Annex Six: Glossary

To help improve access to policies in the London Plan and associated supporting text we have created an online version. Each policy has its own page, as do the sections of supporting text that are not directly associated with a specific policy. Our aim is to recreate the plan as accurately as possible; however this online plan has some variations:

  • The footnotes do not match the numbering in the plan as they begin at 1 on each webpage
  • The hyperlinks have been added for related policies
  • The display and formatting of tables and maps have been modified for online use

For the avoidance of doubt, this is an additional resource that does not replace the published London Plan. In the event that there are differences, the London Plan as published is always the definitive version.

A PDF version of the London Plan Annex Six: Glossary can be found in the Related Documents section at the bottom of this page.




This term refers to the methods by which people with a range of needs (such as disabled people, people with children, people whose first language is not English) find out about and use services and information.  For disabled people, access in London means the freedom to participate in the economy, in how London is planned, in the social and cultural life of the community.


This term is used in two distinct ways, its definition depending on the accompanying text (see Accessibility of London and Accessibility of the Transport System below).

Accessibility of London

This refers to the extent to which employment, goods and services are made available to people, either through close proximity, or through providing the required physical links to enable people to be transported to locations where they are available.

Accessibility of the transport system

This refers to the extent of barriers to movement for users who may experience problems getting from one place to another, including disabled people.

Active provision for electric vehicles

An actual socket connected to the electrical supply system that vehicle owners can plug their vehicle into (see also ‘Passive provision for electric vehicles’)

Advanced thermal treatment

A means of recovering energy from waste. Waste is heated at high temperature and a useable gas is produced (Gasification and Pyrolysis are examples of Advanced Thermal Treatment).

Affordable housing

This is defined in Chapter 3 at Policy 3.10 and paragraph 3.61.


This is granular material used in construction.  Aggregates may be natural, artificial or recycled.

Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) 

An area which a local authority had designated for action, based upon a prediction that Air Quality Objectives will be exceeded.


The surface reflectivity of the sun’s radiation.

Allowable Solutions

Allowable Solutions are part of the Government’s strategy for the delivery of zero carbon homes from 2016.  Through the mechanism of Allowable Solutions, carbon emissions which cannot be cost-effectively reduced on-site can, once a minimum on-site carbon performance standard has been reached, be tackled through off-site measures.

Ambient noise

Ongoing sound in the environment such as from transport and industry, as distinct from individual events, such as a noisy all-night party.  Unless stated otherwise, noise includes vibration.


Element of a location or neighbourhood that helps to make it attractive or enjoyable for residents and visitors.

Anaerobic digestion

Biological degradation of organics (eg food waste and green garden waste) in the absence of oxygen, producing biogas suitable for energy generation (including transport fuel), and residue (digestate) suitable for use as a soil improver.


Self-contained hotel accommodation (C1 use class) that provides for short-term occupancy purchased at a nightly rate with no deposit against damages (ODPM Circular 03/2005).  They will usually include concierge and room service, and include formal procedures for checking in and out.  Planning conditions may limit length of stay to occupiers.

Archaeological resources

include artefacts, archaeological features and deposits.

Area for intensification

Areas that have significant potential for increases in residential, employment and other uses through development of sites at higher densities with more mixed and intensive use but at a level below that which can be achieved in the Opportunity Areas.

Areas for regeneration

These areas are the Census Local Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in greatest socio-economic need, defined on the basis of the 20 per cent most deprived LSOAs in the Index of Multiple Deprivation.



This refers to the variety of plants and animals and other living things in a particular area or region. It encompasses habitat diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity. Biodiversity has value in its own right and has social and economic value for human society.


The total dry organic matter or stored energy of plant matter. As a fuel it includes energy crops and sewage as well as arboricultural forestry and agricultural residues.

Blue Ribbon Network

A spatial policy covering London’s waterways and water spaces and land alongside them.

Brownfield land

Both land and premises are included in this term, which refers to a site that has previously been used or developed and is not currently fully in use, although it may be partially occupied or utilised. It may also be vacant, derelict or contaminated. This excludes open spaces and land where the remains of previous use have blended into the landscape, or have been overtaken by nature conservation value or amenity use and cannot be regarded as requiring development.

Brown roofs 

Roofs which have a layer of soil or other material which provides a habitat or growing medium for plants or wildlife.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) This concept was originally developed in the USA for increasing investment within defined areas of a city such as town centres or industrial estates. This is achieved through changes to local taxation, based on a supplementary rate levied on businesses within that defined area.


Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas comprising 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide fixed by plants many millions of years ago, and this has increased its concentration in the atmosphere by some 12 per cent over the past century. It contributes about 60 per cent of the potential global warming effect of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

Carbon neutrality

Contributing net zero carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere (also see: Zero Carbon).

Car club

These are schemes such as city car clubs and car pools, which facilitate vehicle sharing.                    

Central Activities Zone (CAZ)

The Central Activities Zone is the area where planning policy recognises the importance of strategic finance, specialist retail, tourist and cultural uses and activities, as well as residential and more local functions.

