Oxford Local Plan 2036: Proposed Submission Draft Consultation


Academic Year

A period of one year (12 months), aligned to the duration of a course upon which a student is enrolled at a single university, college or other academic institution. This includes the full period of term/semester times and all vacations.

Academic Accommodation

See University Facilities

Administrative Accommodation

See University Facilities

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). The most recent Tenancy Strategy will be used to assess whether proposed forms of affordable housing are genuinely affordable in Oxford.
Affordable housing will also comply 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, 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 at the time of plan-preparation or decision-making. Income restrictions should be used to limit a household’s eligibility to purchase a starter home to those who have maximum household incomes of £80,000 a year or less (or £90,000 a year or less in Greater London)

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 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.

Affordable rented housing

Rented housing that has similar characteristics as social rented housing (see below) except that it is outside the national rent regime, thus subject to other rent controls that require it to be offered to eligible households at a rent of up to 80% of local market rents, on a minimum 2-year fixed-term tenancy. Providers will be expected to consider the Local Housing Allowance for the area, and any cap on total household benefit payments, when setting rents. Affordable rented housing is not the same as social rented housing, and cannot therefore be substituted for social rented.

Allocated parking

Car parking spaces that are reserved for the exclusive use of a particular residential property. Common forms of allocated parking include driveway and frontage parking within the curtilage of a building, private garages that are large enough to accommodate a car, and private parking courts where spaces are reserved for use by a specific property.


Land identified (with or without planning permission) within a Development Plan Document for a particular land use or mix of uses.

Ancient/veteran trees

These are as defined in the NPPF, which in 2018 states: A tree which, because of its age, size and condition, is of exceptional biodiversity, cultural or heritage value. All ancient trees are veteran trees. Not all veteran trees are old enough to be ancient, but are old relative to other trees of the same species. Very few trees of any species reach the ancient life-stage.

Ancillary use

A land use on a site that is of an appropriate scale to only serve new development on the site. Ancillary retail should not act as ‘destination’ retail shops and must not conflict with the viability of retail units in district centres.

Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)

The Annual Monitoring Report monitors how the Council is performing against the timescales set out in the LDS and measure progress made in respect of the documents being prepared. It reviews the effectiveness of the adopted planning policies; and monitors the extent to which policies and targets in adopted documents are being achieved against a range of indicators. It is usually published by the City Council in December each year.

Appropriate Assessment

An assessment which forms a stage within the Habitats Regulation Assessment.

Area Action Plan (AAP)

A Development Plan Document that forms part of the Local Development Framework. AAPs are used to provide the planning framework for areas subject to significant change or where conservation is needed. A key feature is a focus on implementation. Once adopted, the AAP forms the planning policy and spatial framework for the development of the area.

Article 4 direction

An order that can be imposed by the City Council to formally remove permitted development rights of development, meaning that planning permission is required locally for specific types of changes.

Balance of Dwellings

The relative proportions of homes of different sizes, which will be suitable for different types of households (e.g. single people, couples, small and larger families). The Balance of Dwellings SPD contains the details of this in relation to Oxford.

Backland development

A term commonly used to describe the development of land at the rear of existing residential buildings, usually on parts of former residential gardens.


This refers to the variety of plants and animals and other living things in a particular area or region. It encompasses habitat diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity. Biodiversity has value in its own right and has social and economic value for human society.

Biodiversity Calculator

Biodiversity calculators are used to assess whether a project would result in a loss of biodiversity, no overall loss or a net positive outcome. Existing biodiversity ‘units’ are calculated by considering the distinctiveness, condition and size of a habitat. The anticipated number of ‘units’ following implementation of proposals are then also calculated. Considerations include the time it will take for newly introduced biodiversity features to achieve their biodiversity potential.

Blue Infrastructure

A strategic network of managed infrastructure and natural features designed to manage urban water systems, including flood management and the maintenance of good water quality.  It usually works in combination with green infrastructure to mimic natural processes as much as possible.

Brownfield Land

Both land and premises are included in this term, which refers to a site that has previously been used or developed and is not currently fully in use, although it may be partially occupied or utilised. It may also be vacant, derelict or contaminated.  This excludes open spaces and land where the remains of previous use have blended into the landscape, or have been overtaken by nature conservation value or amenity use and cannot be regarded as requiring development.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)

A method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings.  The assessment evaluates the performance of buildings under a number of categories, including energy, water use, health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

Building Regulations

The Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of new buildings and many alterations to existing buildings. Part L of the regulations cover carbon dioxide emissions from energy use through heating, fixed lighting, hot water and building services. Part L does not cover emissions related to energy use from cooking or from plug-in electrical appliances such as computers.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

A bus-based public transport system designed to improve capacity and reliability relative to a conventional bus system.   Typically, a BRT system includes roadways that are dedicated to buses, and gives priority to buses at intersections where buses may interact with other traffic; alongside design features to reduce delays caused by passengers boarding or leaving buses, or purchasing fares. 

