town centres, district centres and local centres but exclude small parades of shops of purely neighbourhood significance. Unless they are identified as centres in the development plan, existing out-of-centre developments, comprising or including main town centre uses, do not constitute town centres.”



The highest level of settlement within settlement hierarchy. Towns contain a higher order of services and facilities which support the surrounding rural areas.


Type A village

Villages which have a more limited range of services and facilities but can still meet some of the day to day needs of their residents and/or lie within two kilometres of a town with the opportunity for sustainable access.


Type B village

Settlements which have a very limited range or no services and poor accessibility to public transport.


United States Air Forces in Europe

The United States Air Force operating within Europe


Use class

The types of use for a building as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).