Scotland 2045 - fourth National Planning Framework - draft: consultation

Draft of Scotland 2045: Our Fourth National Planning Framework: consultation

Annex C – Glossary of definitions

20 minute neighbourhood

A method of achieving connected and often compact neighbourhoods designed in such a way that people can meet the majority of their daily needs within a reasonable walk, wheel or cycle (within approx. 800m) of their home. The principle can be adjusted to include varying geographical scales from cities and urban environments, to rural and island communities. Housing would be planned together with local infrastructure including schools, community centres, local shops and health and social care to significantly reduce the need to use unsustainable methods of travel, to prioritise quality of life, help tackle inequalities, increase levels of health and wellbeing and respond to the climate emergency.

Affordable home/affordable housing

Housing of a reasonable quality that is affordable to people on low incomes. This can include social rented, mid-market rented, shared-ownership, shared-equity, housing sold at discount (including plots for self-build), self-build plots and low-cost housing without subsidy.

Agent of change principle

Where an application is made for a residential development which is likely to be affected by noise from existing development such as, but not limited to, music venues, manufacturing or industrial sites, large retail outlets, etc, the applicant is required to demonstrate that they have assessed the potential impact on residents of the proposed residential development and that the proposed design incorporates appropriate measures to mitigate this impact.

Appropriate Assessment

Regulation 48 of The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994, as amended, requires an authority, before deciding to undertake, or give any consent, permission or other authorisation for certain plans or projects likely to have a significant effect on a European site in Great Britain (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects) to make an 'appropriate assessment' of the implications for the site in view of that site's conservation objectives.

Article 4 Direction

Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 gives the Scottish Government and planning authorities the power to remove permitted development rights by issuing a direction.


The variability in living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part. This includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992).

Blue economy

The Blue Economy is sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystems.

Blue infrastructure

Water environment features within the natural and built environments that provide a range of ecosystem services. Blue features include rivers, lochs, wetlands, canals, other water courses, ponds, coastal and marine areas including beaches, porous paving, sustainable urban drainage systems and raingardens.


Land which has previously been developed. The term may cover vacant or derelict land, land occupied by redundant or unused buildings and developed land within the settlement boundary where further intensification of use is considered acceptable.

Buildings at Risk Register

The Buildings at Risk Register (BARR) for Scotland ( has been in operation since 1990 and highlights properties of architectural or historic merit that are considered to be at risk. Buildings at risk are not necessarily in poor condition, they may simply be standing empty with no clear future use or be threatened with demolition.

Carbon sequestration

The long-term removal, capture, or sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow or reverse atmospheric CO2 pollution and to mitigate or reverse climate change.

Circular economy

A circular economy is one that is designed to reduce the demand for raw material in products; to encourage reuse, repair and manufacture by designing products and materials to last as long as possible in line with the waste hierarchy.

  • Prevention: If you can't prevent, then...
  • Prepare for reuse: If you can't prepare for reuse, then...
  • Recycle: If you can't recycle, then...
  • Recover other value (eg energy): If you can't recover value, then...
  • Disposal: Landfill if no alternative available

Commercial centre

Centres which have a more specific focus on retailing and/or leisure uses, such as shopping centres, commercial leisure developments, mixed retail and leisure developments, retail parks and factory outlet centres.


A body of people. A community can be based on location (for example people who live or work in or use an area), common identity (for example a shared ethnicity, language, age) or common interest (for example the business community, amenity, sports, social or heritage groups).

Conservation Area

Conservation areas are areas which have special architectural or historic interest that are considered worthy of protection. To be designated as a conservation area it must meet the criteria of 'special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance', as set out in Section 61 of the Planning Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas (Scotland) Act 1997.

Community Hub

A community hub is a multipurpose centre, such as a community centre, medical centre or school, that provides a range of high quality and cost effective services to the local community, with the potential to develop new services in response to changing community needs.

Community facilities

Buildings or services used by the community, including community halls, recreation centres, libraries, etc.

Cultural significance

Cultural significance means aesthetic, historic, scientific or social value for past, present or future generations. Cultural significance can be embodied in a place itself, its fabric, setting, use, associations, meanings, records, related places and related objects.

