West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Preferred Options

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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 2021.

“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)

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

Affordable housing for rent

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

”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% 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 National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

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


Article 4 direction

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021 .

“A direction made under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 which withdraws permitted development rights granted by that Order.”


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. 


Asset of community value

A local authority is able to designate a building and/or an area of land as an asset of community value to ensure the protection of the use of the building and/or land in the interest of a community.


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 by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Foods 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

“Biodiversity net gain delivers measurable improvements for biodiversity by creating or enhancing habitats in association with development.” 


Brownfield land 

(See previously developed land)


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:

  • Cambridge
  • East Cambridgeshire
  • Fenland
  • Huntingdonshire
  • 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. 


Concept statement

A concept statement is a simple, clear expression of the kind of place that a new development should create. It sets out how the policies and objectives of the Local Plan will apply to a specific site in order to deliver the best possible economic, social and environmental benefits. Prepared by the relevant planning authority it is the subject of consultation before it is approved. 


Connectivity statement

A connectivity statement should show how applicable types of development will connect to high-speed electronic communications network through direct fibre to the premises. If it is not possible to do so, the reasons for this should be explained, and the statement shall set out how and where fibre ducting will be provided on site to enable the development to have the capacity to connect to a high-speed electronic communications network at a future date. 


Conservation area

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



Contains small rural settlements with few or no services. Settlements will have no housing settlement boundary. 


County wildlife site

Non-statutory sites that are designated, in this case at the county level.  ‘County wildlife sites’ are areas of substantive nature conservation value and make an important contribution to ecological networks and nature’s recovery. They can also provide wider benefits including public access (where agreed), climate mitigation and helping to tackle air pollution. 


Custom and self-build

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“Housing built by an individual, a group of individuals, or persons working with or for them, to be occupied by that individual. Such housing can be either market or affordable housing. A legal definition, for the purpose of applying the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended), is contained in section 1(A1) and (A2) of that Act.” 


Deferred site

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


Design code

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“A set of illustrated design requirements that provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area. The graphic and written components of the code should build upon a design vision, such as a masterplan or other design and development framework for a site or area.” 


Design guide

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“A document providing guidance on how development can be carried out in accordance with good design practice, often produced by a local authority.” 


Development brief

A development brief provides a detailed framework for development of a site where a full masterplan (refer to masterplan) approach is not required. 


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 National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“Is that sold at a discount of at least 20% 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 eligible households.” 


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. 


Energy hierarchy

The energy hierarchy is a classification of energy options which is often illustrated as a pyramid or triangle with the best, most sustainable approach at the base of the diagram, and least sustainable approach at the top of the diagram. 


Entry level exception sites

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“A site that provides entry-level homes suitable for first time buyers (or equivalent, for those looking to rent), in line with paragraph 72 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 My West Suffolk 


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 webpage. 


Forest Heath Core Strategy 2010

An outline of the key principles and policies 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 and blue corridors

Green corridors can be as simple as a line of shrubs along a footpath or can take the form of a wooded strip connecting larger woodland areas. Blue corridors usually come in the form of rivers and streams.  Green and blue corridors connect habitats for the movement of wildlife. They can also provide routes for the movement of people. 


Green infrastructure

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“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.” 


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

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. 


Heritage asset

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. It includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).” 


Historic environment record

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“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.” 


Horse racing 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 needs of specific groups

An evidence study to support planning policies relating to the needs of groups with specific housing requirements, and which has assessed the overall need for affordable housing in West Suffolk.


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 housing 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

The draft infrastructure delivery plan (IDP) is an evidence base study supporting the local plan which sets out baseline information for those categories of settlements which could experience growth in this 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

These settlements have the basic services needed to support the day to day needs of residents including a primary school, early years provision, convenience food shop, a pub, village hall and a recreation area and healthcare provision. The majority of key service centres have good access to the towns by public transport. These are the largest settlements, in terms of population, outside of the towns and provide a number of key services and facilities that meet the settlements’ own needs, and the needs of other nearby smaller settlements.


Landscape character area

An area containing a distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements 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 Framework 2021.

