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Annex Three Glossary



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’).

Affordable housing

Affordable housing is Social Rented, Affordable Rented and Intermediate Housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. This is a broad definition of affordable housing and is consistent with the 2012 NPPF. Paragraphs 4.7.3- 4.7.6 of this Plan set out the Mayor’s preferred affordable housing tenures

Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80 per cent of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the affordable housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.

Affordable Workspace

Workspace that is provided at rents maintained below the market rate for that space for a specific social, cultural, or economic development purpose.

Agent of Change principle

The principle places the responsibility of mitigating the impact of noise from existing noise generating businesses on proposed new development close by, thereby ensuring that residents of the new development are protected from noise and existing businesses are protected from noise complaints.  Similarly, any new noise generating development, for example a music venue, will need to put in place measures to mitigate noise impacts on existing development close by.


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

Air Quality Management Area  

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.

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 (e.g. 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. This will usually include concierge and room service, and include formal procedures for checking in and out.  Planning conditions may limit length of stay for occupiers.

Archaeological  interest

There will be archaeological interest in a heritage asset if it holds, or potentially may hold, evidence of past human activity worthy of expert investigation at some point. Heritage assets with archaeological interest are the primary source of evidence about the substance and evolution of places, and of the people and cultures that made them.

Article 4 Direction

A tool used by local planning authorities to remove some or all permitted development rights that apply to a particular site or area.



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 Roofs

Attenuation tanks at roof or podium level.


The London boroughs are 32 of the 33 local authority districts within the Greater London administrative area (the 33rd is the City of London). For the purposes of this Plan, this term includes all Local Planning Authorities including the City of London and the Mayoral Development Corporations.

Brownfield land

See Previously Developed Land

Brown roofs

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

Build to Rent

Schemes which met the definition set out in Policy H13 Build to Rent.

Build to Rent Clawback

A payment to the relevant Local Planning Authority for the provision of affordable housing in the event that the Build to Rent Covenant is broken through the sale of units out of rented tenure within the covenant period. 

Build to Rent Covenant

A covenant within a Section 106 agreement to ensure new private rented homes are secured for the rental market for a minimum of 15 years. During this period the private rented homes must be retained in single ownership. Homes cannot be sold out of rented tenure or the covenant would be broken triggering a Build to Rent Clawback payment to the relevant Local Planning Authority for the provision of affordable housing.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

A defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects that will benefit businesses in the local area.


Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Principal greenhouse gas related to climate change.

Car club

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

Central Activities Zone (CAZ)

The vibrant heart and globally iconic core of London. The CAZ contains a broad range of functions that have London-wide, national and international significance including Government, business, culture, research and education, retailing, tourism, transport and places of worship. The CAZ offers access to a unique collection of heritage and environmental assets including World Heritage Sites, the Royal Parks and the River Thames.


Clean technology (CleanTech) is a general term used to describe products, processes or services that reduce waste and require as few non-renewable resources as possible.

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.

Community engagement

Community engagement is a process that involves communities in deliberation, decision making and practical action. Community engagement can be done using a wide range of methods, and can include both face to face and online engagement.

Comparison retail/shopping

These refer to shopping for things like clothes, electrical items, household and leisure goods. Comparison goods are bought relatively infrequently, so consumers usually evaluate prices, features and quality before making a purchase.


The process of maintaining and managing change to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and, where appropriate, enhances its significance.

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.

Convenience retail/shopping

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

Creative Industries

Those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.

Cultural Quarters

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


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.

Designated heritage asset

A World Heritage Site, Scheduled Monument, Listed Building, Protected Wreck Site, Registered Park and Garden, Registered Battlefield or Conservation Area designated under the relevant legislation.


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 Plan

The London Plan, Local Plans, other Development Plan Documents and Neighbourhood Plans.

Development Proposal

This refers to development that requires planning permission.

Digital infrastructure

Infrastructure, such as small cell antenna and ducts for cables, that supports fixed and mobile connectivity and therefore underpins smart technologies.