Car Club

A scheme that encourages vehicle sharing, such as car pools or city car clubs.

Car-free development (residential)

Accommodation for people who are prepared to knowingly, and willingly, relinquish their right to keep a private car in Oxford. Such development will be subject to appropriate conditions and/or planning obligations. For example, developments proposed within a controlled parking zone would not be eligible for a resident’s parking permit.

City Centre

 A regional centre serving a wide catchment. It embraces a wide range of activities and is distinguished by areas which perform different main functions.

Climate change adaptation

Adjustments to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic factors or their effects, including changes in rainfall and rising temperatures.

Climate change mitigation

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

Cluster flat

A sub-unit of accommodation within a larger development under common management by, or on behalf of, an institution. Rooms within a cluster flat will be individually let to tenants by a provider of institutional accommodation, e.g. a university, college, or hospital, but within each cluster flat tenants usually have exclusive use of communal kitchen/lounge and sometimes bathroom facilities. Most cluster flats will have their own front door within the accommodation block.

Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)

The national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. The Code aims to reduce carbon emissions resulting from fuel usage for lighting, heating and power, and to create homes that are more sustainable. It has been mandatory for all new homes to be rated against the Code since 2008. The standard is currently set to CSH Level 3, increasing to CSH Level 4 in 2013. The current goal is to achieve zero-carbon homes (CSH Level 6) in 2016.


An intentional community of self-contained private homes organised a shared space, often created and managed by their residents.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Sometimes known as co-generation, Combined Heat and Power is the use of a single piece of plant to generate both heat and electricity. In conventional power generation large quantities of energy in the form of heat are wasted. CHP is much more efficient. Although not a renewable technology, it can be combined with sustainable fuels to provide low-cost heating that has a minimal carbon footprint.


Proposals for development that are the subject of a current full or outline planning permission, or unimplemented allocations in the Local Plan.

Community Hubs

Multipurpose centres hosting a range of activities and local and public services, and from which community led services are delivered.   They are often managed by a dedicated community organisation but may also be owned or managed by public agencies or local authorities with substantial input from the community.

Community Led Housing

Community led housing schemes are a means of delivering housing which allows for people to be more involved in the process of meeting their specific needs and wants.   These are developments driven by groups that are formed on the basis of a geographical connection or any other characteristic the members have in common.  There are various approaches that can be followed in delivering housing this way, and can encompass new build, regeneration or the use of existing buildings.   Schemes that are community led generally have the following characteristics that make them distinct from other forms of development:

  • A requirement that the benefits of the scheme to the local area and/or specified community must be clearly defined and legally protected in perpetuity.
  • A presumption in favour of community groups that are taking a long term formal role in the ownership, management and/or stewardship of the homes
  • A requirement that the community must be integrally involved throughout the process in key decisions, whether or not they initiate and manage the development process, or build the homes themselves


Community Employment Plans (CEPs)

Schemes delivered by a developer often as a planning obligation designed to provide local employment, apprenticeships and training opportunities, or to encourage existing local workforce schemes, associated with development sites.

Complementary use

A secondary land use on a site that is both auxiliary and appropriate to the primary use.  The complementary use should combine with the primary use to add vitality to a site, but is less important than the primary use.  A complementary land use should generally not cover more than 25% of the gross floor area of the proposed development.

Consumer Price Inflation (CPI)

A measure of changes in the price level of a representative sample of consumer goods and services typically purchased by households.

Construction Management Plan (CMP)

The purpose of a CMP is to outline the proposed approach of a developer to implement a built scheme and manage construction works.  It typically comprises of details of on-site procedures and processes, sequencing of the build programme, proposed construction methodology and proposals on traffic and environmental management measures.   The number of items included in the plan is often dependent on the scale and complexity of the scheme.  The Plan is submitted to the planning authority for approval, following which it must be strictly followed, with any changes requiring further approval from the authority.

