Acronyms and Glossary of Terms





Area Action Plan


Cambridge Guided Bus


Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority


Cambridge Regional College


Ely to Cambridge Transport Study


Housing Infrastructure Fund


Houses in Multiple Occupation


Local Planning Authority


North East Cambridge


National Planning Practice Guidance


Private Rented Sector


Research and Development


Waste Water Recycling Centre

Glossary of Terms




Aggregates take a number of different forms. Primary Aggregates include naturally occurring sand, gravel and crushed rock typically used for a variety of construction and manufacturing purposes. Recycled Aggregates are typically produced from construction and demolition wastes. Secondary Aggregates are aggregates typically derived from a range of industrial and mineral wastes such as power station ash, glass, and mineral site spoils.

Area action plan (AAP)

A local plan document setting out policy and proposals for a specific area.

Affordable housing

Affordable housing: housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market (including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers); and which complies with one or more of the following definitions:

a) Affordable housing for rent: meets all of the following conditions: (a) the rent is set in accordance with the Government's rent policy for Social Rent or Affordable Rent, or is at least 20% below local market rents (including service charges where applicable); (b) the landlord is a registered provider, except where it is included as part of a Build to Rent scheme (in which case the landlord need not be a registered provider); and (c) it includes provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. For Build to Rent schemes affordable housing for rent is expected to be the normal form of affordable housing provision (and, in this context, is known as Affordable Private Rent).

b) Starter homes: is as specified in Sections 2 and 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and any secondary legislation made under these sections. The definition of a starter home should reflect the meaning set out in statute and any such secondary legislation at the time of plan-preparation or decision-making. Where secondary legislation has the effect of limiting a household's eligibility to purchase a starter home to those with a particular maximum level of household income, those restrictions should be used.

c) Discounted market sales housing: is that sold at a discount of at least 20% below local market value. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Provisions should be in place to ensure housing remains at a discount for future eligible households.

d) Other affordable routes to home ownership: is housing provided for sale that provides a route to ownership for those who could not achieve home ownership through the market. It includes shared ownership, relevant equity loans, other low cost homes for sale (at a price equivalent to at least 20% below local market value) and rent to buy (which includes a period of intermediate rent). Where public grant funding is provided, there should be provisions for the homes to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for any receipts to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision, or refunded to Government or the relevant authority specified in the funding agreement.

Source: NPPF 2018

BREEAM Communities International Technical Standard

A simple and flexible route to improving, measuring and certifying the sustainability of large-scale development plans, and the masterplanning of new communities or regeneration projects.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)

BREEAM is a set of standards for measuring the environmental performance of a range of new and existing building types. It covers energy and water performance, construction materials, waste, ecology, pollution and health. Under this scheme, buildings that meet the standards are rated either 'pass', 'good', 'very good', 'excellent' or 'outstanding'.

Cambridge Cluster

Refers to the 1,400+ technology, biotechnology, services providers and support companies and organisations comprising more than 40,000 people employed by these in the Cambridge region.

Cambridge Sub Regional Model (CSRM2)

Used to forecast the demand for travel between origin and destination 'zones' by different modes of transport. The CSRM outputs are fed into a road traffic model, which is used to forecast the routes that traffic will take between each pair of origin and destination zones.

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority

Made up of representatives from eight organisations. These are Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and The Business Board. The Combined Authority is held to account by several committees made up of representatives from partner local authorities. The Authority is led by Mayor, James Palmer, who was elected on 5th May 2017.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Plan

Comprises a suite of documents including the Core Strategy and Site Specific Proposals Plan adopted by Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils. There is also an adopted Proposals Map, which shows allocated sites and areas of search for future minerals and waste facilities, and safeguarding areas for existing and future facilities.

Car Barn

A multi-storey car park which is positioned on the edge of a district/neighbourhood in order to reduce the number of vehicles using residential streets. Can be designed so that they complement their local environment.

Car Club

Car club is a membership scheme that offers people use of a car on a pay-as-you-go basis.

City wildlife site (CWS)

A non-statutory designation for sites of nature conservation interest within an urban environment.

Climate change adaptation

Adjustments made to natural or human systems in response to the actual or anticipated impacts of climate change, to mitigate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities.

Climate change mitigation

Action to reduce the impact of human activity on the climate system, primarily through reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Concentrations of companies in related activities, recognisable suppliers, service providers and institutions, which are cooperating, competing and collaborating to build competitive advantage, often across traditional sector boundaries. Such concentrations often depend on access to specialist skills and infrastructure within a specific area.

Decentralised Energy

Local renewable and local low-carbon energy sources.