Combined heat and power

The combined production of electricity and usable heat is known as Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Steam or hot water, which would otherwise be rejected when electricity alone is produced, is used for space or process heating.

Commercial waste

Waste arising from premises which are used wholly or mainly for trade, business, sport, recreation or entertainment as defined in Schedule 4 of the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992, is defined as commercial waste.

Communities and Local Government (CLG)

The Government department responsible for planning, local Government, housing and regional development.

Community heating

The distribution of steam or hot water through a network of pipes to heat a large area of commercial, industrial or domestic buildings or for industrial processes. The steam or hot water is supplied from a central source such as a heat-only boiler or a combined heat and power plant.

Community strategies

These are practical tools for promoting or improving the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area of jurisdiction of a local authority. Such strategies are prepared allowing for local communities (based upon geography and/or interest) to articulate their aspirations, needs and priorities.

Comparison retail/shopping

These refer to shopping for things like clothes, products, household and leisure goods which are not bought on a regular basis.

Congestion charging

This refers to applying charges to reduce the number of vehicles and level of congestion in congested areas. The Mayor has introduced a scheme to charge vehicles within a defined area of central London.

Construction and demolition waste

This is waste arising from the construction, repair, maintenance and demolition of buildings and structures, including roads. It consists mostly of brick, concrete, hardcore, subsoil and topsoil, but it can contain quantities of timber, metal, plastics and occasionally special (hazardous) waste materials.

Contingent obligations

The use of S106 agreements to enable and define mechanisms for the re-appraisal of viability prior to the implementation of schemes in whole or in part which are likely to take many years to implement. These mechanisms recognise the need to maximise reasonable affordable housing provision, and to address the economic uncertainties which may arise over the lifetime of a proposal. Such provisions are sometimes incorrectly called ‘overage’ provisions.

Convenience retail/shopping

These refer to shopping for everyday essential items like food, drink, newspapers and confectionary.

Conventional business park

This style of business park is generally large, car-based and located beyond the urban area.

Corridor management

Ensuring that the requirements of the different users of a corridor, including transport users, business and residents are addressed in a coordinated and integrated way.

Crossrail 1

The first line in the Crossrail project, Crossrail 1 is an east–west, cross-central London rail link between Paddington and Whitechapel serving Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf and Stratford. It will serve major development and regeneration corridors, and improve access to large areas of central and suburban London.

Chelsea–Hackney line (Crossrail 2)

This proposed rail line is intended to link north-east and south-west London. The precise route, the character and the role of the link have not yet been finalised.

Cultural quarters

Areas where a critical mass of cultural activities and related uses are emerging, usually in historic or interesting environments, are to be designated as Cultural Quarters. They can contribute to urban regeneration.



To remove or reduce the potential carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere from a process or structure.

Design and access statement

A statement that accompanies a planning application to explain the design principles and concepts that have informed the development and how access issues have been dealt with. The access element of the statement should demonstrate how the principles of inclusive design, including the specific needs of disabled people, have been integrated into the proposed development and how inclusion will be maintained and managed.


This refers to development in its widest sense, including buildings, and in streets, spaces and places. It also refers to both redevelopment, including refurbishment, as well as new development.

Development brief

This brief sets out the vision for a development. It is grounded firmly in the economic, social, environmental and planning context. Apart from its aspirational qualities, the brief must include site constraints and opportunities, infrastructure including energy and transport access and planning policies. It should also set out the proposed uses, densities and other design requirements.

Disabled people

A disabled person is someone who has an impairment, experiences externally imposed barriers and self-identifies as a disabled person.

District centres

These are defined in Annex 2.


The differences in the values, attitudes, cultural perspective, beliefs, ethnic background, sexuality, skills, knowledge and life experiences of each individual in any group of people constitute the diversity of that group. This term refers to differences between people and is used to highlight individual need.



A sector of business which comprises companies deriving at least some portion of their revenues from Internet-related products and services.

East of England Region

The Eastern Region covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Embodied energy

Embodied energy is the amount of resources consumed to produce a material. Production includes the growing or mining and processing of the natural resources and the manufacturing, transport and delivery of the material.

Energy efficiency

This is about making the best or most efficient use of energy in order to achieve a given output of goods or services, and of comfort and convenience. This does not necessitate the use of less energy, in which respect it differs from the concept of energy conservation.

Energy hierarchy

The Mayor’s approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the built environment. The first step is to reduce energy demand (be lean), the second step is to supply energy efficiently (be clean) and the third step is use renewable energy (be green).

Energy masterplanning

Spatial and strategic planning that identifies and develops opportunities for decentralised energy and the associated technical, financial and legal considerations that provide the basis for project delivery.

Energy recovery

To recover energy is to gain useful energy, in the form of heat and/or electric power, or transport fuel, from waste. It includes combined heat and power using incineration, gasification or pyrolysis technologies, combustion of landfill gas and gas produced during anaerobic digestion.

