The extent to which employment, goods and services are made available to people, either through close proximity, or through providing the required physical links to enable people to be transported to locations where they are available.
An area which a local authority had designated for action, based upon a prediction that Air Quality Objectives will be exceeded. The objectives were adopted in the UK are part of the Air Quality Strategy published by the Government in January 2000.
An element of a location or neighbourhood that helps to make it attractive or enjoyable for residents and visitors.
This is an acronym for Above Ordnance Datum. It refers to a spot height above the Ordnance Survey's datum at a fixed point at Newlyn, Cornwall, and is used to derive altitudes on maps. Occasionally the alternative acronym AMSL is used, meaning Above Mean Sea level. Because AMSL is often a locally-derived height from a nearby coastline it does not necessarily correspond with Newlyn datum.
The UK Habitats Regulations require AA to be undertaken of any plan or project, which either ‘alone’ or ‘in-combination’ with other plans or projects, would be likely to have a significant effect on any area that is designated as a European site (SPAs, SACs or Ramsar sites). A significant effect would be one that affects the nature conservation objectives of the European site (e.g. loss of key habitat or disturbance of key species of birds). Information must be provided by the developer to inform the AA and enable the Competent Authority (see Competent Authority) to understand, prior to determination of any application for development consent, whether the proposed plan / development would have an adverse effect on the integrity of the European site, prior to. Our environmental planning team leads our Appropriate Assessment commissions.
A statutory designation to identify areas of national importance and to promote the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty. This includes protecting its flora, fauna, geological and landscape features. AONBs are designated by Natural England.
An item of electronic equipment that is used to detect high frequency bat calls and convert to a frequency that is audible for humans. The Landmark Practice ecologists are fully qualified and licensed to operate such equipment.
The variety of living species of plants, animals, and microorganisms on Earth. The term encompasses habitat diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity. Biodiversity has value in its own right and has social and economic value for human society.
Regional, county and local plans identifying targets for improving and protecting biodiversity in an area. Each plan fits into the national Biodiversity Action Plan, approved by the Government, for key habitats and species.
The period from March to July/August (inclusive) during which birds typically breed in the UK. Disturbance of nesting birds is prohibited by the Wildlife and Countryside Act so vegetation or site clearance should be done outside the nesting season. Because the actual nesting season may flex to either side of the broad period in response to seasonal conditions (e.g. a particularly cold spring may delay the start of nesting activity), it is prudent to check with a professional ecologist before undertaking any such works.
Formally known as Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds, this is one of the EU's two key Directives in relation to wildlife and nature conservation (the other is the Habitats Directive). It aims to protect all European wild birds and the habitats of listed species, and it requires the UK Government to establish and safeguard Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds, to help protect and manage areas which are important for rare and vulnerable birds.
The period between approximately 8am and 6pm at The Landmark Practice, Hope Chapel House, when biscuits are consumed. An assortment of biscuit types and brands are entertained. Frequently coincides with 'tea time' (see Tea Time).
The Building Research Establishment: a commercially funded organisation that delivers sustainability and innovation across the built environment and oversees BREEAM (see BREEAM).
BRE standards for the design and building of businesses and homes to be more sustainable, including wildlife friendly design, use of recycled materials, and energy, heating and water conservation methods. BREEAM is the world's longest established and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. The Landmark Practice's Ecology and Landscape teams provide advice to clients on the most cost-effective way to achieve BREEAM credits.
A site that was previously developed but is now vacant or derelict.
Rising average world temperature caused by an increase in the release of ‘greenhouse gases’, principally carbon dioxide and methane, which trap the sun’s heat and warm the earth’s surface.
An environmental assessment for rating and certifying the performance of new homes, formerly known as EcoHomes (see BREEAM). The Landmark Practice's Ecology and Landscape teams provide advice to clients on the most cost-effective way to achieve CSH credits.
Provision of replacement habitat to make up for the loss of, or permanent damage to, biological resources.
Any government department, local authority, public or statutory undertaker that exercises its functions as a regulatory authority under the EU Directive.
The reasons for which a European site (i.e. SPA, SAC, Ramsar site) is designated, as set out in the relevant citation. The conservation objectives for the site should ensure the interest features are maintained in a favourable condition on the site.
Consolidate all the various amendments made to the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 1994. These regulations transpose the Habitats Directive into UK Law.
A non-statutory site of 'local' wildlife interest. The designation, variously known as County Wildlife Sites (CWS), Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI), is used in many parts of the UK to protect areas of importance for nature conservation at a local (city or county) scale. These sites are identified by the local planning authority and County Wildlife Trusts. Although they are non-statutory designations, they nonetheless form an integral part of the formulation of planning policies relating to nature conservation issues.
