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West Oxfordshire District Council


Accessibility  the ability of people to move round an area and to reach places and facilities, including elderly and disabled people, those with young children and those encumbered with luggage or shopping.
A1, A2, A3, A4 or A5 development see under “Use Classes Order”.
Affordable housing affordable to those who cannot afford market priced housing locally to either rent or purchase. It is housing provided with either public or private subsidy for people who are unable to resolve their housing requirements in the local housing market because of the relationship between housing cost and local incomes.
After-Use the ultimate use after mineral working for agriculture, forestry, amenity, industrial and other development.
Agricultural Land Classification The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA’s) system of classifying agricultural land quality. There are five grades numbered 1 to 5, with grade 3 divided into two sub-grades (3a and 3b). Technical guidelines and criteria for grading using this system were published in 1988.
Agricultural Workers Dwelling dwelling in which the occupation of the property is limited to those employed or last employed in agriculture or forestry (see Policy H4).
Allocations land identified in the Local Plan for development (with or without planning permission).
Ancient Woodland Ancient, semi-natural woods which have had a continuous cover of native trees and plants since at least 1600 AD. Having not been cleared and/or extensively replanted since then, English Nature and other organisations regard these woods as the most important for nature conservation.
Ancillary use a minor additional use that supports or complements the main use of a building or area of land.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) areas of national importance for their landscape character and appearance, within which the conservation and enhancement of their natural beauty is a priority. These are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 by the Secretary of State for the Environment (see Policy NE4).
B1 to B8 development see under “Use Classes Order”.
Biodiversity the diversity of plant and animal species in a given area, or during a specific period of time. See the Environment Chapter.
Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) a framework for achieving the conservation of biodiversity based on the targeting of resources towards priority habitats and species. BAPs can be prepared at a range of levels: country-wide (eg the UK Biodiversity Action Plan), for counties (eg Oxfordshire BAP) or for recognised areas (these are known as Local Biodiversity ActionPlans – LBAPs).
Brownfield Site land which has previously been developed.
Building or buildings worthy of retention buildings which are valuable by themselves or because of their group value and normally which are structurally sound and of vernacular design and construction (eg of stone or brick with slate or tile roofs) as well as creating a positive feature in the local scene.
Building Regulations regulations which are separate from planning but which have to be adhered to in the construction of development.
Burgage Plots land originally held in a borough under a medieval form of tenure; such plots were often long and narrow with a frontage to a street or market place.
C1, C2 or C3 development see under “Use Classes Order”.
Capital Programme the list of schemes drawn up ach year by a District or County Council for projects such as new roads and largely paid for as capital rather than revenue expenditure.
Catchment area the geographical area from which a shopping centre, store, school or other premises draws its customers/patrons.
Circular policy statements issued by government to supplement planning policy guidance.
Commitments all proposals for development which are the subject of a current full or outline planning permission or are allocations in an existing Local Plan.
Commuted sum a sum of money paid by a developer to the local authority to provide a service or a facility, rather than the developer providing it direct.
Completions all proposals for development which have been constructed or brought into use.
Conservation Area an area of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance, as required by the ‘Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation areas) Act 1990’ (Section 69 and 70). Within a Conservation Area there are additional planning controls over certain works carried out. Development is expected to be of a high standard of design.
Cotswolds Conservation Board See Policy NE4 and supporting text in the Environment Chapter.
Countryside Agency a statutory body working to conserve and enhance the countryside and to promote social equity and economic opportunity for people who live there. It has a number of duties, including designating National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
County Wildlife Site a site of important nature conservation value within a County context but which are not protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Culvert a covered channel or pipeline which is used to continue a watercourse or drainage path under an artificial obstruction.
Curtilage the common plot to any building or group of buildings.
D1 or D2 development see under “Use Classes Order”.
Density the floorspace of a building or buildings or some other unit measure in relation to a given area of land. Built density can be expressed in terms of plot ratio (for commercial development); number of units or habitable rooms per hectare (for residential development); site coverage plus the number of floors or a maximum building height; or a combination of these.
Design Statement
  1. a pre-application design statement is made by a developer to indicate the design principles on which a development proposal is based. It enables the local authority to give an initial response to the main issues raised by the proposal.
  2. a planning application design statement sets out the design principles that the planning applicant has adopted in relation to the site and its wider context.
Developer contributions contributions made by a developer to remedy the impact of development, either by paying money for work to be carried out or by directly providing facilities or works either on or off-site.
Development the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land (as defined in Section 55 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 - certain operations and uses shall not be taken for the purpose of the Act to involve development).
Development Brief a document, prepared by a local authority, a developer, or jointly, providing guidance on how a site of significant size or sensitivity should be developed. Site-specific briefs are sometimes known as planning briefs, design briefs or development frameworks.
Dip slope a geographical term used to describe the open, smooth topography of the south and east Cotswolds where the higher ground of the wolds falls gently away.
Dwelling a self contained unit of residential accommodation (houses, flats, maisonettes, studios etc).
Elevation the facade of a building, or the drawing of a facade.
Employment Use see the Introduction to the Employment Chapter.