Items that might be included in a construction management statement include:

  • Drawings and plans.
  • Access arrangements for vehicles, plant and personnel.
  • Location of offices, unloading/loading areas, reception, site facilities, and so on.
  • Screening and hoarding details.
  • Storage areas.
  • Control measures for dust and mud.
  • Site waste management plan.
  • Lighting of the site.
  • Drainage control measures.
  • Access and protection arrangements for the public.
  • Points of contact and complaints procedures.


The change of use of a building, which involves significant physical changes to its internal and/or external structure or layout. This includes the sub-division of a large dwelling into smaller dwellings (which may also include extensions to the existing building), or changing a traditionally non-residential building into one or more residential units.

Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ)

In residential areas, these are often called ‘Resident Parking Zones’. In such areas, parking of cars and other motor vehicles is generally limited to eligible residents only. In Oxford, those living in student accommodation will always be excluded from being eligible for a parking permit. Car-free homes, and some newer homes that have their own off-street parking, will also be excluded.

Core Strategy

A Development Plan Document that forms part of the Local Development Framework and contains policies against which planning applications are assessed.

Corporate Plan

A document which sets out the core ambitions and priorities of the City Council.

Custom housebuilding

See Self Build.


A term used in national planning policy. To be judged 'sound' Plan policies must (among other things) be deliverable.

Design and Access Statement

A report accompanying and supporting a planning application, explaining how a proposed development is a suitable response to the site and its setting, and demonstrate that it can be adequately accessed by prospective users..

Development Plan Document (DPD)

Documents that collectively deliver the spatial planning strategy for the local planning authority’s area. They include Development Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents.

Disabled parking

Car parking that is designed and specifically allocated for mobility impaired users, who hold a Blue Badge. These spaces may be legitimately used by Blue Badge holders travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger, or by vehicles collecting or dropping off blue badge holders.

District Centres

District centres 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.

Duty to Cooperate

A legal duty that requires local planning authorities to work with neighbouring authorities and key public bodies to maximise the effectiveness of Local Plan preparation in relation to strategic cross boundary matters.

Dwelling (or Dwellinghouse)

A self-contained unit of residential accommodation occupied by a single person or by people living together as a family, or by not more than six residents living together as a single household, including where care is provided for residents.  A self-contained unit of accommodation.  All rooms (including kitchen, bathrooms and toilets) are behind a single door which only occupants of that unit of accommodation can use.

Employment Floor Space

Total footprint of a development allocated to employment usage.

Employment Land Assessment (ELA)

A study produced on behalf of the council assessing the quality and quantity of all employment land and premises (B1, B2 and B8) within the city and comparing the employment land supply against the forecast demand for employment use to test whether there is sufficient land of the right quality and in the right location to meet the identified needs.

Employment-generating Development

Development in B use classes, or directly supporting and linked to them.

Employer-linked affordable housing

Housing that is provided on specified sites by key employers in the city for staff carrying out their work. The housing should be rented at levels that are affordable to a cross-section of the key employer’s employees, and should be available at affordable rents in perpetuity.

Examination in public (EIP)

A process used to test the soundness of Development Plan Documents managed by an independent Planning Inspector.

Extra-Care Housing

A type of specialised housing for older and disabled people. It is purpose-built self-contained accommodation in which 24-hour personal care and support can be offered and where various other services are shared.

Family home (Family sized dwelling)

A self‐contained house (or bungalow) of 2 or more bedrooms (or self contained flat with 3 or more bedrooms) often with direct access to private amenity space, described as such as they are deemed likely to encourage occupation by a family including children.  The acceptable minimum floorspace and layout will be based on the National Space Standards i.e. minimum 2 bedroom, 3 person dwelling (61 sqm) and 3 bedroom, 4 person dwelling (74 sqm)

Flood Zones

Areas with different probabilities of flooding as set out in Planning Policy Statement 25:

Flood Zone 1 – low probability (less than 1 in 1,000 annual probability)

Flood Zone 2 – medium probability (between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000 annual probability)

Flood Zone 3a – high probability (1 in 100 or greater annual probability)

Flood Zone 3b – the functional floodplain (1 in 20 or greater annual probability).


Refers to the range or diversity of naturally occuring geological features (rocks, minerals, fossils, structures), geomorphological features (landforms and processes), soil and water that compose and shape the physical landscape.  It does not normally refer to human made landforms such as landscaping, concrete surfaces or other infrastructure.

Green Belt

An area of undeveloped land, where the planning policy is to keep it open to (amongst other purposes) prevent urban sprawl and preserve the setting and special character of Oxford and its landscape setting.

