Planning policy glossary and abbreviations


The table below provides a glossary of common Planning Policy terms


Affordable Housing social rented and intermediate housing, provided for specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.
Area Action Plans a Development Plan Document that guides areas where significant change is likely to happen.
Areas of Attractive Landscape a local (Buckinghamshire) landscape designation that recognises the particular characteristics of certain parts of the open countryside in the Borough.
Biodiversity the variety of life in all forms (e.g. wildlife, plants, etc).
Brownfield Land Land which has been previously developed.
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Rural Strategy is a countywide rural policy framework for the period 2008-2012, which provides an overview of the state of rural affairs within the county, whilst identifying the most pertinent issues for future attention.
Carbon emissions/ CO2 common terms for carbon dioxide, the main “greenhouse gas” linked to global warming.
Carbon footprint a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
Carbon offset increased carbon dioxide emissions from a new development are balanced by savings in carbon dioxide elsewhere, by making payments into a carbon offset fund.
Carbon zero/ Carbon neutral no net increase in carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the energy used in occupying buildings, including space heating, hot water, cooking, lights and appliances.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CiL) allows local authorities to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area. The money can be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure that is needed as a result of development. The charge will be non-negotiable, and will apply to most new buildings, based on a charge per square metre. Levy rates will be set in consultation with local communities and developers will provide developers with much more certainty ‘up front’ about how much money they will be expected to contribute.
City Centre The highest level of centre identified in development plans. In the Borough this is Central Milton Keynes. In terms of retail hierarchies, it will often be a regional centre serving a wide catchment. The centre may be very large, embracing a wide range of activities and may be distinguished by areas which perform different main functions.
Coalescence where towns and villages grow into each other.
Co-location where services and facilities share a location in order to deliver services (for example adult education being provided in schools or libraries).
Community Energy Networks a system by which electricity is generated locally and the waste heat is distributed to local homes and buildings through a network, meaning energy is provided more efficiently.
Community Right to Build is a sub-category of Neighbourhood Development Orders (see below). This right will enable community organisations to bring forward small scale, site specific, community-led developments, without the need to apply for planning permission.
Core Strategy forms a key part of the Local Development Framework. The Milton Keynes Core Strategy sets out the vision for the Borough to 2026. It provides the objectives and strategy for the future development in the Borough and identifies the major areas where growth and change will take place.
Criteria-based policies policies that contain several ‘tests’, which development proposals are assessed against.
Culture as defined in the Cultural Strategy: 'Culture' is a term that means different things to different people. Cultural participation is where people of all backgrounds come together with shared interests and passions. Together with the environment in which cultural activities, whether paid for or free to use (e.g parks and open spaces) take place, culture includes all the things that define our lives, connect us and our communities and represent the values we pass on to other generations. The MK definition recognises the richness of the diverse cultures of our people; the identity of place; and creative or leisure activities.
Density a measurement of how intensively land is occupied by built development.
Design code a document that sets out the detailed design principles for a particular development.
Development brief a document that sets out detailed development principles for a development site.
Development Framework a document that sets out the key strategic principles for the development of a whole area.
Development Management DPD previously known as the Development Control Policies DPD, this is a Development Plan Document that contains the most commonly used policies to assess planning applications against, such as policies relating to the design of new development.
Development Plan Documents these documents carry the most weight in a Local Development Framework. Once they have been prepared they have to be submitted to the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government. They are then examined by an independent Planning Inspector to make sure that they meet certain tests.
District Centre District centres will usually comprise groups of shops often containing at least one supermarket or superstore, and a range of non-retail services such as banks, building societies and restaurants, as well as local public facilities such as a library. Within the Borough Bletchley, Wolverton ,Kingston and Westcroft are defined as district centres. See Town Centres.
Dwelling a residential property, such as a house or a flat.
East-West Rail East West Rail aims to restore passenger train services linking Bristol, Swindon and Oxford via Milton Keynes and Bedford, to Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich.
Economies of scale where costs fall as output is increased.
Edge of Centre For retail purposes, a location that is well connected and up to 300 metres of the primary shopping area. For all other main town centre uses, a location within 300 metres of a town centre boundary.
