Scotland 2045: fourth National Planning Framework - draft: integrated impact assessment - environmental report

Environmental report setting out the findings of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) undertaken to inform preparation of Scotland's draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4).

Appendix A - Glossary

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.

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.


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 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 building and developed land within the settlement boundary where further intensification of use is considered acceptable.

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

Climate change adaptation

The adjustment in economic, social or natural systems in response to actual or expected climatic change, to limit harmful consequences and exploit beneficial opportunities.

Climate change mitigation

Reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reducing activities which emit greenhouse gases to help slow down or make less severe the impacts of future climate change.

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 me 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 Act.

Ecosystem services

The benefits people obtain from ecosystems.

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.


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 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.

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.

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.

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.


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're able to take out will add up to zero.

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


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.

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.


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 of 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.

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.

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 well-being of communities;
  • wider economic and social activity during the day and in the evening; and
  • integration with residential areas.

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.



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