Design Code

A set of illustrated design requirements that provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area. The graphic and written components of the code should build upon a design vision, such as a masterplan or other design and development framework for a site or area.

District centre

A group of shops, separate from the town centre, usually containing at least one food supermarket or superstore, and non-retail services such as banks, building societies and restaurants; boundaries are defined on the Cambridge policies map.

District heat networks

District heating is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralised location for residential and commercial heating requirements. The heat is often obtained from a co-generation plant burning fossil fuels but increasingly biomass, although heat-only boiler stations, geothermal heating and central solar heating are also used, as well as nuclear power.

Greater Cambridge Partnership

Local delivery body for a City Deal with central Government, bringing powers and investment, worth up to £1 billion over 15 years.

Green Belt

A statutory designation made for the purposes of: checking the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas; preventing neighbouring towns from merging into each other; assisting in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment; preserving the setting and special character of historic towns and assisting in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land. Specific Green Belt purposes have been set out for Cambridge.

Green infrastructure

A network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities.

Health impact assessment (HIA)

A health impact assessment is a tool to appraise both positive (e.g. creation of new jobs)and negative (e.g. generation of pollution) impacts on the different affectedsubgroups of the population that might result from the development. Public participation is considered a major component of the process. It usually assesses a policy or proposal that does not have health improvement as a primary objective. The implementation of the development may result in intended objectives being met but may also result in consequences that are unintended and unanticipated. These unintended effects may be good or bad for people's health. An HIA is usually forward-looking (prospective) and done at a time when it is possible to change the proposed development if necessary, e.g. at the masterplanning stage.

Hi-tech or high technology industry

Activities including production in fields which include biotechnology, chemicals, consultancy research and development, computer components and hardware, computer software, electronic systems and products, information technology, instrumentation, new materials technology, telecommunications, other forms of new manufacturing process or fields of research and other development which may be regarded as high technology uses.

Historic environment

All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through tine, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora. (Source: NPPF)

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

An HMO, depending on the number of occupants, is classed as either:

  • a. small HMO – this is a shared dwelling house which is occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom. This falls into use class C4 under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 2010; or
  • b. larger HMO – This is when there are more than six unrelated individuals sharing basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom. This falls into the sui generis class under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 2010.

Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF)

A government capital grant programme to deliver new physical infrastructure to support new and existing communities and make more land available for housing in high demand areas, resulting in new additional homes that otherwise would not have been built.

Local centre

A cluster of shops and other community facilities that satisfy local needs and are accessible on foot. Usually comprising a newsagent, a general grocery store, a sub-post office and occasionally other facilities such as a pharmacy, a public house and a hairdresser. Boundaries indicated on the policies map.

Local plan

A plan for the future development of a local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community. In law this is described as the development plan documents adopted under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. A local plan can consist of either strategic or non-strategic policies, or a combination of the two.

Local Planning Authority (LPA)

The public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area. All references to local planning authority include the district council, London borough council, county council, Broads Authority, National Park Authority, the Mayor of London and a development corporation, to the extent appropriate to their responsibilities.

Local nature reserve (LNR)

Reserves with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally.


A masterplan describes how proposals for a site will be implemented. The level of detail required in a masterplan will vary according to the scale at which the masterplan is produced.

Mixed use developments

Development comprising two or more uses as part of the same scheme (e.g. shops on the ground floor and residential flats above). This could apply at a variety of scales from individual buildings, to a street, to a new neighbourhood or urban extension.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

This document sets out national planning policies for England and the Government's requirements for the Planning System. The policies in the NPPF must be taken into account when preparing Local Plans.

National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG)

The Government's Planning practice guidance to support the NPPF.

Older People

People over or approaching retirement age, including the active, newly-retired through to the very frail elderly; and whose housing needs can encompass accessible, adaptable general needs housing through to the full range of retirement and specialised housing for those with support or care needs.

Open space

Areas of land not built on and water bodies such as rivers and lakes, regardless of ownership and access. These areas include parks and gardens; natural and semi-natural green spaces; green corridors; outdoor sports facilities; amenity green space; teenagers' and children's play areas; allotments and community gardens; cemeteries and churchyards; accessible countryside in urban fringe areas and civic spaces.

Outline Planning Permission / Approval

Are planning applications that seek to establish the development principles of a site, such as the type, scale and nature of land uses considered acceptable, before a fully detailed planning application is put forward.

Reserved Matters Planning Permission / Approval

Applies to Outline Planning Permissions that have been granted, where the applicant is required to submit and get approval from the LPA on specific details ("reserved matters") of the proposed development before work can start.

