Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft



A1 retail use

A use class covering shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices (but not sorting offices), pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.



Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.

Affordable rented

Rented housing let by registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is not subject to the national rent regime but is subject to other rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80 per cent of the local market rent.

Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)

A report submitted to the government by local planning authorities assessing progress with and the effectiveness of the Local Development Framework.

Area Action Plan (AAP)

A specific type of Development Plan Document used when there is a need to provide the planning framework for areas where significant change or conservation is needed.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

An area designated for its national landscape beauty value. The primary purpose is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape. North Somerset contains part of the Mendip Hills AONB.

Assembly and Leisure (D2)

A use class covering cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).

Aspirational Housing

To qualify as aspirational houses should be:

  • built individually or in small groups in high quality visual accessible locations;
  • low density, typically between 8 and 15 dwellings per hectare;
  • detached, with at least four bedrooms and two bathrooms;
  • sited on large plots with a built footprint generally in excess of 100m2 and rear gardens of at least 200m2; and
  • Set back from the road and provided with at least three-off street parking places.

Flats should be:

  • on the upper floors of multi-storey developments or as 'penthouse'-style accommodation;
  • have a significantly larger than average floor area. They may also have the provision of private outdoor space e.g. roof terrace; and
  • internally finished to a higher than average specification.

These are generally considered to be minimum criteria. It may be appropriate to significantly exceed these guidelines.

B uses (B class employment)

Uses in the B Use class Order:

B1 Business Offices (other than those that fall within A2), research and development of products and processes, light industry appropriate in a residential area.

B2 General Industrial Use: for industrial process other than one falling within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste). B8 Storage and Distribution: This class includes open air storage.

Backland development

Development on land that lies to the rear of an existing property that often, but not in all cases, fronts a road.

Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

A strategy prepared for a local area with the objective of conserving and enhancing biological diversity.

BREEAM standard

A widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and is a measure used to describe a building's environmental performance.

Brownfield land

Brownfield land is also referred to as previously developed land. It is land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. It excludes residential garden land.

Building for Life Standard

A national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods to improve social wellbeing and quality of life. Schemes are assessed against 20 Building for Life criteria.

Carbon footprint

The measure of the impact an activity or development has upon the environment, particularly climate change.

Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code is a national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes which aims to reduce carbon emissions and create homes that are more sustainable. Code Levels range from 1 to 6 where level 6 is zero carbon.

Combined heat and power (CHP)

An efficient way of generating electricity and heat simultaneously which can be used, for example, for district heating schemes.

Community facility

A community use is a cultural or community facility, whether or not provided on a commercial basis which falls within use classes D1 and D2 such as libraries, museums, arts and entertainment facilities such as theatres and cinemas, public and private open space, and other outdoor or indoor sports facilities, places of worship, schools, health centres, cemeteries and allotments. It also includes pubs which fall within use class A4, but excludes other A4 uses. It also includes public utilities.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

A charge which development will pay to help fund infrastructure needed to support development in the area.

Comparison retail floorspace

This term describes the retail of goods which include: clothing and footwear; furniture, furnishings and household equipment (excluding non-durable household goods); medical and pharmaceutical products, therapeutic appliances and equipment; and educational and recreation equipment and accessories. It specifically does not include the wholesale of goods.

Conservation Area

Designated areas of special architectural or historic interest, whose character and appearance it is desirable to preserve or enhance.

Core Strategy

A Development Plan Document setting out the long-term spatial vision for the local planning authority area and the spatial objectives and strategic policies to deliver that vision.

Design and Access Statement

A document provided to support a planning application that sets out the rationale and process that has been gone through in developing the design strategy for a proposal. Its formulation will depend in part on the nature of the proposal and the associated design issues present.

Developer contributions

Contributions from development proposals towards the provision of infrastructure and services necessary to serve the development such as schools, affordable housing or transport. Contributions may be financial or by direct provision of works or land, secured through legal agreements.

Development Plan

The statutory planning documents setting out the policies and proposals for the development and use of land and buildings in the local planning authority area.