Green Infrastructure

A strategically planned and managed network of green spaces and other environmental features that perform ecological and sustainability functions within an urban area, along with providing spaces for public amenity. 


Formerly defined as land which has not been previously developed. There is no formal definition of greenfield land since the revocation of the Town and Country Planning (Residential Development on Greenfield Land) (England) Direction 2000 in 2007.

Gross Internal Area (GIA)

The floor area of a building measured to the internal face of the perimeter walls at each level.

Gross Value Added (GVA)

Gross value added (GVA) measures the contribution to an economy of an individual producer, industry, sector or region. It is used in the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP). GDP is commonly estimated using one of three theoretical approaches: production, income or expenditure. When using production or income approaches, the contribution to an economy of a particular industry or sector is measured using GVA. 

Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)

A process used to assess the impacts of proposals and land-use plans against the conservation objectives of a European site and to ascertain whether it would adversely affect the integrity of that site.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

A process used to assess the health impacts of plans, policies and projects in different sectors.

Heritage asset

A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape positively identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions. Heritage assets are the valued components of the historic environment. They include designated heritage assets and assets identified by Oxford City Council during the process of decision-making or through the plan-making process (including local listing).


One person or a group of people who have an accommodation as their only or main residence and share the living accommodation and/or share at least one meal a day.

Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)

A strategic assessment reviewing the supply of potential sites to meet future needs for housing, and for economic growth.

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

Formerly the national housing and regeneration agency.  Its role was to create opportunities for people to live in high-quality, sustainable places. It provides funding for affordable housing, brings land back into productive use and improves quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.  Replaced by Homes England in January 2018.

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

An HMO is generally a house or flat that is shared by three or more people who are not related as family members. A small HMO (technically called a Class C4 HMO) includes, in broad terms, small shared houses or flats occupied by between 3 and 6 unrelated individuals who share basic amenities (such as a kitchen and/or bathroom). A large HMO (technically called a Sui Generis HMO) is the same as a small HMO except that it is shared by more than 6 people, and sometimes subject to slightly different planning rules. Student and/or key worker accommodation are excluded from this definition.  Full guidance is set out in CLG Circular 08/2010.

Housing Associations

Independent societies, bodies of trustees or companies established for the purpose of providing low-cost social housing for people in housing need on a non-profit-making basis. Any trading surplus is used to maintain existing homes and to help finance new ones.

Infill development (houses and flats)

Developments of houses and flats that do not include a new access road, so that all vehicular access to private properties is directly from an existing street or close. This can include the sub-division of existing dwellings, extensions to existing buildings to create new homes, or the sub-division of a residential plot (including gardens) to create new homes.

Intermediate housing

Housing at prices and rents above those of social rent, but below market or affordable housing prices or rents. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), intermediate rent and other low cost homes.  The Council will consider the suitability of other forms of intermediate housing, such as low-cost market housing, in light of its genuine affordability to those in housing need.

NB: Key worker housing is defined separately from intermediate affordable housing.

Key worker

The broad definition of key worker is someone employed in a frontline role delivering an essential public service where there have been recruitment and retention problems.  In Oxford, a key worker is any person who is in paid employment solely within one or more of the following occupations:

  • NHS: all clinical staff except doctors and dentists
  • Schools: qualified teachers in any Local Education Authority school or sixth form college, or any state-funded Academy or Free School; qualified nursery nurses in any Oxfordshire County Council nursery school
  • Universities and colleges: lecturers at further education colleges; lecturers, academic research staff and laboratory technicians at Oxford Brookes University or any college or faculty within the University of Oxford
  • Police & probation: police officers and community support officers; probation service officers (and other operational staff who work directly with offenders); prison officers including operational support
  • Local authorities & Government agencies: those providing a statutory service, including but not limited to social workers; occupational therapists; educational psychologists; speech and language therapists; rehabilitation officers; planning officers; environmental health officers; clinical staff; uniformed fire and rescue staff below principal level
  • Ministry of Defence: servicemen and servicewomen in the Navy, Army or Air Force; clinical staff (with the exception of doctors and dentists).
  • Unregistered Workforce (Support Workers): In Health roles may include: Assistant Practitioner, Care Assistant, Healthcare Support Worker, Maternity Support Worker, Nursing Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physiotherapy Assistant, Radiography Assistant, Speech and Language Therapy Assistant, Senior Care Assistant. In Adult Social Care roles may include: Activities worker, Day Care Assistant, Day Care Officer, Domiciliary care worker, Home care worker, Nursing Assistant (in a nursing home or a hospice), Personal Assistants, Reablement Assistant, Residential Care Worker, Senior Home Care Worker, Support Worker.