Planning Condition

A condition imposed on a grant of planning permission (in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) or a condition included in a Local Development Order or Neighbourhood Development Order.

Planning Obligation

A legally enforceable obligation entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal.

Private Rented Sector (PRS) housing

Build to Rent: Purpose built housing that is typically 100% rented out. It can form part of a wider multi-tenure development comprising either flats or houses, but should be on the same site and/or contiguous with the main development. Schemes will usually offer longer tenancy agreements of three years or more, and will typically be professionally managed stock in single ownership and management control.

Public open spaces

Any land laid out as a public garden or used for the purposes of public recreation. This means space which has unimpeded public access, and which is of a suitable size and nature for sport, active or passive recreation or children and teenagers' play. Private or shared amenity areas, for example in a development of flats, or buffer landscaped areas are not included as public open space. This definition relates to both open space provided within a development, and when considering the provision of existing open space.

Public realm

Public realm relates to all those parts of the built environment where the public has free access. It encompasses: all streets, squares, and other rights of way, whether predominantly in residential, commercial or community/civic uses; the open spaces and parks; and the 'public/private' spaces where public access is unrestricted (at least during daylight hours). It includes the interfaces with key internal and private spaces to which the public normally has free access. (Source: ODPM in Living Places: Caring for Quality (January 2004))


A point on a railway from which roads and other transport routes begin. Railheads can act as reception points for aggregates moved in bulk by rail for onward distribution, normally by road. Railheads normally comprise a railway siding, off-loading and storage facilities, and sometimes including mineral processing and other plant.

Renewable and low carbon energy

Includes energy for heating and cooling as well as generating electricity. Renewable energy covers those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment – from the wind, the fall of water, the movement of the oceans, from the sun and also from biomass and deep geothermal heat. Low carbon technologies are those that can help reduce emissions (compared to conventional use of fossil fuels).

Research and Development (R&D)

Sector within industry specialising in researching new ideas and developing these products towards being made.

Section 106 (S106)

A binding legal agreement requiring a developer or landowner to provide or contribute towards facilities, infrastructure or other measures, in order for planning permission to be granted. Planning obligations are normally secured under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


An outline of land and buildings defined against the sky: the skyline of the city.

Smart technology

The Smart Cambridge project define What makes a smart city on their website:

Digital technology underpins almost every aspect of modern living across work, travel, leisure and health. Smart cities technology builds on this, using digital connectivity and data in innovative ways to address city challenges in four key areas:

Transport: making travel easier, reducing congestion, and exploring intelligent mobility

Environment: managing our water, energy, air quality and waste

Healthcare: catering for an ageing population and providing public health

Smart living: improving the quality of life for communities in and around the city.

Smart energy grid

A smart grid is a modernised electricity grid that uses information and communications technology to monitor and actively control generation and demand in near real-time, which provides a more reliable and cost effective system for transporting electricity from generators to homes, business and industry.

Sustainability Appraisal

Prepared alongside the draft plan to appraise the social, environmental and economic effects of a plan and alternative approaches to help ensure that decisions made will contribute to achieving sustainable development.

Sustainable Development

Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future set out five 'guiding principles' of sustainable development: living within the planet's environmental limits; ensuring a strong, healthy and just society; achieving a sustainable economy; promoting good governance; and using sound science responsibly.

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDs)

Development normally reduces the amount of water that can infiltrate into the ground and increases surface water run-off due to the amount of hard surfacing used. Sustainable drainage systems control surface water run-off by mimicking natural drainage processes through the use of surface water storage areas, flow limiting devices and the use of infiltration areas or soakaways.

Sustainable modes of transport

Any efficient, safe and accessible means of transport with overall low impact on the environment, including walking and cycling, low and ultra low emission vehicles, car sharing and public transport.

Use classes order

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) puts uses of land and buildings into various categories known as use classes. More detail on what types of uses fall within each use class is set out below.

Planning permission is not needed when both the present and proposed uses fall within the same class. For example, a greengrocer's shop could be changed to a shoe shop without permission as these uses both fall within use class A1. However any physical changes associated with a development may still require planning permission.

The General Permitted Development Order also allows some changes from one use class to another without the need for planning permission. For example, a restaurant (class A3) could be changed to a shop (A1) or an estate agent (A2) as the use classes order allows this type of change to occur without requiring planning permission.

Walkable (neighbourhood)

Areas typically based on 400m (five-minute walking time) catchments. The Urban Design Compendium (2000) Paragraph 3.1.2 describes the principles of 'The Walkable Neighbourhood', describing what facilities should be within a five- and ten-minute walk from home.

Zero carbon development

Zero carbon development is development that results in no net emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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