Development Plan Documents (DPDs)

Spatial planning documents which, once adopted form part of the Development Plan. They include the Core Strategy and other documents such as the Sites and Policies Plan.

Economic development

Economic development includes development within the B Use Classes, public and community uses and main town centre uses. It also includes uses that provide employment opportunities, generate wealth or produce or generate an economic output or product.

Employment Land Survey

An annual review of employment development, monitoring activity on sites which have been allocated for employment use and other proposals.

Environmental Impact Assessment

A procedure to be followed for certain types of projects to ensure the decisions are made in the full knowledge of any likely significant effects of the environment.

Flood risk assessment

An assessment of the likelihood of flooding in a particular area so that development needs and mitigation measures can be carefully considered. A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) is carried out by the local planning authority to inform the preparation of its Local Development Documents, having regard to catchment-wide flooding issues which affect the area.

Green Belt

Land designated around built-up areas to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open and where inappropriate development is tightly controlled. North Somerset includes part of the Bristol-Bath Green Belt.

Green infrastructure (GI)

Green infrastructure comprises the strategically planned and delivered network of high quality green spaces and other environmental features and includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, allotments and private gardens.

Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA)

Any plan or programme which could affect sites of international importance for wildlife will be subject to the Habitats Directive and will require an HRA. This involves assessing whether the plan is likely to have any significant effect on the site. If so, a full Appropriate Assessment will have to be undertaken to assess in detail the likely effects.

Heritage Asset

Is defined in the NPPF as 'a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions because of its heritage interest. Heritage asset includes designated historic assets and also assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).

Historic Park and Garden

A park or garden of special historic interest, designated by English Heritage.

Infrastructure Delivery Plan

A document identifying future infrastructure and service requirements identified by the council and other service providers needed to support the delivery of the Core Strategy.

Intermediate housing

Affordable housing which is provided at prices and rents above those of social rent, but below market price or rents. This includes various forms of shared ownership housing.

Junction 21 Enterprise Area

Junction 21 Enterprise Area in Weston-super-Mare covers 72 hectares of employment land close to the M5 'ready to go' with planning permission and access.

Key diagram

Diagram setting out the broad spatial implications of the policies and proposals contained within the Core Strategy.

Land based rural business development

A business which requires a rural location and is totally dependant on the use of the surrounding countryside for its business success e.g. horticultural, equestrian development, farming.

Lifetime Homes

Dwellings designed to provide accessible and adaptable accommodation for everyone, from young families to older people and people with a temporary or permanent physical impairment.

Listed Building

Buildings identified as being of special architectural or historic interest. Special consent is required for development affecting Listed Buildings.

Local Development Framework (LDF)

The collection of Local Development Documents produced by the local planning authority which collectively delivers the spatial strategy for its area. It includes the Core Strategy, Development Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents.

Local Development Order

An order made by a local planning authority (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) that grants planning permission for a specific development proposal or classes of development.

Local Green Space

The National Planning Policy Framework states that the Local Green Space designation should only be used:

  • where the green space is in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
  • where the green area is demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife; and where the green area concerned is local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.

Local Nature Reserve

Non-statutory habitats of local significance designated by local authorities where protection and public understanding of nature conservation is encouraged.

Locally grown produce

Produce grown on site.

Minerals Safeguarding Area

An area designated by Minerals Planning Authorities which covers new deposits of minerals which are desired to be kept safeguarded from unnecessary sterilisation by non-minerals development.

National Nature Reserve

Area designated with the aim of securing protection and appropriate management of the most important areas of wildlife habitat, and to provide a resource for scientific research. All National Nature Reserves are SSSIs.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Document setting out the government's planning policies for England and how they are expected to be applied.

Non-residential institutions (D1)

Use class covering clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law courts, non-residential education and training centres.

Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales is an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government. It holds independent examinations to determine whether or not DPDs are `sound' and handles planning and enforcement appeals.

Planning obligation

A legally enforceable obligation entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal.

Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS)

Documents which formerly set out the government's national policies on planning issues and the operation of the planning system. PPGs were being replaced by PPSs, and are now superseded by the NPPF.

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.