Examination in Public an examination of a Development Plan Document, carried out by an independent Planning Inspector (appointed from the national Planning Inspectorate), which can be observed by members of the public.
Green Belt land that is specifically designated to be kept as open land in order to prevent urban sprawl. There is no designated Green Belt in Milton Keynes.
Greenfield Land land which has not been previously developed.
Green Infrastructure is the planned network of multi-functional and inter-connecting links of green open space, woodlands, wildlife habitats, parks and other natural areas that contribute to the high quality natural and built environment.
Grid roads are urban clearways with laybys for bus-stops, with no direct building frontages and no at-grade pedestrian crossings. Some are dualled, and the remainder normally have land reserved for future dualling, or other transport purpose (e.g. mass passenger transit system). They have substantial landscaping for biodiversity, sound screening and CO2/emissions absorption, usually incorporating a Redway. Collectively, they form a resilient, interconnected network with roundabouts at most gridway intersections, serving both public and private transport.
Ha abbreviation for hectare.
Heat Island Effect also known as urban heat island, an area of warmer temperatures associated with urban development.
Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) homes occupied by separate households (usually single people or couples) who share facilities or living space such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting rooms.
Housing completions the number of new houses that are built and ready for occupation.
ICT Information and Communications Technology.
Infill development that takes place on a vacant or undeveloped site between other developments, ie an infill site.
Job Density the number of filled jobs in an area divided by the number of people of working age resident in that area.
Key Settlement a village or town that the local planning authority has chosen for expansion.
Knowledge-based industries technology based industries, research and development, creative industries and businesses where workers require a high level of skills.
Legal Compliance Before a development Plan Document can be adopted it must be found to be 'Legally Compliant'. This means that the Council must have complied with all the legal requirements, set out in legislation, necessary to prepare and adopt a development Plan Document.
Local Centre Local centres meet the daily and "top-up" shopping needs of the local population. In Milton Keynes they include new purpose-built centres, ranging from individual corner shops, often associated with a meeting place, to larger centres containing 15 to 20 units; and smaller, older centres in the original settlements incorporated within the city. In rural areas, large villages may perform the role of a local centre.
Local Development Scheme this is a work programme for producing documents in the Local Development Framework. It sets a work programme for the Council for 3 years.
Local Development Framework this is the collection of documents that set the spatial planning policies for the Borough. It includes Development Plan Documents, Supplementary Planning Documents and the Local Development Scheme.
Local Enterprise Partnership these are local authority-business bodies brought forward by local authorities themselves to promote local economic development. Local enterprise partnerships will tackle issues including planning and housing, local transport and infrastructure, employment, enterprise and supporting business start-ups. Milton Keynes is part of the proposed South East Midlands LEP.
Localism Act (received Royal Assent on 15 November 2011) devolves greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods, giving local people new rights to shape the development of planning policy at a local level.
Local Plan this is the main planning policy document for the Borough until replaced by the Local Development Framework. It contains strategic policies (some of which will be replaced by the adoption of this Core Strategy), detailed policies to guide the location and nature of development, and it includes policies and proposals for specific sites. The Local Plan will be replaced by Plan:MK (see below) upon its completion.
Local Strategic Partnership Brings together the local authority, all service providers, local businesses, community groups and the voluntary sector to develop a Community Strategy to cover the local authority area.
Local Transport Plans are statutory documents introduced through the Transport Act 2000 and amended through the Local Transport Act 2008. They set out the authority's local transport strategies and policies, and an implementation programme. Authorities may include the local transport strategies and policies, and the implementation plans in a single document, or in separate documents. The 2008 legislation means that local transport authorities may replace their Plans as they see fit whereas previously they had a life of 5 years.
Milton Keynes Partnership this was the organisation responsible for delivering the growth of Milton Keynes. It was responsible for making decisions on planning applications in certain parts (the Urban Development Area) of Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes Partnership responsibilities have now been transferred to Milton Keynes Council.
Milton Keynes Tariff an initiative that ensures for every property built within the defined Urban Development Area, the developer will pay (amounts are index-linked) £18,500 per residential dwelling and £260,000 per hectare of employment space which will be used to help fund community facilities and infrastructure.