Environmental assessments

In these assessments, information about the environmental effects of a project is collected, assessed and taken into account in reaching a decision on whether the project should go ahead or not.

Environmental statement

This statement will set out a developer’s assessment of a project’s likely environmental effects, submitted with the application for consent for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999.

Equal life chances for all

The Mayor’s Equality Framework has been developed to address the remaining and significant pockets of deprivation and inequality, and provides a fresh analysis and different solutions to inclusion, community cohesion and tackling disadvantage. It promotes an approach that brings Londoners together rather than dividing them, enabling people to realise their potential and aspirations and make a full contribution to the economic success of their city. It aims to achieve equal life chances for all.

Equal opportunities

The development of practices that promote the possibility of fair and equal chances for all to develop their full potential in all aspects of life and the removal of barriers of discrimination and oppression experienced by certain groups.

European Spatial Development Perspective

A non-statutory document produced by the Informal Council of Ministers setting out principles for the future spatial development of the European Union. 


Family housing

is generally defined as having three or more bedrooms.

Fluvial water

Water in the Thames and other rivers.

Flood resilient design

can include measures such as putting living accommodation on the first floor or building on stilts.

Fuel cell

A cell that acts like a constantly recharging battery, electrochemically combining hydrogen and oxygen to generate power. For hydrogen fuel cells, water and heat are the only by-products and there is no direct air pollution or noise emissions. They are suitable for a range of applications, including vehicles and buildings.


Garden land

(including back gardens and private residential gardens) is the area within a defined dwelling curtilage used for amenity purposes from which the public is excluded. For the purpose of policy 3.5, back gardens are that part of the curtilage which is to the rear of the front building line of the dwelling. This definition can be refined in light of local circumstances, taking account of permitted development rights.


See Advanced Thermal Treatment.


The variety of rocks, fossils, minerals, landforms, soils and natural processes, such as weathering, erosion and sedimentation, that underlie and determine the character of our natural landscape and environment.

Green Belt

National policy designations that help to contain development, protect the countryside and promote brownfield development, and assists in the urban renaissance. There is a general presumption against inappropriate development in the Green Belt.

Green chains

These are areas of linked but separate open spaces and the footpaths between them. They are accessible to the public and provide way-marked paths and other pedestrian and cycle routes.

Green corridors

This refers to relatively continuous areas of open space leading through the built environment, which may be linked and may not be publicly accessible. They may allow animals and plants to be found further into the built-up area than would otherwise be the case and provide an extension to the habitats of the sites they join.

Green industries

The business sector that produces goods or services, which compared to other, generally more commonly used goods and services, are less harmful to the environment.

Green infrastructure

The multifunctional, interdependent network of open and green spaces and green features (e.g. green roofs). It includes the Blue Ribbon Network but excludes the hard-surfaced public realm. This network lies within the urban environment and the urban fringe, connecting to the surrounding countryside. It provides multiple benefits for people and wildlife including: flood management; urban cooling; improving physical and mental health; green transport links (walking and cycling routes); ecological connectivity; and food growing. Green and open spaces of all sizes can be part of green infrastructure provided they contribute to the functioning of the network as a whole. See also Urban Greening.

Green lease

A lease between a landlord and tenant of a commercial building which provides mutual contractual lease obligations for tenants and owners to minimise environmental impact in areas such as energy, water and waste.

Green roofs/walls

Planting on roofs or walls to provide climate change, amenity, food growing and recreational benefits. For further information please see:


The improvement of the appearance, function and wildlife value of the urban environment through soft landscaping. It can also result in cooler local temperatures.  

Ground water

Water within soils and rock layers.

Growth Areas

Specific areas for new residential development to accommodate future population growth, as outlined in the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. Within London these include the Thames Gateway and the London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough Corridor.

Gypsy and Travellers’ sites

These are sites either for settled occupation, temporary stopping places, or transit sites for people of nomadic habit of life, such as travellers and gypsies.


Health inequalities

are defined by the UK Government as ‘inequalities in respect of life expectancy or general state of health which are wholly or partly a result of differences in respect of general health determinants.’

Heritage assets

are the valued components of the historic environment. They include buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes positively identified as having a degree of historic significance meriting consideration in planning decisions. They include both designated heritage assets and non-designated assets where these have been identified by the local authority (including local listing) during the process of decision-making or plan making.

Household waste

All waste collected by Waste Collection Authorities under Section 45(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, plus all waste arising from Civic Amenity sites and waste collected by third parties for which collection or disposal credits are paid under Section 52 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Household waste includes waste from collection rounds of domestic properties (including separate rounds for the collection of recyclables), street cleansing and litter collection, beach cleansing, bulky household waste collections, hazardous household waste collections, household clinical waste collections, garden waste collections, Civic Amenity/Reuse and Recycling Centre wastes, drop-off /‘bring’ systems, clearance of fly-tipped wastes, weekend skip services and any other household waste collected by the waste authorities.

Housing in multiple occupation

Housing occupied by members of more than one household, such as student accommodation or bedsits.

