Scotland’s ‘Understanding planning ‘jargon’’ briefing by SPICe

booklet coverA new briefing note by SPICe (The Scottish Parliament Infromation Cente) provides short definitions of commonly used planning terms and abbreviations, characterised as jargon but with each interpretation qualified as being ‘brief summary of what are often complex matters, many of which have very exact legal meanings’.

SPICe writes:

This briefing provides short definitions of commonly used planning terms and abbreviations. It is worth noting that these definitions provide a brief summary of what are often complex matters, many of which have very exact legal meanings. In addition, some planning authorities may define many of these terms in a specific way in relation to their own policies. Care should therefore be taken in applying the following definitions.

Commonly used planning jargon and abbreviations (IHBC sample extract)

Affordable Housing: Housing of a reasonable quality that is affordable to people on modest incomes. Affordable housing may be provided in the form of social rented accommodation, mid-market rented accommodation, shared ownership housing, shared equity housing, housing sold at a discount (including plots for self-build), and low cost housing without subsidy.

Terms include:

  • Agent: A person or business, often an architect or planning consultant, appointed to make a planning application or Development Plan representation on behalf of another person or organisation.
  • Agent of Change principle: Under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 responsibility for managing and mitigating the impact of noise on neighbouring residents and businesses lies with the business or activity making the noise, regardless of how long the noise-generating business or activity has been operating in the area. In some cases, this has led to newly-arrived residents complaining about noise from existing businesses, sometimes forcing the businesses to close. The Agent of Change principle places the responsibility for mitigating the impact of noise firmly on the new development. This means that where new developments are proposed close to existing noise-generating uses, applicants will need to design them in a more sensitive way to protect the new occupiers. This could include paying for soundproofing for the existing noise-generating uses, such as an existing music venue.
  • Applicant: A person, business or organisation making an application for planning permission.
  • Area of Great Landscape Value: An area designated in the Development Plan for its local landscape significance which is subject to policies aimed at protecting its character
  • Article 4 Direction: A Direction issued by a planning authority or Scottish Ministers removing specified Permitted Development rights from a defined area….
  • Conservation Area: Areas of special architectural or historic interest, with a character or appearance worth preserving or enhancing. All planning authorities are required from time to time to determine which areas meet this definition and to designate them as conservation areas.
  • Designated Landscape: Gardens and grounds laid out for artistic effect that are listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designated Landscapes maintained by Historic Environment Scotland…
  • Listed Building: A building of special architectural or historic interest included in the list of such buildings maintained by Historic Environment Scotland. Owners of listed buildings may need to apply for listed building consent, possibly in addition to planning permission, to make changes to their listed property…
  • Scheduled Monument: A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance that Scottish Ministers have given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Examples of such monuments include prehistoric burial mounds, Roman camps, medieval castles and World War II defensive sites…
  • Scheme of Delegation: Every planning authority is required to produce a ‘scheme of delegation’ which sets out a list of local developments that can be determined by an appointed person, normally a planning officer, rather than Councillors at a committee…
  • Section 75 agreement: Section 75 of the Town and Country (Planning) Scotland Act 1997, as amended, provides the statutory basis for the majority of planning obligations…
  • Tree Preservation Order (TPO): TPOs are a means of protecting individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands whose removal would have a significant impact on the public amenity of an area. It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, willfully damage or willfully destroy a tree with a TPO without a planning authority’s permission. TPOs are made under Section 160 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997…

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