Cumulative impact

Impact in combination with other development. That includes existing developments as appropriate, those which have permission, and valid applications which have not been determined. The weight attached to undetermined applications should reflect their position in the application process.

Cumulative effects (in the context of the strategic transport network)

The effect on the operational performance of transport networks of a number of developments in combination, recognising that the effects of a group of sites, or development over an area may need different mitigation when considered together than when considered individually.

Custom-build housing

Where a person tasks a house builder to tailor a home to their preferences before it is built.


Reducing the amount of gaseous carbon compounds released by buildings, activities or operations.

Deliverable land

Land that is free from constraints or there is a commitment to overcome constraints, and development is able to be delivered within the pipeline period identified for the site.

Design Flood

Magnitude of the flood adopted for the design of a site, usually defined in relation to the severity of the flood in terms of its return period.

Ecosystem services

The benefits people obtain from ecosystems.

Egress (safe, flood free pedestrian access and egress)

A route for the movement of people (not vehicles) of all abilities (on foot or with mobility assistance) between the development and a place of safety outwith the design flood level.

Enabling development

Enabling development is development that would not be in compliance with local and/or national planning policies, and not normally be permitted, except for the fact that it would secure the future conservation of a historic environment asset and the wider benefits outweigh the impacts of not adhering to those policies.

Essential infrastructure
(in a flood risk area for operational reasons)

Essential transport infrastructure and essential utility infrastructure which may have to be located in a flood risk area for operational reasons. This includes electricity generating stations, power stations and grid and primary sub stations, water treatments works and sewage treatment works and wind turbines.

Evidence report

A supporting document to the Local Development Plan. An evidence report summarises the evidence base for those proposals and policies set out in the development plan and demonstrates that appropriate consultation has been undertaken and regard given to the views of the community.


The temporary covering by water from any source of land not normally covered by water, but not including the overflow of a sewage system.

Flood plain

The generally flat areas adjacent to a watercourse or the sea where water flows in time of flood or would flow but for the presence of flood prevention measures. The limits of a flood plain are defined by the peak water level of an appropriate return period event. See also Future functional flood plain.

Flood risk

The combination of the probability of a flood and the potential adverse consequences associated with a flood, for human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity.

Forestry and Woodland Strategy

A strategy prepared by a planning authority either singly or in collaboration with other planning authorities, which sets out policies and proposals for the development of forestry and woodlands in their area, according to the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.


Freeboard is the difference between the design flood level and either the finished floor levels, solum level, or deck level of a specific development. It is a safety margin designed to allow for the uncertainties involved in flood estimation and physical factors that cannot be assessed and vary between sites e.g. post-construction settlement and wave action. In many cases an adequate freeboard allowance is 600mm above the design flood level[4] (in some situations a more detailed assessment of appropriate freeboard will need to be carried out).

Future functional flood plain

The areas of land where water flows in times of flood which should be safeguarded from further development because of their function as flood water storage areas. For planning purposes the future functional floodplain will generally have a greater than 0.5% (1:200) probability of flooding by 2080. Flood Hazard and Flood Risk Information

Gardens and designed landscapes

The Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes recognises sites where garden grounds and landscapes have been intentionally laid out for artistic effect which are of national importance. The inventory is maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.

Green infrastructure

Features or spaces within the natural and built environments that provide a range of ecosystem services.

Green networks

Connected areas of green infrastructure and open space, that together form an integrated and multi-functional network.

Green space

Space which provides a recreational function, an amenity function, or aesthetic value to the public such as areas of:

(a) grass,

(b) trees,

(c) other vegetation,

(d) water,

but not including agricultural or horticultural land.

Historic Battlefields

The Inventory of Historic Battlefields recognises sites where a nationally important battle took place, soldiers fought and died, and where significant military activities happened. Their selection, assessment and designation is carried out by Historic Environment Scotland.

Historic Environment

The historic environment is 'the physical evidence for human activity that connects people with place, linked with the associations we can see, feel and understand'.

Historic Environment Asset

An asset (or 'historic asset' or 'heritage asset') is a physical element of the historic environment – a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having cultural significance.

Historic Marine Protected Areas

Historic Marine Protected Areas are areas designated in Scottish territorial waters (0-12 miles) under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 for the purpose of preserving marine assets of national importance. These can be wrecks of boats or aircraft or more scattered remains, such as groups of artefacts on the seabed from a submerged prehistoric landscape. Their designation is carried out by Marine Scotland based on advice from Historic Environment Scotland.

