Jargon buster

Jargon! It’s a part of any modern business, we at Maria Bailey Planning Ltd are here to guide you through the planning maze, and talk to you in plain English. The following are terms that you are likely to come up against – and definitions to help you.


The Royal Town Planning Institute is the principal body representing planning professionals in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It promotes and develops policy affecting planning and the built environment.

Affordable Housing

Housing for rent, shared ownership or outright purchase, this is provided at cost and considered affordable relative to the price of general market housing. Such housing is geared towards incomes that are average or below average.

Building Control/Regulation

Control exercised through local authorities over the details and means of construction on a given project. These controls include health and safety, public access and energy conservation.

Change of Use

A change in the way that buildings or land is being used, usually affecting its official class order. Planning permission is usually needed in order to achieve such changes.


Land surrounding or adjoining a building which is necessary for its function and enjoyment, such as a factory storage yard or a domestic garden.

Conservation Areas

Protected areas whose character, appearance or setting is of architectural or historical interest, such as an author’s birthplace. Permitted development rights are likely to be restrictive in these areas.

Design and Access Statement

A report in addition to any planning application, which shows the process that, has led to the development proposal and to justify it in a structured way.

Dwelling House

A self-contained building used for residential accommodation, normally for one household per dwelling. This includes houses, flats, bungalows, maisonette and converted farm buildings.

English Heritage

Government advisors responsible for protecting and promoting the historic environment of the UK. This body also advises on the listing of historical buildings.

General Permitted Development Order

A set of Government regulations which grants planning permission for highly specific limited or minor developments.

Green Belt

Areas designated by local authorities around certain cities, and built-up areas, intended to keep those areas largely undeveloped and permanently open. Green belts check against urban sprawl, safeguarding the countryside, preserving the special character of historic downs and assist urban regeneration to encourage urban land to be used.

Listed Building Consent

Permission required for the alteration, extension or demolition of buildings listed under English Heritage guidelines.

Outline Application

A planning application which does not include full details of a given proposal, only the principles of the proposal. Details which are not included are called ‘reserved matters’ and are submitted to a local authority at a later stage in the planning process.

Parks and Open Space Contribution

The provision and funding of open space through development (for new dwellings). This is never included in the planning cost.

Planning Committee

A team comprising of elected local councillors who make decisions on planning applications. This is one of the key decision-making bodies in any local authority.

Wildlife and Geological Trigger List

A form to be completed in addition to the planning application, which identifies any impact the application may have on wildlife (e.g. bat roosts, rare plants etc) or local geology. These reports mush be completed by an approved ecological consultant.