Ramsar Sites

Internationally important wetland sites, which are especially valuable as a waterfowl habitat. They are designated under the Ramsar convention on wetlands of international importance.

Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS)

A document setting out the strategic planning policies for the region, which in the case of North Somerset is RPG10. The coalition Government has indicated its intention to abolish RSS.

Renewable energy

Energy generated from the sun, the wind, hydro power and plant material (biomass).

Rural building

All buildings outside of settlement boundaries other than permanent dwellings (including associated garages and outbuildings used for residential purposes within the curtilage of a dwelling) and buildings on existing or safeguarded employment sites, quarry or waste sites. Primarily this is likely to be agricultural buildings.

Residual waste

Residual waste refers to the material that remains after the process of waste treatment has taken place. Such treatment can include agricultural, industrial and mining. It can also be applied in a more domestic sense, referring to the household rubbish not able to be recycled, re-used or composted.

Rural exception sites policy

A policy enabling small sites within rural areas which wouldn't otherwise be released for housing to be developed to meet identified local affordable housing needs.

Scheduled Monument

Archaeological sites, monuments or buried remains of national importance, designated by the government.

Section 106 Agreement

Section 106 of the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act allows a local planning authority to enter into a legally-binding agreement or planning obligation with a landowner in association with the granting of planning permission. They are used to support the delivery of services or infrastructure such as transport, recreation, education and affordable housing.

Once adopted CIL will partially replace and supplement the S106 system, but S106 agreements will continue for site-specific mitigation of development.

Settlement boundary

A line on the proposal map defining the area of a settlement within which specific development policies apply. Settlement boundaries do not necessarily include all of the town or village.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

A site identified under the Wildlife and Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 as an area of special interest by reason of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features.

Social rented

Affordable rented housing owned and managed by local authorities and Registered Providers.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

A site designated under the European Community Habitats Directive, to protect internationally important natural habitats and species.

Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Sites classified under the European Community Directive on Wild Birds to protect internationally important bird species.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

A generic term used to describe environmental assessment as applied to policies, plans and programmes. The European SEA Directive requires a formal environmental assessment of certain plans and programmes, including those in the field of planning and land use.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

A study that assesses the overall potential for housing development in an area, including the identification of specific housing sites and their deliverability.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

A study of the existing housing market in an area, including an assessment of the future need for market and affordable housing.

Strategic Nature Areas (SNAs)

Are landscape scale areas of land that have been selected by Biodiversity South West as being important areas for the conservation and expansion of particular habitat types. These areas form part of the South West Nature map .

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Documents prepared as part of the Local Development Framework to provide additional guidance on how policies will be implemented. They may include design guides and development briefs. They do not form part of the Development Plan.

Sustainability Appraisal (SA)

The process of appraising the economic, environmental and social effects of a plan to allow decisions to be made that accord with sustainable development.

Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS)

A document setting out the long-term vision for the area to tackle local needs. The SCS is prepared by the local strategic partnership.

Sustainable development

Development which meets the needs of the present generation, without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

Sustainable drainage is a concept that takes account of long term environmental and social factors in decisions about drainage, and is concerned with the quantity and quality of runoff, and the amenity value of surface water in the urban environment. SuDS provide an integrated approach to surface water design problems, which consider quality, quantity and amenity aspects equally.

Transport Assessment

A comprehensive and systematic process that sets out transport issues relating to a proposed development. It identifies what measures will be required to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel, particularly for alternatives to the car such as walking, cycling and public transport and what measures will need to be taken to deal with the anticipated transport impacts of the development.

Transport Statement

A simplified version of a transport assessment where it is agreed the transport issues arising out of development proposals are limited and a full transport assessment is not required.

Use Classes Order

The Town & Country Planning (Use Classes Order) 1987 (as amended) specifies various classes of use for buildings or land. Within each class the use for another purpose of the same class does not require planning permission.

Weston Package

Weston Package is a scheme of transport improvements to benefit car and motorcycle drivers, bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians in Weston-super-Mare

Weston Villages SPD

A document setting out the detailed layout, phasing and provision of social, community and transport infrastructure of the Weston Villages development.