Housing Capacity Study (HCS)

A process for identifying future housing capacity across an area to inform the development of housing policy and proposals. Housing capacity studies have been superseded in Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3) by Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs).

Human in scale

providing a high quality environment in which buildings, places and spaces are accessible, easy to navigate and understand. This can be through the use of gateways, focal points and landmarks, as well as ensuring buildings create a positive relationship with street level activity and people feel comfortable within their surroundings. Organisations such as CABE as well as the Mayor’s Design Advice Panel can provide design related advice.



The burning of waste at high temperatures in the presence of sufficient air to achieve complete combustion, either to reduce its volume (in the case of municipal solid waste) or its toxicity (such as for organic solvents and polychlorinated biphenyls). Municipal solid waste incinerators recover power and/or heat. The main emissions are carbon dioxide, water and ash residues.

Inclusive design

Inclusive design creates an environment where everyone can access and benefit from the full range of opportunities available to members of society. It aims to remove barriers that create undue effort, separation or special treatment, and enables everyone to participate equally in mainstream activities independently, with choice and dignity.

Industrial business park (IBP)

Strategic industrial locations that are particularly suitable for activities that need better quality surroundings including research and development, light industrial and higher value general industrial, some waste management, utility and transport functions, wholesale markets and small scale distribution. They can be accommodated next to environmentally sensitive uses.

Industrial waste

Waste from any factory and any premises occupied by industry (excluding mines and quarries) as defined in Schedule 3 of the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992.


Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which sets binding, targets for countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.


Land use credits/swaps

Typically, a land use ‘credit’ is where new off-site residential provision is provided in advance by a developer on the basis that it could be used to satisfy the residential requirements of mixed use policies generated by future commercial development. Typically, an affordable housing credit is where new affordable housing is created when it is not a policy requirement. This affordable housing credit could potentially then be drawn down either for the purposes of affordable housing policy requirement and/or for the purposes of mixed use policy requirements for residential floorspace. Typically, a land use swap is where a developer provides an off-site residential development to satisfy the housing requirement generated by a specified office/commercial development. The planning applications for the two sites are considered at the same time by the planning authority and are linked by S.106 agreement or planning condition. The concept of credits and swaps may be applied more widely to other land uses, for example, in circumstances in outer London where a developer proposes residential development and agrees to satisfy office policy requirements for the area by making alternative office provision elsewhere in a location which is more viable for offices, possibly in the form of a ‘credit’.

Lee Valley Corridor

Embraces the strategically important development opportunities and existing industry either side of the River Lea, in parts of Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Lifetime neighbourhoods

A lifetime neighbourhood is designed to be welcoming, accessible and inviting for everyone, regardless of age, health or disability, is sustainable in terms of climate change, transport services, housing, public services, civic space and amenities making it possible for people to enjoy a fulfilling life and take part in the economic, civic and social life of the community. This can be achieved by extending the inclusive design principles embedded in the Lifetime Home standards to the neighbourhood level.

Linear Views part of a townscape view Linear Views are narrow views to a defined object from an urban space of a building or group of buildings within a townscape setting.

Local centres

These are defined in Annex 2.

Local Development Frameworks (LDDs)

Statutory plans produced by each borough that comprise a portfolio of development plan documents including a core strategy, proposals and a series of area action plans. These are replacing borough Unitary Development Plans.


Local Implementation Plans (LIPs) Statutory transport plans produced by London boroughs bringing together transport proposals to implement the Mayor’s Transport Strategy at the local level.

Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs)

Cross-sectoral, cross-agency umbrella partnerships, which are focused and committed to improving the quality of life and governance in a particular locality. They seek to enable services to be aligned in a way that effectively meets the needs and aspirations of those who use them.

London Aggregates Working Party (LAWP)

An advisory body to both the Mayor of London and the Department of Communities and Local Government that monitors the supply and demand for aggregates.

London Development Agency (LDA)

One of the GLA group of organisations (or functional bodies), acting on behalf of the Mayor, whose aim is to further the economic development and regeneration of London.

London Development Database

This provides current and historic information about development progress across all London boroughs. It is operated by the GLA, and has superseded the London Development Monitoring System.

London Hydrogen Partnership

A consortium of public, private and voluntary organisations working to establish the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean fuel for buildings, transport and other applications.

London panoramas

Panoramic views across substantial parts of London.

London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough Corridor

A development corridor to the east and west of the Lee Valley through north London and Harlow and north to Stansted, Cambridge and Peterborough.

Low cost market housing

Housing provided by the private sector, without public subsidy or the involvement of a housing association, that is sold or let at a price less than the average for the housing type on the open market.

Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

is a defined area from which polluting vehicles that do not comply with set emissions standards are barred from entering.



See Spatial Masterplan.

Major development (applications decided by the London Boroughs)

Major Developments are defined as these:

  • For dwellings: where 10 or more are to be constructed (or if number not given, area is more than 0.5 hectares).
  • For all other uses: where the floor space will be 1000 sq metres or more (or the site area is 1 hectare or more). The site area is that directly involved in some aspect of the development. Floor space is defined as the sum of floor area within the building measured externally to the external wall faces at each level. Basement car parks, rooftop plant rooms, caretakers’ flats etc. should be included in the floor space figure.

