Scottish planning policy

Policy statement on how nationally important land use planning matters should be addressed across the country.


Affordable housing Housing of a reasonable quality that is affordable to people on modest incomes.
Anchor development (in the context of heat demand) A large scale development which has a constant high demand for heat.
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.
Biodiversity 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).
Brownfield land 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.
Civil infrastructure (in the context of flood risk) Hospitals, fire stations, emergency depots, schools, care homes,
ground-based electrical and telecommunications equipment.
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.
Community A body of people. A community can be based on location (for example people who live or work in or use an area) or common interest (for example the business community, sports or heritage groups).
Cumulative impact Impact in combination with other development. That includes existing developments of the kind proposed, 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.
Ecosystems services The benefits people obtain from ecosystems; these include provisioning services such as food, water, timber and fibre; regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, waste and water quality; cultural services with recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis and nutrient cycling.
Effective housing land supply The part of the established housing land supply which is free or expected to be free of development constraints in the period under consideration and will therefore be available for the construction of housing.
Energy Centre A stand alone building or part of an existing or proposed building where heat or combined heat and electricity generating plant can be installed to service a district network.
Essential infrastructure (in a flood risk area for operational reasons) Defined in SEPA guidance on vulnerability as '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'.
Flood 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 '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.
Freeboard allowance A height added to the predicted level of a flood to take account of the height of waves or turbulence and uncertainty in estimating the probability of the flooding.
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 functional floodplain will generally have a greater than 0.5% (1:200) probability of flooding in any year. See also 'Washland'.
Green infrastructure Includes the 'green' and 'blue' (water environment) features of the natural and built environments that can provide benefits without being connected. Green features include parks, woodlands, trees, play spaces, allotments, community growing spaces, outdoor sports facilities, churchyards and cemeteries, swales, hedges, verges and gardens. Blue features include rivers, lochs, wetlands, canals, other water courses, ponds, coastal and marine areas including beaches, porous paving and sustainable urban drainage systems.
Green networks Connected areas of green infrastructure and open space that together form an integrated and multi-functional network.
Hazardous substances Substances and quantities as currently specified in and requiring consent under the Town and Country Planning (Hazardous Substances) (Scotland) Regulations 1993 as amended (due to be replaced in 2015 as part of the implementation of Directive 2012/18/EU).
Historic environment Scotland's 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 Marine Protected Areas Areas designated in Scottish territorial waters (0-12 miles) under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 for the purpose of preserving marine historic assets of national importance.
Housing supply target The total number of homes that will be delivered.
Hut A simple building used intermittently as recreational accommodation (ie. not a principal residence); having an internal floor area of no more than 30m2; 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.
Major-accident hazard site Site with or requiring hazardous substances consent.
Most vulnerable uses (in the context of flood risk and drainage) Basement dwellings, isolated dwellings in sparsely populated areas, dwelling houses behind informal embankments, residential institutions such as residential care homes/prisons, nurseries, children's homes and educational establishments, caravans, mobile homes and park homes intended for permanent residential use, sites used for holiday or short-let caravans and camping, installations requiring hazardous substance consent.
National Nature Reserve (NNR) An area considered to be of national importance for its nature conservation interests.
National Scenic Area (NSA) An area which is nationally important for its scenic quality.
Open space Space within and on the edge of settlements comprising green infrastructure and/or civic areas such as squares, market places and other paved or hard landscaped areas with a civic function. Detailed typologies of open space are included in PAN65.
Outdoor sports facilities Uses where sportscotland is a statutory consultee under the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2013, which establishes 'outdoor sports facilities' as land used as: (a) an outdoor playing field extending to not less than 0.2ha used for any sport played on a pitch; (b) an outdoor athletics track; (c) a golf course; (d) an outdoor tennis court, other than those within a private dwelling, hotel or other tourist accommodation; and (e) an outdoor bowling green.
Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) The Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) states that OUV means cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity. The Statement of OUV is the key reference for the future effective protection and management of the World Heritage Site.
PADHI Planning Advice for Development near Hazardous Installations, issued by the Health and Safety Executive.
Prime agricultural land Agricultural land identified as being Class 1, 2 or 3.1 in the land capability classification for agriculture developed by Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (now the James Hutton Institute).
Place 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. Architecture, public space and landscape are central to this.
Pluvial flooding Flooding as a result of rainfall runoff flowing or ponding over the ground before it enters a natural (e.g. watercourse) or artificial (e.g. sewer) drainage system or when it cannot enter a drainage system (e.g. because the system is already full to capacity or the drainage inlets have a limited capacity).
Ramsar sites Wetlands designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
Scheduled monument Archaeological sites, buildings or structures of national or international importance. The purpose of scheduling is to secure the long-term legal protection of the monument in the national interest, in situ and as far as possible in its existing state and within an appropriate setting.
Sensitive receptor Aspect of the environment likely to be significantly affected by a development, which may include for example, population, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, landscape and the inter-relationship between these factors. In the context of planning for Zero Waste, sensitive receptors may include aerodromes and military air weapon ranges.
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.
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) An area which is designated for the special interest of its flora, fauna, geology or geomorphological features.
Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Provides an overview of flood risk in the area proposed for development. An assessment involves the collection, analysis and presentation of all existing available and readily derivable information on flood risk from all sources. SFRA applies a risk-based approach to identifying land for development and can help inform development plan flood risk policy and supplementary guidance.
Strategic Transport Nework 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 Economic Growth Building a dynamic and growing economy that will provide prosperity and opportunities for all, while ensuring that future generations can enjoy a better quality of life too.
Washland An alternative term for the functional flood plain which carries the connotation that it floods very frequently.
Watercourse All means of conveying water except a water main or sewer.
Windfall Sites Sites which become available for development unexpectedly during the life of the development plan and so are not identified individually in the plan.



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