Display Energy Certificate

Display Energy Certificates (DECs) are designed to show the energy performance of public buildings. They use a scale that runs from ‘A’ to ‘G’ - ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least.

District centres

See Annex 1.

District Heating Network (DHN)

A network of pipes carrying hot water or steam, usually underground, that connects heat production equipment with heat customers. They can range from several metres to several kilometres in length.

Drainage hierarchy

Policy hierarchy helping to reduce the rate and volume of surface water run-off.

Dual aspect dwelling

A dual aspect dwelling is defined as one with openable windows on two external walls, which may be either on opposite sides of a dwelling or on adjacent sides of a dwelling where the external walls of a dwelling wrap around the corner of a building. The provision of a bay window does not constitute dual aspect.


Embodied carbon / energy / emissions

The total life cycle carbon / energy / greenhouse gases used in the collection, manufacture, transportation, assembly, recycling and disposal of a given material or product.

Energy efficiency

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.

Energy hierarchy

The Mayor’s tiered 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 using 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.

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.


Family housing

A dwelling that by virtue of its size, layout and design is suitable for a family to live in and generally has three, four, five, or more bedrooms.

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.


Ensuring that designs are adaptable and take account of expected future changes.  For example ensuring a heating system is designed to be compatible with a planned district heat network to allow connection in future.



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.

General and business aviation

A range of ad hoc aviation services and activities including private jets, recreational flying and pilot training.

Green Belt

A designated area of open land around London (or other urban areas). The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.

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 infrastructure

A network of green spaces – and features such as street trees and green roofs – that is planned, designed and managed to deliver a range of benefits. These include mitigating flooding, cooling the urban environment and enhancing biodiversity and ecological resilience, as well as providing more attractive places for people.

Green roofs/walls

Planting on roofs or walls to provide climate change, amenity, food growing and recreational benefits.

Greenhouse gas

Any gas that induces the greenhouse effect, trapping heat within the atmosphere that would normally be lost to space, resulting in an increase in average atmospheric temperatures, contributing to climate change. Examples include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides.

Green Space Factor

A planning tool to ensure new developments provide adequate urban greening


The improvement of the appearance, function and wildlife value of the urban environment through soft landscaping.


Health inequalities

Health inequalities are systematic, avoidable and unfair differences in mental or physical health between groups of people. These differences affect how long people live in good health and are mostly a result of differences in people’s homes, education and childhood experiences, their environments, their jobs and employment prospects, their access to good public services and their habits.

Heritage assets

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.

Historic environment

All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora.

Household waste

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, and any other household waste collected by the waste authorities.

Housing in multiple occupation

Housing occupied by individuals  of more than one household living together not as a family in non-self-contained accommodation.



The controlled burning of waste in the presence of sufficient air to achieve complete combustion. Energy is usually recovered in the form of electric power and/or heat. The emissions are controlled under EU Directive 2000/76/EC. This Directive also applies to other thermal treatment processes such as pyrolysis and gasification, so the term incineration may be applied to a wider range of thermal waste treatment processes.

Inclusive design

Inclusive design results in an environment which everyone can use, to access and benefit from the full range of opportunities available; confidently, independently, with choice and dignity, which avoids separation or segregation and is made up of places and spaces that acknowledge diversity and difference, meeting the needs of everyone in society.

Inner London

The area covered by the inner London boroughs. See Annex 2

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.


Includes transport, energy, water, waste, digital/smart, social and green infrastructure.


The creation of new products and services, technologies, processes, or business models.

Inclusive neighbourhoods

An inclusive neighbourhood is one in which people can live and work in a safe, healthy, supportive and inclusive neighbourhood. An inclusive neighbourhood will ensure that people are able to enjoy the options of easy access by public transport and active travel modes (walking and cycling), to services and facilities that are relevant to them. It will also allow people to safely and easily move around their neighbourhood through high quality people focused spaces, while enjoying barrier free access to surrounding areas and the wider city. They should have safe and easy access to a network of open spaces which meet their recreational needs to enhance health and wellbeing, as well as welcoming easily accessible communal spaces which provide opportunities for social interaction.