English Heritage the Government’s statutory adviser on the historic environment. It works in partnership with central government departments, local authorities, voluntary bodies and the private sector to conserve and enhance the historic environment; broaden public access to the heritage; and increase peoples understanding of the past. This includes the selection of listed buildings and schedule ancients monuments. It is also a major source of grant aid for the conservation of historic buildings, monuments and landscapes.
English Nature (formerly the Nature Conservancy Council) a government agency that champions the conservation and enhancement of the wildlife and natural features of England. It advises on nature conservation and regulates activities affecting  designated sites, enables others to manage land for
nature conservation, through grants, projects and information, and advocates biodiversity for all as a key test of sustainable development. In 2006 it is to be
incorporated into a new body called Natural England.
Environment Agency incorporating the former National Rivers Authority, this body is responsible for wide-ranging matters, including the management of water resources, surface water drainage, flooding and water quality. Their principle duty is to “contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development”.
Farm diversification  the development of farmbased, non-agricultural activities to help sustain the farm holding.
Fenestration the arrangement of openings (doors
and windows) in the outside walls of a building.
Flood Plain  an area of land over which water flows in time of flood or would flow but for the presence of flood defences where they exist.
Flood Risk Assessment an assessment of the risk of flooding to the development being proposed and its possible effects on flood risks elsewhere in terms of its effects on flood flows, flood storage capacity and run-off.
General Development Order a set of Government regulations (known as the G.D.O.) which set out, amongst other things, a list of developments which do not require planning permission or are automatically granted express consent.
Green Belt an area of land, usually around a city or conurbation, within which there is a presumption against urban development. The general extent is fixed in the Structure Plan and the detailed boundaries are defined in Local Plans; the extent of the Oxford Green Belt in West Oxfordshire is defined on the Proposals Map.
Greenfield Site land which has not previously been developed.
Habitat the natural living space of a plant or animal.
Habitat Action Plan (HAP) a target programme of management measures aimed at maintaining/restoring a specific habitat.
Habitats Directive EC Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora 1992.
Hectare 10,000m2. A metric unit of area measurement equal to 2.471 acres.
Hedgerow Regulations procedures governing the protection and removal of hedgerows, which involves a notification procedure for the Local Planning Authority to determine.
Housing Association a non-profit making, independent organisation that provides housing. Generally they provide accommodation for people in housing need who are unable to afford to buy or rent housing on the open market.
Infilling the filling of a small gap in an otherwise continuous built up frontage. However, all gaps may not be appropriate for infill development. Some may form important features in the village and/or allow attractive views to be gained of features beyond the site. In assessing proposals for infill development particular regard will be given to Policy BE4. Infilling may include the redevelopment, alteration or extension of existing buildings to create new dwellings.
Infrastructure structures and services that provide for the essential needs of development such as public transport, schools, open spaces, roads and sewers.
Key Workers defined as those people who provide essential services necessary for continued economic growth and to sustain the quality of life in the District, including employees required to deliver key services to the public such as health, social services, teaching and emergency services.
Landmark a building or structure that stands out from its background by virtue of height, size or some other aspect of design.
Larger Towns and Villages see Figure 5.2 of the Housing Chapter.
Listed Buildings buildings and structures as being of special architectural or historic interest, on a statutory list of such buildings, whose protection and maintenance are the subject of special legislation. Their curtilage and setting is also protected.
Live/work units dwellings which provide a work area for its occupant(s) ancillary to the primary residential use.
Local Development Framework (LDF) a portfolio of documents called Local Development Documents which together will provide the spatial planning framework for an area under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. This portfolio for West Oxfordshire will replace the West OxfordshireLocal Plan 2011.
Local Distinctiveness the positive features of a place and its communities which contribute to its special character and sense of place.
Local Nature Reserve a site of regional or local importance for nature conservation designated by the Council under section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.
Local Plan Public Local Inquiry (P.L.I.) a formal public inquiry held to enable the planning authority to have objections to the Local Plan examined by an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. (A free booklet, “Local Plans and Unitary Development Plans: a Guide to Procedures”, is available from the District Council).
Local Transport Plan document prepared by Oxfordshire County Council setting out key transport policies and proposals for the County.
Medium-sized Villages see Figure 5.2 of the Housing Chapter.
Mixed Uses a mix of uses within a building, on a site or within a particular area. ‘Horizontal’ mixed uses are side by side, usually in different buildings. ‘Vertical’ mixed uses are on different floors of the same building.
National Land Use Database aims to establish a complete, consistent and detailed geographical record of land use in England. Phase 1 provides key information on the amounts of previously developed land that may be available for development.
National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) an independent charity established to try to ensure that everyone has access to recreational space within easy reach of their homes. In pursuance of this objective, the Association actively campaigns for a minimum standard of provision.
National Nature Reserve (NNR) a Site of Special Scientific Interest of national or international importance for nature conservation, which is owned or leased by English Nature or is managed on their behalf in the interests of wildlife, research and public appreciation.
Oxfordshire Woodland Project a scheme established by the Oxfordshire Woodland Group which operates through a Woodland Project Officer and helps to promote the management of small woods
through provision of practical and professional advice.
Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest parks and gardens that are listed in a register maintained by English Heritage by  reason of their historic layout, features and architectural ornaments.
Planning Appeal if an application for planning permission has been refused, has not been decided within the statutory time limit or the Local Authority has imposed conditions, the  applicant may appeal to the Government. An independent Inspector will
consider the appeal and a decision will be made on behalf of or by the relevant Secretary of State.
Planning/Development Brief a set of criteria to be adhered to in the development of certain sites
approved by the District Council; normally used where there are a number of  complex or potentially conflicting issues.
Planning Obligations legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer, or  undertakings offered unilaterally by a developer, that ensure that
certain extra works related to a development are undertaken, such as  provision of highways. Agreements are normally made under Section 106 of  the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and are often called ‘Section 106 agreements’.
Planning Permission is required from the District Council for most new buildings, major alterations  and extensions, changes of use of land and buildings and for some cases of demolition.
Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG) a series of Guidance Notes produced by the Government covering a wide range of planning issues. PPG’s advise on the  implementation of government policy regarding the purpose and function of the planning system.
Planning Policy Statement (PPS) statements of national planning policy produced by Government
gradually replacing Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG’s).
Precautionary Principle where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full  scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing
cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
Previously-developed Land land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure (excluding
agricultural or forestry buildings), and associated fixed surface infrastructure.  The definition covers the curtilage of the development. The full definition  used for the purposes of the plan is described in Annex C of PPG3 Housing.
Public Art permanent or temporary works of art visible to the general public, whether  part of the building or free-standing: can include sculpture, lighting
effects, electronic art, video art, street furniture, paving, railings, posters and  signs.
Recycling a process which takes waste material and produces usable new materials or products from it.
Registered Social Landlord a voluntary (ie. not for profit) organisation which provides affordable
housing to people in housing need and which is registered with the  government body called The Housing Corporation.
Renewable Energy sources of power to supply energy which are not a finite resource.
Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGs) the most important places for geology, geomorphology and soils outside  statutorily protected nature reserves and SSSIs. These sites are considered  worthy of protection for their education, research, historical or
aesthetics importance.
Rounding off residential development on a site within the existing built-up areas of a  settlement that would be a logical complement to the existing
pattern of development, would not extend that settlement into open  countryside and would not conflict with other policies of this Plan. Such sites  will be previously developed land which is or was occupied
by a permanent structure, including the associated curtilage.
Run-off that part of rainfall which finds its way into a stream, river etc and flows eventually to the sea.
Rural Diversification the provision of wider and more varied job opportunities for local people in rural areas.
Sequential approach / sequential test a systematic approach ranking sites in an order starting
with the most appropriate location for development followed by increasingly  unsuitable options eg. brownfield housing sites before greenfield sites; town
centre retail sites before out-of-centre sites.
Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) features of archaeological or historic interest compiled by the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport which are subject to the law intended  to prevent them being
damaged or destroyed. The regulations are similar to
those applied to Listed Buildings but are administered by Central  Government rather than Local Authorities.
Sheltered Accommodation dwellings which are specifically designed for certain sectors of society, such
as the elderly.
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) areas f land or water identified by English Nature as
being of special interest on account of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features.
Social Enterprise local community acting together to provide services needed by the local  population, particularly where the service cannot be provided
through the market economy.
Social Housing see under ‘Affordable Housing’.
Special Area of Conservation (SAC) areas designated under the European Union Directive on
the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna (The  Habitats Directive) to afford protection to flora and fauna.
Special Protection Area (SPA) areas classified under the European Community Directive on the  conservation of wild birds.
Structure Plan document prepared by Oxfordshire County Council setting out key strategic  planning policies for the County. The Oxfordshire Structure
Plan, the Minerals and Waste Local Plan and the West Oxfordshire Local Plan  together currently form the Development Plan for West Oxfordshire. These plans will continue to operate for the time being but will be
replaced by a new development plan system.
Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) advice prepared and adopted by the Council to supplement and support the  policies and proposals in the local plan.
Sustainable Development the most commonly used definition comes from the Brundtland Report
(1987): ‘Development which meets the needs of the present without  compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs’.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) a wide range of techniques which can be adopted for most new and  redevelopment sites to give a reduced environmental impact from surface  water drainage eg. the use of grass swales, porous paths, wet
and dry ponds, storm water wetlands. (Contact the Environment Agency for further details).
Swales grass lined surface channels or depressions to collect surface water run-off.
Telecommunications development apparatus, plant and equipment used to receive microwave transmissions, such as satellite television equipment.
Traffic calming measures measures (such as road humps) which are designed to reduce traffic
speeds, improve accident records, improve safety for pedestrians and  cyclists, and generally improve residents quality of life and the environment.
Traffic management measures restrictionsimposed on cars and commercial vehicles to assist traffic flows or  to allow greater priority to be given to pedestrians, cyclists and public  transport vehicles, or to improve conditions for local residents.
Tree Preservation Order made by a Local Planning Authority under the Town & Country
Planning Act 1990 to protect individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands  against felling, uprooting, lopping or other damage.
Trunk Road designated by the Highways Agency as a route of strategic importance, second only to motorways.

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