Housing land requirement

The amount of land identified in National Planning Framework for a 10-year period for each authority area that is to be identified within the pipeline of housing development.


A simple building used intermittently as recreational accommodation (ie. not a principal residence); having an internal floor area of no more than 30 square meters; constructed from low impact materials; generally not connected to mains water, electricity or sewerage; and built in such a way that it is removable with little or no trace at the end of its life. Huts may be built singly or in groups.

Lifeline links

A lifeline ferry service required in order for a community to be viable.
Glossary of the Ferries Plan 2012.

Listed building

A listed building is a built structure of 'special architectural or historic interest'. The term 'building' can be defined as 'anything made by people' such as houses, schools, factories, boundary walls, bridges and sculptures. They are designated by Historic Environment Scotland under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 and they maintain the list.

Local housing strategy

Local Housing Strategies were introduced as part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to widen the strategic and enabling role for local authorities in relation to housing in their area. The Local Housing Strategy (LHS) sets out the outcomes the Council and its partners want to achieve, and the actions they will take, to address housing need and demand in their area.


A strategic scheme within which a location is proposed to be regenerated or changed in order to meet a perceived challenge or strategic need.

Masterplan consent area

A masterplan consent area scheme can grant authorisation for the type of development set out in the scheme, within the geographic location (area) to which the scheme relates. In setting out the type of development that the scheme authorises, this can be either expressly specified or described as type of development that is specified in the scheme.

Mitigation hierarchy

The mitigation hierarchy indicates the order in which the impacts of development should be considered and addressed. These are:

i. avoid – by removing the impact at the outset;

ii. minimise – by reducing the impact;

iii. restore – by repairing damaged habitats;

iv. offset – by compensating for the residual impact that remains, with preference to on-site over off-site measures.

Nature network

A Nature Network is a joined-up system of places important for wild plants and animals, on land and at sea. It allows plants, animals, seeds, nutrients and water to move from place to place and enables the natural world to adapt to change, providing plants and animals with places to live, feed and breed. Effectively functioning nature networks will connect existing nature rich areas through habitat corridors, habitat 'stepping stones' or habitat restoration areas.

Net zero

Scotland has set a target to become 'Net Zero' by 2045. This means the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere and the amount we are able to take out will add up to zero.

Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs)

A geographically defined area other than a Protected Area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the in situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio–economic, and other locally relevant values (CBD, 2018).

Open space

Space within and on the edge of settlements comprising green space or civic areas such as squares, market places and other paved or hard landscaped areas with a civic function.

Open Space Strategy

An open space strategy is to set out a strategic framework of the planning authority's policies and proposals as to the development, maintenance and use of green infrastructure in their district, including open spaces and green networks. It must contain: an audit of existing open space provision, an assessment of current and future requirements, and any other matter which the planning authority consider appropriate.

NTS2 National Transport Strategy 2

The National Transport Strategy sets out an ambitious vision for Scotland's transport system for the next 20 years. The vision is underpinned by four priorities: Reduces Inequalities, Takes Climate Action, Helps Deliver Inclusive Economic Growth and Improves our Health and Wellbeing, each with three associated outcomes.

The Strategy sets out the strategic framework within which future decisions on investment will be made, including the sustainable travel and investment hierarchies.


Placemaking is the process of creating good quality places that promotes people's health, happiness and wellbeing. It concerns the environment in which we live; the people that inhabit these spaces; and the quality of life that comes from the interaction of people and their surroundings. Placemaking is a collaborative approach involving the design and development of places over time, with people and communities central to the process.

Remedial Notice (forestry)

A Remedial Notice is a notice issued by Scottish Ministers if it appears to them that a person has failed or is failing to comply with a condition on felling permission, a felling direction (including any condition imposed on it), a restocking direction (including any condition imposed on it), or a registered notice to comply.

A Remedial Notice requires the person to take such steps or stop such activity as may be specified in the notice on order to comply with or otherwise give effect to the condition, direction or (as the case may be) registered notice to comply, and, to take steps or stop the activity within the period specified in the notice.