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Linear View

A view in which key landmarks are seen through narrow gaps between buildings or landscaping

Local Asset-Backed Vehicle

A means of enabling a partnership of public and private sector organisations in regeneration schemes. In a simple model, the public sector body creates a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a private sector partner. The public body transfers land to this partner at market value which is then matched by the private partner with at least an equivalent amount of investment capital. These investments form the equity of the SPV. The private partner undertakes the development and the public sector partner receives a share of profits in return for its land investment.

Local centres

See Annex 1

London Development Database

This provides current and historic information about development progress across all London boroughs. It is operated by the GLA with data supplied by London’s planning authorities.

London’s major airports

Airports in and around London offering scheduled international flights and which operate or have permission for more than 50,000 flight movements a year – i.e. London City, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, and Southend.

London Panorama

A broad prospect seen from an elevated public viewing place.

Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

A charging zone across most of Greater London for vehicles that do not meet emissions standards for particulate matter.


Major development

For a full definition, see Part 1 of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. Generally, major developments are:

   Development of dwellings where 10 or more dwellings are to be provided, or the site area is 0.5 hectares or more;

   Development of other uses, where the floor space is 1,000 square metres or more, or the site area is 1 hectare or more.

Major town centres

See Annex 1.


An enterprise to promote and grow life sciences investment, entrepreneurship, collaboration and industry in London and the Wider South East. MedCity is a partnership between the Mayor and the Academic Health Science Centres in London, Cambridge and Oxford.

Metropolitan Open Land

Extensive areas of land bounded by urban development around London that fulfils a similar function to Green Belt and is protected from inappropriate development by land-use planning policies.

Metropolitan town centres

See Annex 1.     

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

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’.


National Nature Reserves

Designated by Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, they are key places for wildlife and natural features. They were established to protect the most significant areas of habitat and of geological formations.

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

See Annex 1.


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.

Outer London

The area covered by the outer London boroughs. See Annex 2

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’).

Permitted Development Rights

A general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by Parliament. Legislation (currently the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015) sets out classes of development for which a grant of planning permission is automatically given, provided that no restrictive condition is attached or that the development is exempt from the permitted development rights.

Photovoltaics (PV)

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.

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.

Prime, secondary and tertiary commercial property

Terms used to describe the relative value or quality of a commercial investment property and its location. Typically, prime or Grade A offices include buildings of the highest quality and often in the most central locations of any given office market and with rents above the average for the area. Secondary property includes buildings with a lower quality or less central location compared to prime property. Tertiary property refers to buildings suitable for occupation but with the lowest quality specification and in less attractive or fringe locations and with rents below average for the area.

Priority habitat

London’s priority habitats are those areas of wildlife habitat which are of most importance in London. Most areas of priority habitat are protected within Sites of importance for Nature Conservation.

Priority species

These are species that are a conservation priority because they are under particular threat, or they are characteristic of a particular region.

Protected species

Certain plant and animal species protected to various degrees in law, particularly the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (as amended).

Private rented sector

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

Public realm

Publicly accessible space between and around buildings, including streets, squares, forecourts, parks and open spaces.

Public Transport Access Levels (PTALs)

Public Transport Access Levels (PTALs) are calculated across London using a grid of points at 100m intervals. For each point walk time to the public transport network is combined with service wait time (frequency) to give a measure of public transport network density.

TfL has made pre-calculated PTALs available on WebCAT, its web-based connectivity assessment toolkit ( Users can view PTALs for any location in London alongside contextual information such as the local street network, rail stations and bus stops. A limitation of PTALs is that they only reflect access to the public transport network, but not the opportunities and services reachable through the network. To address this, WebCAT also includes travel time mapping and catchment statistics (population, jobs, town centres, heath services and educational establishments) within given time bands. These can also be viewed for any selected location and combined with PTAL to give a more complete picture of public transport connectivity.