Key worker housing

Housing that includes a condition of tenancy or lease that all least one full-time occupier of each unit or sub-unit must, at the point of that person’s first occupation, be a key worker as defined in this document. Key worker housing can also be social rented housing, or intermediate affordable housing, but only if it complies with the definitions for affordable housing set out in this document. This may be in the form of self-contained units or shared accommodation.

Lifetime Homes

Ordinary homes incorporating 16 design criteria that can be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost. Each design feature adds to the comfort and convenience of the home and supports the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life.  The standards are not compulsory and have been superseded by new national technical housing standards.  Local authorities can provide additional accessibility requirements through the optional Building REgualations M4 (2) [Category 2], and/or M4 (3) [Category 3]. 

Listed Buildings

A building deemed to be of special architectural or historical interest is placed on a statutory list maintained by Historic England.Such buildings cannot be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from a local planning authority, which typically consults with Historic England before determining an application.The designation regime is set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Listed buildings are classified into three grades:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest.
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them.

 Low-parking development

Development which has overall associated parking provision that is significantly below maximum parking standards. Such development will be subject to appropriate conditions and/or planning obligations. For example, developments proposed within a controlled parking zone would normally not be eligible for a resident’s parking permit.

Local Community

Residents and groups within the Oxford city administrative boundaries that have the potential to be affected by any form of development

Local Development Framework (LDF)

A non-statutory term used to describe the portfolio of Development Plan Documents, Supplementary Planning Documents, the Statement of Community Involvement, the Local Development Scheme and Annual Monitoring Report.

Local Centres

 Local centres include a range of small shops of a local nature, serving a small catchment. Typically, local centres might include, amongst other shops, a small supermarket, a newsagent, a sub-post office and a pharmacy. Other facilities could include a hot-food takeaway and launderette. Small parades of shops of purely neighbourhood significance are not classified as local centres.

Local Development Scheme (LDS)

A three year project plan for preparing planning documents and provides the starting point for the local community to find out what the City Council’s current planning policies are for the area. It includes ‘milestones’ to inform the public about opportunities to get involved with the plan making process and to let them know the likely dates for involvement.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Rate set by the Valuation Office Agency that is used to calculate housing benefit for tenants renting from private landlords.

Local List

See Oxford Heritage Asset Register (OHAR)

Low carbon energy

Low carbon energy uses fossil fuels in a manner which ensures a very high rate of efficiency (e.g. gas-fired combined heat and power, or CHP). Low carbon technologies use much less carbon dioxide in the production of usable energy than traditional forms of energy generation, such as power stations.

Major Development

As defined in The Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, development that involves one or more of the following works:

(a) the winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits;

(b) waste development;

(c) the provision of dwellinghouses where the number to be provided is 10 or more, or if the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more;

(d) the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more;

(e) development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more.

Measured internally (houses and flats)

For self-contained dwellings (e.g. houses and flats), this will be from the insides of the external walls separating each unit of accommodation from each other, from any communal areas such as communal hallways, lift shafts and staircases, or from the outdoors. The width of internal walls should be included in this calculation.

Measured internally (all other residential development)

For student accommodation and other non-self-contained residential development, the internal area will be measured from the insides of the external walls, and will include all communal or shared facility areas (such as communal lobbies, staircases, common rooms, hallways, kitchens and shared bathrooms used by more than one household). The width of internal walls should be included in this calculation.

More vulnerable development

Development that, due to its nature, is more vulnerable to flood risk. It includes residential, student accommodation and hospitals and is defined in national planning guidance.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

A document setting out the Government’s planning policies for England and how they are expected to be implemented.  It was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)) consolidating several previously issued Planning Policy statements and Planning policy guidance notes.

Natural Resource Impact Analysis (NRIA)

An evaluation of the use of natural resources and environmental impacts and benefits arising from a proposed development, based on the assessment of a range of factors including energy efficient design, renewable energy generation, use of materials and water management.  The requirement to undertake NRIAs for residential developments of 10+ dwellings was removed when Part L of the Building Regulations was updated to require improved energy efficiency standards in all residential developments.

Objectively Assessed Need (OAN)

An assessment of the level of demand of housing types and range of tenures likely to be needed in a housing market area over the period of a local plan, and the scale of housing supply necessary to meet that demand.