Major town centres

These are defined in Annex 2.

Mayor’s London Housing Strategy

The Mayor’s statutory strategy, which sets out the Mayor’s objectives and policies for housing in London.


An enterprise that brings together the life sciences sector in London and the greater south east in order to stimulate greater economic growth. There are several proposed medical and life sciences research districts in London including, but not exclusively, (1) around Euston Road including centres such as the University College Hospital, the Wellcome Trust and the Francis Crick Institute; (2) around Whitechapel, associated with the Queen Mary University London; (3) Imperial West at White City; (4) Canada Water, associated with King’s College and (5) Sutton for Life, based around the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research.

Metropolitan Open Land

Strategic open land within the urban area that contributes to the structure of London.

Metropolitan town centres

These are defined in Annex 2.     

Mixed use development

Development for a variety of activities on single sites or across wider areas such as town centres.

Multi-channel retailing

A retailing strategy that offers customers a choice of ways to buy products including for example, retail stores, online, mobile stores, mobile app stores, telephone sales, mail orders, interactive television and comparison shopping sites.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)

For the purposes of developing this strategy, municipal solid waste is defined in section 360(2) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, as any waste in the possession or under the control of local authorities or agents acting on their behalf. It includes all household waste, street litter, waste delivered to council recycling points, municipal parks and gardens wastes, council office waste, Civic Amenity waste, and some commercial waste from shops and smaller trading estates where local authorities have waste collection agreements in place. It can also include industrial waste collected by a waste collection authority with authorisation of the waste disposal authority. Waste under the control of local authorities or agents acting on their behalf is now better known as ‘Local Authority Collected Waste’.


Nature conservation

Protection, management and promotion for the benefit of wild species and habitats, as well as the human communities that use and enjoy them. This also covers the creation and re-creation of wildlife habitats and the techniques that protect genetic diversity and can be used to include geological conservation.

Neighbourhood centres

These are defined in Annex 2.

New and emerging technologies

Technologies that are either still at a developmental stage or have only recently started operating at a commercial scale. They may be new applications of existing technologies. In relation to waste, they include such technologies as anaerobic digestion, Mechanical Biological Treatment (BMT), pyrolysis and gasification.


Olympic host boroughs

The Olympic host boroughs comprise the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Open space

All land in London that is predominantly undeveloped other than by buildings or structures that are ancillary to the open space use. The definition covers the broad range of types of open space within London, whether in public or private ownership and whether public access is unrestricted, limited or restricted.

Opportunity areas

London’s principal opportunities for accommodating large scale development to provide substantial numbers of new employment and housing, each typically more than 5,000 jobs and/or 2,500 homes, with a mixed and intensive use of land and assisted by good public transport accessibility.

Orbital rail network

Proposed orbital rail services, being developed in conjunction with the Network Rail, building on the existing core inner London orbital links and including more frequent services, improved stations and interchanges and greater integration with other means of travel. These services will be developed to meet London Metro standards.

Other services

A category of community, social, leisure and personal services-based jobs. These are projected to grow strongly in the period to 2031.

Outstanding universal value

A property that has a cultural and/or natural significance that is so exceptional that it transcends national boundaries. A statement of outstanding universal value is adopted by UNESCO’s intergovernmental World Heritage Committee at the time of its inscription and may be subsequently amended by the Committee. Values can be physical, architectural or intangible. They will be embodied in the buildings, spaces, monuments, artefacts and archaeological deposits within the site, the setting and views of and from it. Statements of outstanding universal value are key references for the effective protection and management of World Heritage Sites and can be found at



Passive provision for electric vehicles

The network of cables and power supply necessary so that at a future date a socket can be added easily (see also ‘Active provision for electric vehicles’).

Pedestrian amenity

encompasses a range of factors that, in combination, support environments that encourage more walking. These amenity factors include safety, attractiveness, convenience, information and accessibility.


The direct conversion of solar radiation into electricity by the interaction of light with electrons in a semiconductor device or cell.

Planning frameworks

These frameworks provide a sustainable development programme for Opportunity Areas. The frameworks may be prepared by the GLA Group, boroughs, developers or partners while planning frameworks will have a non-statutory status, it will be up to boroughs to decide how to reflect the proposals in planning frameworks within their development plans.

Planning Policy Statements/Guidance (PPSs/PPGs)

These are Government statements of national planning policy.


combine GP and routine hospital care with a range of wellbeing and support services such as benefits support and housing advice.

Preferred industrial location (PIL)Strategic industrial locations that are particularly suitable for general industrial, light industrial, storage and distribution, waste management, recycling, some transport related functions, utilities, wholesale markets and other industrial related activities.

Previously developed land

(Annex B PPS3 amended June 2010)

Previously developed land is that which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. The definition includes defence buildings, but 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, which, although it may feature paths, pavilions and other buildings, has not been previously developed.
  • 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 (to the extent that it can reasonably be considered as part of the natural surroundings).