TfL may refine how PTALs and WebCAT operate but will consult on any proposed changes with stakeholders in advance. This may include an opportunity for users to assess connectivity in relation to cycling time to the public transport network rather than just walking time.


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.


Ramsar Site

Designated under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance 1971.


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

Short and longer distance visual experiences of the Thames riverscape.


Safeguarded wharves

A network of sites that have been safeguarded for cargo handling uses such as intraport or transhipment movements and freight-related purposes by Safeguarding Directions. Sites that are safeguarded are set out in the Safeguarded Wharves Review (2017/2018).

Scheduled flights

Regular commercial flights operating to a timetable and responsible for carrying the overwhelming majority of passengers and freight travelling to or from London by air.

Secondary commercial property

See prime, secondary and tertiary property.

Secondary heat

To recover useful energy, in the form of heat, from sources where processes or activities produce heat which is normally wasted (for example recovering heat from the Underground network) or from heat that exists naturally within the environment (air, ground and water).

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.

Serviced accommodation

In the context of visitor accommodation this includes hotels, bed & breakfasts, guest houses, and hostels where services such as catering and cleaning are provided to guests.

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.


A scheme that lends manual and powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters to members of the public allowing people who require the use of these facilities 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.

Smart infrastructure

Infrastructure, such as sensors, that produce, analyse and help to securely share data on the performance of the built and natural environment, as opposed to data purely on economic or social performance.

Social infrastructure

Covers facilities such as health provision, early years provision, schools, colleges and universities, community, 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.


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.

Spatial Development Strategy

The London Plan is the statutory spatial development strategy for the Greater London area that is prepared by the Mayor.

Special Areas of Conservation

Designated under the EC Habitats Directive (1992), areas identified as best representing the range and variety within the EU of habitats and (non-bird) species.

Special Policy Areas

Areas that are defined locally in specific and exceptional circumstances where development pressures and market conditions could lead to the loss of valued specialist clusters of uses or functions identified as having particular significance to London’s unique identity, economic function or cultural heritage.

Special Protection Areas

Designated under the EC Birds Directive (1979), areas of the most important habitat for rare and migratory birds within the EU.

Strategic Areas for Regeneration

These areas are the Census Local Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in greatest socio-economic need. They fall within the 20 per cent most deprived LSOAs in England, using the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

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 Industrial Locations

London’s main reservoirs of industrial, logistics and related capacity for uses that support the functioning of London’s economy.

Strategic Views

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

Strategically Important Landmarks

A prominent building or structure in the townscape, which has visual prominence, provides a geographical or cultural orientation point and is aesthetically attractive through visibility from a wider area or through contrast with objects or buildings close by.

Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG)

Gives guidance on the implementation of policies in the London Plan.

Sustainability Appraisal

A process of considering ways by which a development plan can contribute to improvements in environmental, social and economic conditions, as well as a means of identifying and mitigating any potential adverse effects that the plan might otherwise have. Sustainability Appraisal is required by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future  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.

Sustainable drainage systems

Using sustainable drainage techniques and managing surface water run-off from buildings and hardstandings in a way that reduces the total volume, flow and rate of surface water that runs directly into drains and sewers.


Tech City

Technology district in East London incorporating Old Street, Shoreditch, Aldgate, Whitechapel and corridors to Dalston and Hackney Central.

Tertiary commercial property

See prime, secondary and tertiary commercial property.

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.

Town Centres

Places in London that provide access to a range of commercial, cultural and civic activities, including shopping, leisure, employment, entertainment, culture, and social and community facilities. Town centres are classified in the London Plan according to their existing role and function in light of characteristics such as scale, mix of uses, economic performance and accessibility – see Annex 1.

Townscape Views

Designated view which focus on architecturally and culturally important groups of buildings that can be enjoyed from well managed public spaces.

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.


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.