Oxford Housing Company Limited (OHCL)

A housing company wholly owned by the City Council, established to undertake regeneration schemes, develop new build housing on council land and purchase and manage affordable housing from developers on private land.

Open book negotiation

An approach where the developer shares the figures in its financial appraisal with the local authority, in order to make the negotiations transparent, and reduce the risk of dispute.

Operational parking (residential)

Car parking required for essential services and maintenance to the residential properties, and for use by delivery vehicles, by medical or care staff, or the emergency services. Operational car parking in residential developments specifically excludes parking for cars used by residents or their personal visitors, except when needed for loading, repairs and maintenance.

Oxfordshire Growth Board

A joint committee comprising of the six Oxfordshire councils and other partners set up to enable  collaboration and delivery of projects related to economic development, strategic planning and growth.

Oxford Heritage Asset Register (OHAR)

A register of buildings, structures, features or places that make a special contribution to the character of Oxford and its neighbourhoods through their locally significant historic, architectural, archaeological or artistic interest.  These are not necessarily on the statutory list and no additional legal requirements or responsibilities are placed on property owners beyond those required for planning permission or building regulation approval.

Oxford Local Plan

The Oxford Local Plan 2001-2016 is the adopted Local Plan containing policies and proposals for Oxford, which will gradually be replaced by the Local Development Framework.

Oxfordshire Local Investment Plan (LIP)

A non-statutory document that sets out priorities for delivering housing growth, economic development, regeneration and infrastructure. Prepared in Oxfordshire by the Spatial Planning and Infrastructure Partnership as result of the 'Single Conversation' with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Parking court

A communal parking area shared by a number of houses and/or flats. Allocated spaces that are within a single bounded dwellinghouse or former dwellinghouse curtilage, or are accessed directly from the public highway, do not fall within this definition.

Patient hotel

Accommodation available to those that need to be close to a hospital overnight, but who do not need a hospital bed, for example outpatients and families of hospital patients.

Photovoltaic cells

A renewable source of energy that converts solar energy into electrical energy.

Planning Condition

A planning condition can be attached to a planning permission to restrict the use of that development, or to require particular actions to be taken by the developer or owner to mitigate the impact of development. This may sometimes need to happen before the approved development can start (sometimes referred to as a pre-commencement condition).

Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS)

Documents that formerly set out the government's national policies on different aspects of land use planning in England.  They are now consolidated within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Planning Obligations

See Section 106 Agreements

Policies Map

A map of Oxford forming part of the Local Development Framework and illustrating particular areas of land to which policies apply.

Previously Developed Land (PDL)

Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure (excluding agricultural or forestry buildings). The definition covers the curtilage of the developed land. Private residential gardens are not defined as previously developed land.

Private Registered Provider (PRP)

A non-state or local authority organisation that buys, builds and manages affordable housing, often in partnership with the local housing authority (i.e. local council).  They can be either profit making or non-profit making.  A register is maintained by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) holding details of annual accounts and certificates of registration for all approved PRPs.

Proposed Submission

The stage of the plan making process that follows the Preferred Options document. It sets out detailed wording of the policies that the City Council proposes to submit to the Secretary of State. The Proposed Submission undergoes a formal consultation period to allow people to make comments.

Protected Key Employment Site

Sites identified in the Oxford Local Plan as key employment generating sites.  These are subject to an Article 4 direction requiring planning permission for changes of use from offices (B1a) to residential uses.

Public open space (or Public Realm)

Areas of publicly accessible outdoor land that are maintained, landscaped and managed to allow social and recreational use by a variety of users. To be publicly accessible, it must be open to all members of the public all of the time. Where reasonably justified, it may be permissible to close such land to the general public during hours of darkness, or on a limited number of days of the year for maintenance purposes. The terms of use of public open space which is privately maintained may be set out in conditions attached to the planning application or as part of a planning obligation.

Regeneration Framework

A document that sets out the regeneration challenges facing Oxford and provides a framework for Oxford City Council to work with local and regional partners to respond to these challenges.

Registered Provider (RP)

An organisation that buys, builds and manages affordable housing, often in partnership with the local housing authority (i.e. local council). They include housing associations.

Renewable energy

Energy that uses technologies which generally rely on the elements (e.g., sunlight, wind, rain), biomass, or on generating energy from the earth itself.

Residential garden land

Outdoor land within the private or shared curtilage of a residential property or properties, which has been or is used primarily for relaxation, growing plants, drying clothes and other private domestic activities. This includes gardens, patios and terraces for houses, flats, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), guest houses, residential care homes and any other building that was originally built as a house which has not been substantially altered.