“The number of homes identified as being needed through the application of the standard method set out in national planning guidance (or, in the context of preparing strategic policies only, this may be calculated using a justified alternative approach as provided for in paragraph 61 of this Framework).”


Local plan

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


Local service centres

These settlements tend to have fewer dwellings than key service centres and a smaller range of services but will have as a minimum a school and convenience shop or community run shop and/or post office and village hall. These settlements are less accessible than the higher order settlements but can still meet some needs of other nearby smaller settlements. 


Local wildlife site

Non-statutory sites that are designated at the district level. LWS are of nature conservation value and make an important contribution to ecological networks and nature’s recovery. They can also provide wider benefits including public access (where agreed), climate mitigation and helping to tackle air pollution. 


Major development

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (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.” 



Once a concept statement has been developed a masterplan can be drafted. This provides more specific information about how the land will be used, Masterplans are prepared by developers taking into consideration views of any stakeholders. The plans are subject to consultation before being submitted to the council for approval as planning guidance. 



A site and/or building combining a variety of uses, for example residential and employment or residential and school.


Ministry of Defence

A part of the Government responsible for matters of defence. 


M4(2): Accessible and adaptable dwellings

Building Regulations optional requirement “This requirement is met when a new dwelling provides reasonable provision for most people to access the dwelling and includes features that make it suitable for a range of potential occupants, including older people, individuals with reduced mobility and some wheelchair users.” 


M4(3): Wheelchair user dwellings

Building Regulations optional requirement “This requirement is achieved when a new dwelling provides reasonable provisions for a wheelchair user to live in the dwelling and have the ability to use any outdoor space, parking and communal facilities.” 


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

Natura 2000 is a network of sites selected to ensure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. 


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:

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

Net zero

“Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.”


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.


Non-strategic policies

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021, non-strategic policies are those “policies contained in a neighbourhood plan, or those policies in a local plan that are not strategic policies.” 

These are locally specific policies that will be used in day-to-day planning decisions (providing more detail on the strategic policies, and providing criteria that proposals are required to comply with). 


Omission sites

These are sites which have been discounted and not proposed for allocation in this plan. 


Other affordable routes to home ownership

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“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% 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.” 


Permitted development rights

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 is a statutory instrument that sets out a range of certain types of development that do not require planning permission, which are known as permitted development rights.


Planning Policy for Traveller Sites

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


Police facilities

Additional or enhanced police station (Safer Neighbourhood Team) floor space and facilities, including fit out & refurbishment:

  • Custody facilities
  • Mobile police stations
  • Communications, including ICT
  • Speed Camera/ Automatic Number Plate Recognition Technology
  • Police vehicles
  • Funding for additional staff resources, incorporating recruitment, training, equipment and tasking of Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) during the construction and occupation phases of residential development, recruitment, training and equipment for Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) and Neighbourhood Response Team (NRT) police officers.

Policy parameters

These set out the scope or framework of each policy and/or purpose of each policy, what each policy intends to allow or restrict and key points and criteria of the policies.


Preferred allocation

The preferred options stage of the local plan which sets out the preferred sites proposed for residential, employment, mixed use.


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. 


Primary shopping area

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. A primary shopping area is a ‘defined area where retail development is concentrated’. 


Renewable and low carbon energy

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“Includes energy for heating and cooling as well as generating electricity. Renewable energy covers those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment – from the wind, the fall of water, the movement of the oceans, from the sun and also from biomass and deep geothermal heat. Low carbon technologies are those that can help reduce emissions (compared to conventional use of fossil fuels).” 


Rural exception sites

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“Small sites used for affordable housing in perpetuity where sites would not normally be used for housing. Rural exception sites seek to address the needs of the local community by accommodating households who are either current residents or have an existing family or employment connection. A proportion of market homes may be allowed on the site at the local planning authority’s discretion, for example where essential to enable the delivery of affordable units without grant funding.” 


Scheduled ancient monument

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


Suitable alternative natural greenspace

These areas are created as enhanced and attractive green spaces that provide an enjoyable natural environment for recreational use and are provided as an alternative to nature conservation sites which are sensitive to recreational pressure.


Secure by design

“Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police security initiative that works to improve the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work, shop and visit.”