Restocking Direction

A Restocking Direction is a notice issued by Scottish Ministers, in response to an unauthorised felling or a failure to comply with a continuing condition on a felling permission. A restocking direction requires an owner of the land on which the felled tree was located or the land to which the continuing condition relates, to stock the land in question.

Self-build housing

Where a person builds their own house or appoints their own builder.

Self-provided housing

Includes self-build housing, custom-build housing and collective build housing.


Setting is more than the immediate surroundings of a site or building, and may be related to the function or use of a place, or how it was intended to fit into the landscape or townscape, the view from it or how it is seen from areas round about, or areas that are important to the protection of the place, site or building.

'Setting' is the way the surroundings of a historic asset or place contribute to how it is understood, appreciated and experienced.

Scheduled Monument

Scheduled monuments are archaeological sites or monuments of national importance that are legally protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. They are designated by Historic Environment Scotland who maintains the schedule.

Short-term let

The use of a dwellinghouse (a residential house or flat) for rental by persons other than the owner for short periods and for financial or other remuneration.

Typically includes properties advertised as being available for holiday let, although can apply to other situations.

Strategic Transport Network

Includes the trunk road and rail networks. Its primary purpose is to provide the safe and efficient movement of strategic long-distance traffic between major centres, although in rural areas it also performs important local functions.

Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (The Brundtland Definition. Our Common Future, The World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987.)

Sustainable Travel Hierarchy

The National Transport Strategy 2 Sustainable Travel Hierarchy should be used in in decision making by promoting walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport and shared transport options in preference to single occupancy private car use for the movement of people. The efficient and sustainable freight transport for the movement of goods, particularly the shift from road to rail should also be promoted.

Sustainable Investment Hierarchy

The National Transport Strategy 2 Sustainable Investment Hierarchy will be used to inform future investment decisions and ensure transport options that focus on reducing inequalities and the need to travel unsustainably are prioritised. We also need to focus on maintaining and safely operating existing assets, taking due consideration of the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Investment promoting a range of measures, including innovative solutions, to make better use of existing capacity will then be considered, ensuring that existing transport networks and systems are fully optimised. Only following these steps should investment involving targeted infrastructure improvements be considered.

Town Centre

Centres which display:

  • a diverse mix of uses, including shopping;
  • a high level of accessibility;
  • qualities of character and identity which create a sense of place and further the wellbeing of communities;
  • wider economic and social activity during the day and in the evening; and
  • integration with residential areas.

Transport Appraisal

A Transport Appraisal should inform the spatial strategy by appraising the impact of the potential spatial strategy options on the transport network, in line with Transport Scotland's DPMTAG guidance. It should determine the potential impacts of development on the transport network and mitigation to address adverse impacts, how they will be funded and who should deliver these. This should inform the Proposed Plan.

Transport Assessment

A Transport Assessment report should aim to provide supporting evidence to accompany the planning application to demonstrate that the development is sited in a location where current and likely future travel behaviour will produce a desired and predicted transport output. The TA should provide information in a suitable form to enable the local authority and, if necessary, Transport Scotland to assess and determine the planning application, seek any changes to the proposal and devise necessary planning conditions or negotiate planning or other legal agreements.

Travel Plan

A Travel Plan (TP) is a document that sets out a package of positive and complementary measures for the overall delivery of more sustainable travel patterns for a specific development. Their ability and success in influencing travel patterns is dependent upon the commitment of the developer or occupier of a development and the enforcement of travel plan monitoring by the local authority. Travel Plans should be implemented to encourage a shift in transport mode for those travelling to and from a development.

Vacant and derelict land

Vacant land – Previously developed land, without physical constraint, which the Planning Authority has indicated is currently available for redevelopment.

Derelict land – Previously developed land which is un-remediated and/or which has a constraint caused by its previous use which hampers its redevelopment or naturalisation.

World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites are internationally important cultural and/or natural heritage sites which have been inscribed for their 'Outstanding Universal Value'. Though no additional statutory controls result from world heritage designation, the impact of proposed development upon the outstanding universal value, including its authenticity and integrity of a World Heritage Site and its setting, is a material consideration in determining planning applications. Their selection, assessment and designation is carried out by UNESCO based on advice from State Parties and the relevant devolved Government.

Q58: Do you agree with the definitions set out above? Are there any other terms it would be useful to include in the glossary?



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