Residential garden land includes all landscaped areas, whether turfed or planted, or otherwise, and all paths, domestic sheds, private driveways and small ancillary outbuildings. However it excludes large communal car parking areas and large communal storage or utility buildings.

Research Accommodation

See University Facilities

Residential Moorings

This is a long-term/ mooring base for a vessel or floating structure with planning permission and navigation authority consent for use as a person’s sole or main residence. The vessel may leave the mooring from time to time to go cruising, undergo repair etc. for any period of time.

Section 106 Agreements (s106)

Section 106 agreements (also known as planning obligations or planning legal agreements) are created under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. They are legally binding obligations that are attached to a piece of land and are registered as local land charges against that piece of land. They are negotiated, usually in the context of planning applications, between local planning authorities and people with an interest in a piece of land. They are intended to make acceptable development that would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. They enable councils to secure contributions towards services, infrastructure and amenities to support and facilitate a proposed development.


Refers to homes that are built with primary or significant input into the final design and layout from the initial owner or occupier.  Often self-build projects the owner/occupier directly organises the design and construction, while custom building involves a specialist developer to help deliver the project.  The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) provides a legal definition of self-build and custom housebuilding, and does not distinguish between the two.   The definition applies to homes that are built by individuals or associations of individuals, or persons working on their behalf.  In considering whether a home is a self-build or custom build home, relevant authorities must be satisfied that the initial owner of the home will have primary input into its final design and layout.

Self-contained accommodation

An independent unit of accommodation with kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities, provided for the exclusive use of the household living within. 

Serviced plot

Sites that are ‘shovel ready’, i.e. land that is suitably laid out and ready for construction, with planning permission, access to the public highway and services/utilities provided within its boundary.

Sequential test

A systematic approach ranking sites in order, starting with the most appropriate location for development followed by increasingly unsuitable options e.g. whether brownfield or greenfield land; City centre or out-of-centre.

Shared ownership housing

A form of intermediate affordable housing which is partly sold and partly rented to the occupiers, with a Registered Provider (normally a housing association) being the landlord. Shared ownership housing should normally offer a maximum initial share of 25% of the open market value of the dwelling. The annual rental charges on the unsold equity (share) should be no more than 2.75% of this share.

Sheltered Housing

Self-contained accommodation for elderly or disabled people which form part of an overall development and with some shared facilities and on-site support personnel.  See also Cluster Flat.

Short Stay Accommodation

Accommodation providing residential tenancies, typically provided on a daily basis, principally for short stays by visitors. Accommodation will typically be in self-contained space consisting of complete furnished rooms or areas for living/dining and sleeping, with amenities (e.g. television, internet) included in the rent. This accommodation type and includes hotels and bed and breakfast. Aparthotels or serviced apartments are treated as residential uses, for which affordable housing provision is sought, and are not considered as short stay accommodation for the purpose of the policy.

Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC)

A site containing habitats, plants and animals important in the context of Oxford.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Areas identified by Natural England as being of special interest for their ecological or geological features. Natural England is the government's advisor on the natural environment.

Social rented housing

Homes that are let at a level of rent set much lower than those charged on the open market.  The rent will be calculated using the formula as defined in the Rent Standard Guidance of April 2015 (updated in May 2016) or its equivalent or replacement guidance (relevant at the time of the application).


The acoustic environment (sounds generated and detected from all sources) as perceived, experienced and/or understood by a person or people in a particular context/setting.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

Special Areas of Conservation are areas that have been designated at a European level as important for nature conservation.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

An assessment of the flooding issues that affect the city; it provides the flood risk information needed to inform planning policies.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

A study of the opportunities that exist to meet housing need.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

The SHMA is a technical study that assists local planning authorities understand how many homes will be needed over a given period, which also considers the housing needs of specific groups in society such as older people, minorities and people with disabilities.  Information sources for the SHMA can include house prices and rates of change in house prices, household migration and search patterns, and other relevant contextual data such as travel to work areas.

Student accommodation

Accommodation whose main purpose is to house students of sixteen years of above, registered on full-time courses of an academic year or more in Oxford.

Sui generis

Land uses that do not fall within any use class in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).

Supported and Specialist Care Accommodation

Housing that is for occupation by residents who required specialist services or support in order to enable them to live, or to adjust to living, independently within the community. It will offer a high level of support in order to support those who would otherwise need to live in a care home. Groups with specific support needs may include those with disabilities (including learning disabilities), the homeless, teenage parents, refugees and those with drug or alcohol problems.