MK2031 Strategy for Growth prepared by Milton Keynes Partnership, this document provides a long term vision for Milton Keynes which will help to guide the development and growth of the new city through to 2031. It was produced by the Partnership in response to the MKSM Sub Regional Strategy and to assist the Partnership respond to the South East Plan and future local development plan documents for the MK Growth Area. As the South East Plan his now due to be revoked little weight can be attached to this plan.
Modal shift used to describe the change in the way people travel, from one mode (e.g. the car), to another mode (e.g. public transport).
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Published in March 2012, the NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. The NPPF replaces the 'Planning Policy Guidance' and 'Planning Policy Statements'
Neighbourhood Action Plan An Action Plan uses integrated community, social, economic and physical programmes to address the needs of the local neighbourhood aimed at securing real and measurable change.
Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) enables communities to grant planning permission for specific types of development they want to see go ahead in a particular area within the parish or ‘neighbourhood area’. This could be either a particular development, or a particular class of development (for example retail or housing).
Neighbourhood (Development) Plan A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of community-led initiative which allows communities to create a vision and set out policies on the development and use of land in a parish or ‘neighbourhood area’. Once a Neighbourhood Plan has been completed it will become part of the Development Plan for Milton Keynes (subject to adoption of the plan by the Council) and will therefore become a material consideration within the planning system.
Neighbourhood Planning is a key component of the Government’s Localism Act, introducing a new tier in planning.
Neighbourhood Regeneration Strategy is a five year rolling programme which concentrates on the most deprived communities within Milton Keynes working to implement Neighbourhood Action Plans developed with the local communities.
Out of Centre A location which is not in or on the edge of a centre but not necessarily outside the urban area.
Oxford to Cambridge Arc (O2C Arc) Milton Keynes sits in the centre of the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. The Arc promotes the set of educational, research, business, commercial and governmental resources that exist in the area between Oxford and Cambridge.
Peak oil is the moment when global oil production will reach its maximum level and then go into decline. According to the Local Government Association, some commentators believe that we have already reached, or will soon reach this point (Volatile Times: transport, climate change and the price of oil - LGA December 2008).
Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 An Act to make provision relating to spatial development and town and country planning; and the compulsory acquisition of land.
Plan:MK Background work has begun on a single local plan, to be called Plan:MK which will incorporate Development Management Policies and Site Allocations and will replace the existing Milton Keynes Local Plan (2005).
Primary Shopping area Defined area where retail development is concentrated. In Central Milton Keynes the primary shopping area is defined as the area between Silbury Boulevard, Avebury Boulevard, Saxon Gate and Marlborough Gate.
Public realm space that is meant to be used by the public in general, whether it is publicly or privately owned.
Public transport comprises passenger transportation services which are available for use by the general public, as opposed to modes for private use such as privately owned motor vehicles. Public Transport services are usually funded by fares charged to each passenger. Public transport in the context of Milton Keynes currently consists of buses, trains and taxis (with taxi meaning both 'Hackney' carriage and Private hire). Public transport in Milton Keynes is expected to develop and in the future could include mass transit systems based on guided buses, trams and light rail. Promotion of car pools and car sharing may in the future be considered public transport if access to these initiatives is open to use by the general public.
Quality Bus Initiative four key bus routes in Milton Keynes where high frequency and high quality services are being developed as a priority.
Regeneration replacing the term Urban Renewal, the term has become associated with wholesale clearance and comprehensive redevelopment. It aims to arrest and reverse the cycle of decline thereby transforming the life prospects of the most deprived residents.
Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) Prepared by a regional planning body, setting out policies relating to land use and development for the whole region. These are currently in the process of being revoked.
Ring-fenced relates to money that has been set aside and must be used for a certain purpose.
Section 106/ S106 Agreement a legal contract under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 between the local authority and named parties stating the terms of planning obligations imposed by the local planning authority in relation to a planning application. Planning permission is not granted until the Section 106 Agreement has been completed.
Site Allocations DPD a Development Plan Document that allocates land for development.