There is no presumption that land that is previously-developed is necessarily suitable for housing development nor that the whole of the curtilage should be developed.

Private rented sector

All non-owner-occupied self-contained dwellings that are being rented out as housing (not including forms of affordable housing).

Protected open space

Metropolitan open land and land that is subject to local designation under Policy 7.18 (which would include essential linear components of Green Infrastructure as referred to in Policy 2.18). This land is predominantly undeveloped other than by buildings or structures that are ancillary to the open space. The definition covers the broad range of types of open space within London, whether in public or private ownership and whether public access is unrestricted, limited or restricted. The value of open space not designated is considered as a material consideration that needs to be taken into account when development control decisions are made.

Proximity principle

A principle to deal with waste as near as practicable to its place of production.

Public realm

This is the space between and within buildings that is publicly accessible, including streets, squares, forecourts, parks and open spaces.

Public private partnership (PPP)

A mechanism for using the private sector to deliver outcomes for the public sector, usually on the basis of a long term funding agreement.

Public transport accessibility levels (PTALS)

are a detailed and accurate measure of the accessibility of an area to the public transport network, taking into account walk access time and service availability.  PTALs reflect:

  • walking time from the area of interest to the public transport access points;
  • the reliability of the service modes available;
  • the number of services available within the catchment; and
  • the level of service at the public transport access points - i.e. average waiting time.

PTALs do not consider:

  • the speed or utility of accessible services;
  • crowding, including the ability to board services; or,
  • ease of interchange.


See Advanced Thermal Treatment.


Quiet Areas

The Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended) require that Noise Action Plans for agglomerations (including much of Greater London) include provisions that aim to protect any formally identified ‘Quiet Areas’ from an increase in road, railway, aircraft and industrial noise.


Rainwater harvesting

Collecting water from roofs via traditional guttering and through down pipes to a storage tank. It can then be used for a variety of uses such as watering gardens.


Involves the reprocessing of waste, either into the same product or a different one. Many non-hazardous wastes such as paper, glass, cardboard, plastics and metals can be recycled. Hazardous wastes such as solvents can also be recycled by specialist companies, or by in-house equipment.

Renewable energy

Energy derived from a source that is continually replenished, such as wind, wave, solar, hydroelectric and energy from plant material, but not fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Although not strictly renewable, geothermal energy is generally included.


The addition of new technology or features to existing buildings in order to make them more efficient and to reduce their environmental impacts.

River prospects

Broad prospects along the river Thames.

Road pricing

See Congestion Charging.


Safeguarded wharves

These are sites that have been safeguarded for cargo handling uses such as intraport or transhipment movements and freight-related purposes. A list of those sites that are currently protected and those proposed for protection is available in ‘Safeguarded Wharves on the River Thames’, GLA, 2005.

Section 106 Agreements

These agreements confer planning obligations on persons with an interest in land in order to achieve the implementation of relevant planning policies as authorised by Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


In relation to waste, this means dealing with wastes within the administrative region where they are produced.

Sequential approach

Planning policies that require particular steps to be taken, or types of location or sites to be considered, in a particular order of preference. For example retail, commercial and leisure development should be focused on sites within town centres, or if no in-centre sites are available, on sites on the edges of centres that are or can be well integrated with the existing centre and public transport.

Setting of a heritage asset

Is the surrounding in which a heritage asset is experienced. Its extent is not fixed and may change as the asset and its surroundings evolve. Elements of a setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the significance of an asset, may affect the ability to appreciate that significance or may be neutral.

Shared space

A concept defined in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy as one which suggests a degree of sharing of streetscape between different modes and street users, requiring everyone to consider the requirements, aspirations and needs of each other. Key to successful implementation of schemes is a reduction in dominance of motor vehicles in streets, especially where there are heavy pedestrian flows, and a degree of negotiation between road users. Each improvement must be designed in local context, be consulted on (including with blind and visually impaired groups) and be carefully monitored.


A scheme that lends manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters to members of the public with limited mobility which allows them to travel to and visit, independently and with greater ease, local shops, leisure services and commercial facilities usually within a town or shopping centre.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

A classification notified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 as amended). All the London sites of biodiversity interest are included within sites of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.

Smarter travel measures

are techniques for influencing people’s travel behaviour towards more sustainable options such as encouraging school, workplace and individualised travel planning. They also seek to improve public transport and marketing services such as travel awareness campaigns, setting up websites for car share schemes, supporting car clubs and encouraging teleworking.          

Social exclusion

A term for what can happen when people or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems, such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown.

Social inclusion

The position from where someone can access and benefit from the full range of opportunities available to members of society. It aims to remove barriers for people or for areas that experience a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown.

Social infrastructure

Covers facilities such as health provision, early years provision, schools, colleges and universities, community, cultural, recreation and sports facilities, places of worship, policing and other criminal justice or community safety facilities, children and young people’s play and informal recreation facilities. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and other facilities can be included as social infrastructure.