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Part of the LDF that supplements and elaborates on policies and proposals in Development Plan Documents. Supplementary Planning Documents do not form part of the statutory development plan.

Sustainability Appraisal (SA)

A social, economic and environmental appraisal of strategy, policies and proposals – required for the Regional Spatial Strategy and Development Plan Documents and sometimes Supplementary Planning Documents.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems are a sequence of water-management practices and facilities designed to drain surface water and protect against flooding. These include porous roads, high-level road drainage, swales, soakaways, filter trenches, wet and dry attenuation ponds and ditches. SUDS helps mimic natural drainage processes and can provide benefits in terms of sustainability, water quality and amenity.

Technical Housing Standards

Nationally described space standards, setting out minimum recommended requirements for the Gross Internal (floor) Area of new dwellings at defined levels of occupancy  as well as floor areas and dimensions for key parts of the home, notably bedrooms, storage and floor to ceiling height.


The conditions under which land or buildings are held or occupied.  There are up to 4 categories:

  • owner-occupied - including accommodation that is owned outright or is being bought with a mortgage.
  • rented privately - defined as all non-owner-occupied property other than that rented from local authorities and housing associations plus that rented from private or public bodies by virtue of employment.
  • rented from housing associations
  • rented from Local Authorities.

Transport Assessment (TA)

An assessment that reviews all potential transport impacts of a proposed development with the aim of minimising any adverse consequences.

Unallocated parking

Car parking that is not allocated to a specific residential property or properties. Unallocated parking must be available to all residents and visitors of the proposed development (except relating to any restrictions on car-free homes). Examples of unallocated parking are on-street parking (whether or not in a controlled parking zone), and private parking courts or private roads that are subject to enforced permit parking (provided parking spaces are not reserved for specific properties).

University Facilities

Accommodation belonging to the University of Oxford comprising of academic, research and administrative uses.

Academic uses: teaching, seminar and lecturing spaces

Research: laboratories and special facilities

Administrative: offices and administrative functions


Use Classes Order

This refers to the different categories for uses of land and buildings as defined by planning legislation (Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended)). Planning permission is usually required to change from one use class to another, although there are exceptions where the legislation allows changes between uses.  Planning permission may also not be required if an existing and proposed use both fall within the same use class.

The general use classes are as follows:

  • Class A- shops (including some services)
  • Class B – further business and industrial activities
  • Class C – hotels, hostels and dwellings
  • Class D – non-residential institutions
  • Sui generis – other uses that do not fit within the above classes

These classes are further subdivided into more specific usages.


Viability means whether something is financially feasible to develop. This will depend on the value of the land in its current use, the cost of development (including construction, planning requirements and cost of finance), the risks involved, and the expected level of developer profit.


Windfall sites are dwellings which have not been specifically identified in the local plan process.

Wheelchair accessible home, or home easily adaptable for wheelchair use

A home that allows either immediate occupation by a wheelchair user, or easy adaptation when the need arises. Such homes will have much in common with lifetime homes, but with some additional features.

Zero Carbon Home

This is a dwelling whose carbon footprint of does not add to overall carbon emissions. However the Government have stated that Zero Carbon will only apply to those carbon dioxide emissions that are covered by building regulations.

45° Guidance

Often referred to as the ‘45° code’ or ’45° rule’. A tool used by architects and planning officers, which gives an initial assessment of whether a proposed new dwelling will maintain an adequate standard of sunlight and daylight within existing and proposed homes.


AMR – Annual Monitoring Report

AAP – Area Action Plan

BREEAM - Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method

CPZ – Controlled Parking Zone

ECP – Electric Charging Point

ELA – Employment Land Assessment

GIA – Gross Internal Area

GVA – Gross Value Area

HCA – Homes and Community Agency

HELAA - Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment

HMO – House of Multiple Occupation

HRA - Habitats Regulation Assessment

JSSP – Joint Statutory and Spatial Plan

NPPF – National Planning Policy Framework

NRIA - Natural Resource Impact Analysis

OAN - Objectively Assessed Need

OLP – Oxford Local Plan

PPG – Planning Policy Guidance

SA - Sustainability Appraisal

SAC - Special Area of Conservation

SFRA - Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

SHMA – Strategic Housing Marketing Assessment

SHLAA - Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

SLINC - Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation

SPRA – Source Pathway Receptor Analysis

SSSI - Site of Special Scientific Interest

SUDS - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

UKBAP – UK Biodiversity Action Plan


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