Social and Community Infrastructure Social and community infrastructure includes those facilities provided by both the public and private sectors that support the formation, development and maintenance of a community. It includes education, healthcare, police, fire and rescue and ambulance services, community centres, sports and leisure facilities, waste and recycling facilities. Additionally, social infrastructure can include provision of community projects, local networks and volunteering.
Sound Before a Development Plan Document can be adopted it must be found to be 'Sound'. For a Document to be sound it should be justified, effective and consistent with national policy.
Spatial Vision is a brief description of how an area will have changed at the end of a plan period.
Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) is a document that assesses sites across the Borough with potential for housing development over the next 15 years.
Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) Estimates housing need and demand for affordable and market housing.
Strategic Land Allocation (SLA) is a land allocation to provide a development which will form a key component of the next phase of growth in Milton Keynes. Allocated in the Core Strategy, the SLA will provide 2,900 homes (and other supporting uses) on the south-eastern boundary of Milton Keynes.
Strategic Land Allocation Development Framework is a first step to guide all future stages of development in the Strategic Land Allocation. It establishes a context for planning applications and design codes, which will follow on and contain more detailed proposals.
Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD)/ Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) these documents provide additional detail to supplement policies in Development Plan Documents.
Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) the process by which social, environmental and economic issues are integrated into the production of Development Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents. The process is iterative and takes place alongside the production of the documents, informing any decisions made.
Sustainable Communities Strategy sets out the community’s blueprint for the future of Milton Keynes.
Sustainable Urban Extensions new areas to be developed on the edge of the city, which will provide an appropriate level of local facilities and services, high environmental standards, and which will be well connected by public transport, cycling and walking routes.
Technopole / Science and Innovation Habitat refers to a facility or collaboration of intense high-technology innovation activity such as Cambridge in the UK.
Tenure relates to the conditions under which a property is occupied (i.e. if it is rented or owned).
Town Centre Centres which function as important service centres, providing a range of facilities and services for their catchment area. Within the Borough Newport Pagnell, Olney, Stony Stratford and Woburn Sands are defined as town centres. They are the third level of centre in Milton Keynes, according to the Retail Hierarchy in Policy CS4 (Retail and Leisure Development) of the Core Strategy. See District Centres.
Urban Development Area areas to the east, north and west of Milton Keynes where Milton Keynes Partnership was the Development Control Authority, until the merger with Milton Keynes Council in January 2013. The UDA was designated under the Milton Keynes (Urban Area and Planning Functions) Order 2004.
Urban Grain The pattern of the arrangement and size of buildings and their plots in a settlement.
Urban Structure the framework of routes and spaces that connect locally and more widely, and the way developments, routes and open spaces relate to one another.


The below outlines abbreviations that are used in Planning Policy in Milton Keynes


AMR Annual Monitoring Report
AVDC Aylesbury Vale District Council
BREEAM Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
CBC Central Bedfordshire Council
CMK Central Milton Keynes
CiL Community Infrastructure Levy
DF Development Framework
DPD Development Plan Document
GOSE Government Office for the South East
HCA Homes and Communities Agency
JDTs Joint Delivery Teams
JHDT Joint Housing Development Team
JHMT Joint Housing Monitoring Team
LAA Local Area Agreement
LDD Local Development Document
LDF Local Development Framework
LDS Local Development Scheme
LSP Local Strategic Partnership
MK Milton Keynes
MKC Milton Keynes Council
MKP Milton Keynes Partnership
NPPF National Planning Policy Framework
NAPs Neighbourhood Action Plans
PPS Planning Policy Statement
RSS Regional Spatial Strategy
SHLAA Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
SHMA Strategic Housing Market Assessment
SA Sustainability Appraisal
SCI Statement of Community Involvement
SDA Strategic Development area
SEA Strategic Environmental Assessment
SEERA South East England Regional Assembly
SEP South East Plan
SHLAA Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
SHMA Strategic Housing Market Assessment
SHP Strategic Housing Partnership
SLA Strategic Land Allocation
SLA DF Strategic land Allocation Development Framework
SPD Supplementary Planning Document
SPG Supplementary Planning Guidance
SoS Secretary of State
SRS Sub-Regional Strategy (Milton Keynes and South Midlands)
UDA Urban Development Area