Social model of disability

The poverty, disadvantage and social exclusion experienced by many disabled people is not the inevitable result of their impairments or medical conditions, but rather stems from attitudinal and environmental barriers. This is known as ‘the social model of disability’, and provides a basis for the successful implementation of the duty to promote disability equality.


The overall quality of an acoustic environment as a place for human experience. Soundscape design might include preserving, reducing or eliminating certain sounds or combining and balancing sounds to create or enhance an attractive and stimulating acoustic environment.

South East Region

The South East Region runs in an arc around London from Kent at the south-east extremity along the coast to Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth in the south-west, and then to Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire in the North. In total, it encompasses 19 counties and unitary authorities, and 55 district authorities.

Spatial Development Strategy

This strategy is prepared by the Mayor, replacing the strategic planning guidance for London (RPG3). The Mayor has chosen to call the Spatial Development Strategy the London Plan.

Spatial Vision for North West Europe

A non-statutory document prepared by a group of research institutions under the INTERREG IIC programme, which, building on the principles of the ESDP, provides a multi-sectoral vision for the future spatial development for North West Europe.

Specialist accommodation for older people

There are a number of different types of specialist accommodation for older people including:

  • Sheltered accommodation: self-contained residential accommodation specifically designed and managed for older people in need of no or a low level of support. Each household has self-contained accommodation and the schemes normally include additional communal facilities such as a residents lounge. A warden, scheme manager, community alarm/telecare or house manager interacts with residents on a regular basis and is the first point of contact in an emergency[1].
  •  Extra care accommodation (sometimes also referred to as close care, assisted living, very sheltered or continuing care housing):Self -contained residential accommodationand associated facilities designed and managed to meet the needs and aspirations of peoplewho by reason of age or vulnerability have an existing or foreseeable physical, sensory, cognitive or mental health impairment.Each household has self-contained accommodation and 24 hour access to emergency support. In addition extra care accommodation includes a range of other facilitates such as a residents lounge, a guest room, laundry room, day centre activities, a restaurant or some kind of meal provision,fitness facilities and classes and a base for health care workers. The exact mix of facilities will vary on a site by site basis. Some domiciliary care is provided as part of the accommodation package, according to the level of need of each resident. Extra care housing aims to create a balanced community, bringing together a balanced proportion of people with different levels of care needs.[2]
  •  Residential/nursing care (including end of life/hospice care and dementia care): Nursing or residential care home providing non-self-contained residential accommodation for people who by reason of age or illness have physical, sensory or mental impairment, including high levels of dementia. Accommodation is not self-contained; meals and personal services are routinely provided to all residents. Communal facilities are likely to include a dining room and residents lounge. There will be a scheme manager and in house care team who provide a consistent presence. Personal or nursing care is a critical part of the accommodation package[3]. Nursing homes include 24 hour medical care from a qualified nurse[4].

Strategic cultural areas

These are areas with internationally important cultural institutions, which are also major tourist attractions, and include West End, South Bank/Bankside/ London Bridge, Barbican, Wembley, the South Kensington museum complex/Royal Albert Hall, London’s Arcadia, Olympic Park and Lee Valley Regional Park.

Strategic developments (applications referable to the Mayor)

The planning applications that must be referred to the Mayor under the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 and any amendments hereto.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Required under the European Directive 2001/42/EC, which has been transposed into UK Law through the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004. Strategic Environmental Assessment seeks to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans to promote sustainable development.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

An assessment of land availability for housing which informs the London Plan and borough local development documents, as set out in Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3).

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

An assessment of housing need and demand which informs the London Plan and borough local development documents as set out in Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3).

Strategic industrial locations (SILs)

These comprise Preferred Industrial Locations (PILs) and Industrial Business Parks and exist to ensure that London provides sufficient quality sites, in appropriate locations, to meet the needs of industrial and related sectors including general and light Industrial uses, logistics, waste management and environmental Industries (such as renewable energy generation), utilities, wholesale markets and some transport functions.

Strategic road network

See Transport for London Road Network.

Strategic views

Views seen from places that are publicly accessible and well used. They include significant buildings or urban landscapes that help to define London at a strategic level.


Sub-regions make up a geographical framework for implementing strategic policy at the sub-Londonwide level. The sub-regions proposed in this Plan are composed of:

  • Central: Camden, City, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Westminster.
  • East: Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest.
  • South: Bromley, Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, Wandsworth.
  • West: Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, Harrow, Hounslow.
  • North: Barnet, Enfield, Haringey.

Substantial harm

to or loss of a grade II listed building, park or garden should be exceptional. Substantial harm to or loss of designated assets of the highest significance such as scheduled monuments, battlefields, grade I and II* listed buildings, grade I and II* registered parks and gardens, and World Heritage Sites, should be wholly exceptional.

Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) An SPG (sometimes called supplementary guidance) gives guidance on policies in the London Plan. It does not form a part of the statutory plan. It can take the form of design guides or area development briefs, or supplement other specific policies in the plan. However it must be consistent with national and regional planning guidance, as well as the policies set out in the adopted plan. It should be clearly cross-referenced to the relevant plan policy or proposal that it supplements. Public consultation should be undertaken and SPGs should be regularly reviewed. While only the policies in the London Plan can have the status that the GLA Act 1999 provides in considering planning applications, SPGs may be taken into account as a further material consideration.

Supported housing

Homes in which vulnerable residents are offered a range of housing related support services to enable them to live independently.

Surface water

Rainwater lying on the surface or within surface water drains/sewers.

Sustainability Appraisal

Required by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Sustainability Appraisal is a based on the principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment but is wider in focus and covers other key considerations of sustainability that also concern social and economic issues.

Sustainable development

This covers development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Government has set out five ‘guiding principles’ of sustainable development: living within the planet’s environmental limits; ensuring a strong, healthy and just society; achieving a sustainable economy; promoting good governance; and using sound science responsibly. The Mayor’s approach to these principles and their application in London is explained in Chapter One of the Plan.

Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS)

An alternative approach from the traditional ways of managing runoff from buildings and hardstanding. They can reduce the total amount, flow and rate of surface water that runs directly to rivers through stormwater systems.

Sustainable residential quality (SRQ)

The design-led approach and urban design principles by which dwellings can be built at higher density, while maintaining urban quality and fostering sustainable development.

Sustainable Communities

Places where people want to live and work, now and in the future; that meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.


[1]     Based on the Elderly Accommodation Counsel’s definition of sheltered accommodation.


[2]     Based on information from the Elderly Accommodation Counsel and the NHS.

[3]     Based on the Elderly Accommodation Counsel’s definition of residential/nursing care.

[4]     Care Quality Commission


Tax increment financing (TIF)

A tool which permits local authorities to borrow money for infrastructure against the anticipated tax receipts resulting from the infrastructure. It is an instrument used widely in the United States and in other countries, but in England its development has been limited so far. For further information see:

Thames Gateway

This area comprises a corridor of land on either side of the Thames extending from east London through to north Kent and south Essex. The London part of the area extends eastwards from Deptford Creek and the Royal Docks and includes parts of the lower end of the Lee Valley around Stratford. It includes parts of the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Havering, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets as well as limited parts of Hackney and Waltham Forest.

Thames Policy Area

A special policy area to be defined by boroughs in which detailed appraisals of the riverside will be required.


A National Rail cross-London link currently being upgraded.

Town Centres

These are defined in Chapter 2 and Annex 2.

Townscape Views

Views from an urban space of a building or group of buildings within a townscape setting (see also Linear Views).

Transport Assessment

This is prepared and submitted alongside planning applications for developments likely to have significant transport implications. For major proposals, assessments should illustrate the following: accessibility to the site by all modes; the likely modal split of journeys to and from the site; and proposed measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling.

Transport for London (TfL)

One of the GLA group of organisations, accountable to the Mayor, with responsibility for delivering an integrated and sustainable transport strategy for London.


Ubiquitous networks

These support the shift from standalone microcomputers and mainframes towards “pervasive” computing using a range of devices including mobile telephones, digital audio players and global positioning systems and networked information devices within other appliances and environments.

Urban Greening

Urban greening describes the green infrastructure elements that are most applicable in central London and London’s town centres. Due to the morphology and density of the built environment in these areas, green roofs, street trees, and techniques such as soft landscaping, are the most appropriate elements of green infrastructure.


View Assessment Areas

The foreground, middle ground or background of the views designated in Chapter 7.


Wandle Valley

Wandle Valley is a development corridor aligning the Wandle Valley from Wandsworth to Croydon.


Area covered by water (permanently or intermittently), not adjacent land that is normally dry, and including the River Thames, other rivers and canals, and reservoirs, lakes and ponds.

Western Wedge

The area of West London between Paddington and the Thames Valley.

Wheelchair accessible

This refers to homes built to Building Regulation Requirement M4 (3) (2) (b): Wheelchair user dwellings, where the dwelling is constructed to meet the needs of occupants who use wheelchairs.

Wheelchair adaptable

This refers to homes built to Building Regulation Requirement M4 (3) (2) (a): Wheelchair user dwellings, where the dwelling is constructed to allow simple adaptation to the dwelling to meet the needs of occupants who use wheelchairs.


This is a less familiar term than unemployment to describe those without work. It is used to describe all those who are out of work but who would like a job. Definitions of worklessness include: unemployed claimants; those who are actively out of work and looking for a job; and those who are economically inactive.

World City

A globally successful business location paralleled only by two of the world’s other great cities, New York and Tokyo, measured on a wide range of indicators such as financial services, Government, business, higher education, culture and tourism.


Zero Carbon

(the following is subject to the Government’s final definition for zero carbon)

A zero carbon development is one whose net carbon dioxide emissions, taking account of emissions associated with all energy use, is equal to zero or negative across the year. The definition of “energy use” will cover both energy uses currently regulated by the Building Regulations and other energy used in the home.

Share this page