Urban heat island

The height of buildings and their arrangement means that while more heat is absorbed during the day, it takes longer to escape at night. As a result, the centre of London can be up to 10°C warmer than the rural areas around the city. The temperature difference is usually larger at night than during the day. The Urban Heat Island effect is noticeable during both the summer and winter months.


Viability Assessment

An assessment of the financial viability of a development to determine the maximum level of affordable housing and other policy requirements where relevant to be undertaken in line with the methodology and approach set out in Policy H6 and the Mayor’s Affordable Housing and Viability SPG.

Viability Review Mechanism

A review of development viability defined with a Section 106 agreement enabling the reassessment of development viability after permission has been granted, at an early, mid or late stage in the development process. These mechanisms address uncertainties in the application stage assessment of viability to enable the maximum level of affordable housing provision over the lifetime of a proposal.


Water space

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.

Wider determinants of health

The wider determinants of health are a diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people’s health and life expectancy. They include transport, housing, education, income, working conditions, unemployment, air quality, green space, climate change and social and community networks.

Wider South East

East of England, South East of England and London taken together. Collaboration arrangements have been established at this strategic level.



Activity that causes no net release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

- Abbreviations

ACVAsset of Community Value
AGPs Artificial grass pitches
APA Archaeological Priority Area
AQA Air Quality Assessment
AQFA Air Quality Focus Area
BAME Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic
BLE Bakerloo Line Extension
BREEAMBuilding Research Establishment environmental assessment method
CAZ Central Activities Zone
CCG Clinical Commissioning Groups
CD&E Construction, demolition and excavation
CEZ Creative Enterprise Zone
CHPCombined heat and power
CIBSEChartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
CIL Community Infrastructure Levy
CO2 Carbon dioxide
COBR Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms
DE Decentralised Energy
DEC Display Energy Certificate
DLR Docklands Light Railway
DMR Discounted Market Rent
EDS the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy
EUV+Existing Use Value Plus
FE Further education
GHG Greenhouse gas
GIA Gross Internal Area
GLA Greater London Authority
GLHER Greater London Historic Environment Record
GVA Gross Value Added
Ha Hectare
HMO House in Multiple Occupation
HS2 High Speed 2
IMD Index of Multiple Deprivation
kWh Kilowatt hour
LAA Local Aggregates Assessment
LAEI London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory
LDD London Development Database
LFEPA London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
LGBT+Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans +
LIGS Locally Important Geological Sites
LLDC London Legacy Development Corporation
LLFA Lead Local Flood Authority
LLR London Living Rent
LSIS Locally Significant Industrial Sites
LVMF London View Management Framework
MCIL Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy
MMO Marine Management Organisation
MOL Metropolitan Open Land
NHS National Health Service
NIOD Northern Isle of Dogs
NO2 Nitrogen dioxide
NOxOxides of nitrogen, or nitrogen oxides: a mixture of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide
NPPG National Planning Practice Guidance
NPPF National Planning Policy Framework
OA Opportunity Area
OAPF Opportunity Area Planning Framework
OPDC Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
PBSA Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
PDR Permitted development rights
PLA Port of London Authority
PTAL Public Transport Accessibility Level
PV Photovoltaic
RFRA Regional Flood Risk Appraisal
RIGS Regionally-Important Geological Sites
SEND Special Educational Needs and Disability
SHLAA Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
SHMA Strategic Housing Market Assessment
SIL Strategic Industrial Locations
SINCSite of Importance for Nature Conservation
SOLDC Strategic Outer London Development Centre
SMEs Small and medium-sized enterprises (including micro-businesses)
SPA Special Protection Areas
SPG Supplementary Planning Guidance
Sqm Square metres
SRF Solid recovered fuel
STPs Sustainability and Transformation Plans
TE2100 Thames Estuary 2100 Plan
TER Target Emission Rate
TfL Transport for London
TPA Thames Policy Area
UGF Urban Greening Factor
UKOOG United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas Group
VBC Vacant Building Credit
WERLSPAWest End Retail and Leisure Special Policy Area
WHS World Heritage Sites
WSE Wider South East