Settlement hierarchy

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


Site allocations

Sets out the preferred site allocations. These include residential, mixed-use and employment site allocations. It also identifies existing employment areas, town centres and local centres. 


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. Sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) are important as they support plants and animals that find it difficult to survive elsewhere in the countryside, and they represent the country’s best wildlife and geological sites.


Special areas of conservation

Special areas of conservation (SACs) are protected areas in the UK designated under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended). The listed habitat types and species are those considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level. 


Special landscape areas 

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


Special protection area

Special protection areas (SPAs) are protected areas for birds in the UK classified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 2010 (as amended) 

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 Core Strategy 2010

An outline of the key principles and policies 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 National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“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 policies

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“Strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and design quality of places, and make sufficient provision for: 

a)   housing (including affordable housing), employment, retail, leisure and other commercial development;

b)   infrastructure for transport, telecommunications, security, waste management, water supply, wastewater, flood risk and coastal change management, and the provision of minerals and energy (including heat);

c)    community facilities (such as health, education and cultural infrastructure); and

d)   conservation and enhancement of the natural, built and historic environment, including landscapes and green infrastructure, and planning measures to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.” 


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

A strategic flood risk assessment, assessing sources of flooding, flood risk management, the impact of climate change and the need to address flood risk in new developments 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:

  • Growth in West Suffolk’s economy for the benefit of all our residents and UK plc.
  • Resilient families and communities that are healthy and active.
  • 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. 


Submission stage

The final stage in the preparation of the local plan when the documents are ready to be submitted to Secretary of State and an independent examination. 


Suffolk Geo sites

Non-statutory designation for places of local geological interest in Suffolk. 


Supplementary planning document

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“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 sustainability appraisal (SA) is a legal requirement and accompanies each stage of the local plan. This continuous appraisal process helps ensure this plan is in line with the aims of sustainable development. 


Sustainability appraisal scoping report

A sustainability appraisal scoping report was prepared for the issues and options draft of the local plan. This provided baseline evidence on current and future characteristics and issues in West Suffolk, giving the context and specific issues that help to identify the key issues for growth and development. 


Sustainable development

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“The objective of sustainable development can be summarised as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 


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 National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“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.” 



West Suffolk towns contain the majority of the district’s population and provide a range of employment opportunities and higher order services and facilities, including education, community, leisure, cultural and health facilities with good bus and/or rail access to the wider area. 


Transport assessment

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021. 

“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 deal with the anticipated transport impacts of the development.” 


Travel plan

As defined by the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.

“A long-term management strategy for an organisation or site that seeks to deliver sustainable transport objectives and is regularly reviewed.” 


Type A village

These villages have a more limited range of services and facilities than local service centres but can still meet some of the day to day needs of their residents. Some villages have opportunities for sustainable access to higher order settlements. 


Type B village

These settlements have a very limited range of or no services and poor accessibility to public transport. It is likely that residents will rely on the private car to travel to meet their day-to-day needs.


United States Air Forces in Europe

The United States Air Force operating within Europe.


Use class

The types of use for a building and land as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 2020 (as amended).


Valued landscape

Non-statutory designation of landscape valued at a local level as having sufficient landscape qualities to elevate it above other more everyday landscapes. These areas are important for their distinctive character, qualities and sense of place.


Vision 2031

The three vision documents (Bury St Edmunds Haverhill and Rural) provide a framework for managing the pressures and opportunities for growth in former St Edmundsbury area over the two decades. The documents were adopted in November 2014. 


Waste hierarchy

The waste hierarchy is a simple approach that progresses from the most favourable and sustainable approach to the least sustainable. There are five stages: prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery, and finally disposal. 


Water cycle study

The water cycle study describes the water cycle as the process by which water is transported throughout a region. It considers the potential impact of development on water resources, quality and supply, wastewater, sewage, and flood risk management. 


Water stress

Water stress is a result of water being a scarce resource. This especially applicable to the east of England as it is the driest region in the country. 


Windfall sites

Windfall provision is unplanned provision which can come forward on sites across the whole district at any time. These sites are not identified or relied upon in the plan.