Department of Communities and Local Government (known as CLG) is the UK government department responsible (since May 2006) for planning, local government, housing and regional development.
A statement that accompanies a planning application to explain the design principles and concepts that have informed the development and how access issues have been dealt with. The access element of the statement should demonstrate how the principles of inclusive design, including the specific needs of disabled people, have been integrated into the proposed development and how inclusion will be maintained and managed.
Contributions from developers towards the infrastructure, facilities, services etc. required to make development proposals acceptable.
Formal approval given by the determining authority (e.g. a local planning authority, the Secretary of State, a Port Authority) allowing a proposed development to proceed.
The study of plants and animals in relation to their total environment. The Landmark Practice's ecologists are fully qualified and licensed in their specialist fields, which include bats, badgers, dormice, great crested newts and birds.
Any change in the physical, natural or cultural environment brought about by development or management activities. The words 'Effect' and 'Impact' tend to be used interchangeably.
Making the best or most efficient use of energy in order to achieve a given output of goods or services, and of comfort and convenience.
To gain useful energy from waste in the form of heat and/or electric power. Energy recovery methods include combined heat and power generation, combustion of landfill gas and gas produced during anaerobic digestion.
A key principle of UK Government guidance (Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 9) and of current best practice guidance issued by the Institute for Ecology & Environmental Management (IEEM, 2006), is that those bringing forward development plans and proposals must ‘maintain, enhance, restore or add to biodiversity and geological conservation interests’.
A process that aims to provide decision makers with scientifically researched and documented evidence to identify the likely consequences of undertaking new developments and changing natural systems. The goal of the EIA is to provide policy and decision makers with the best available information in order to minimise economic costs and maximise benefits associated with a proposed development (see also Environmental Statement). Our environmental planners lead many of our larger commissions, particularly those requiring EIA to inform development.
This document is the output of an EIA. The Statement sets out the assessment of a project’s likely environmental effects and is submitted with the planning application for consent for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. The Environmental Planning team has extensive experience in the management and production of ESs in a wide range of development sectors, including Town & Country Planning, Marine Consents and Transport and Works consents.
Species of plants and animals protected by law throughout the European Union. They are listed in Annexes II and IV of the European Habitats Directive. The Landmark Practice ecologists are fully qualified and licensed to work with EPS, including preparing for EPS licensing requirements.
A site that has been designated as of international nature conservation importance either as a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or a Ramsar Site. Our Environmental Planning team can advise on the planning and regulatory implications of bringing forward development in proximity to such sites.
A specific method of field survey undertaken to collate information on habitat features of particular value to different ecological groups (such as plants, fungi, lichens, mosses and faunal groups). Extended Phase 1 habitat survey usually forms the first stage of the ecological assessment of a site and is used to identify the likely presence / absence of key species as well as sensitive habitats. The results from the survey may highlight the need to carry out further, species-specific studies to fully inform a planning application. For further assistance in organising an Extended Phase 1 habitat survey please contact our Ecology team.
Land adjacent to a watercourse over which water flows in times of flood, or would flow but for the presence of flood defences where they exist.
Computer software that is capable of integrating, storing, editing, analysing and displaying information on a geographic base. The Landmark Practice landscape team has extensive experience with working with GIS datasets and is proficient in the use of Map Info and Arc View software.
A "Grampian condition" is a planning condition attached to a decision notice that prevents the start of a development until off-site works have been completed on land not controlled by the applicant. (Grampian Regional Council v City of Aberdeen District Council (1984) 47 P&CR 633).
An area of designated, primarily open land, around built-up areas. The Green Belt designation is designed to limit urban sprawl and to define town and country areas. As such, Green Belt land is protected by particularly strict restraints on urban development.
Linear routes, such as along rivers, and adjacent to railway lines and major roads, linking open spaces within the urban area and providing habitat and landscape links between town and country.
A strategically planned, delivered and managed network of multi-functional greenspaces, which can provide a healthy and rich environment. GI strategies provide strategic frameworks for integrated environmental planning to ensure delivery of development alongside green infrastructure provision and/or enhancement in areas where significant new growth and development is planned. The Landmark Practice has extensive experience of Green Infrastructure design and implementation over a wide range of development and infrastructure schemes.
Land which has not previously been developed.
Water below the earth's surface. It plays an important part in the natural water cycle.
Specific areas for new residential development to accommodate future population growth, as outlined in the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan.
A place in which a particular plant or animal lives. Often used in the wider sense referring to major assemblages of plants and animals found together.
A biodiversity action plan for a habitat.
EC Directive 92/43 on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
See 'Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations' (as of 2010).
The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 introduced new rules for the removal of certain hedgerows. Under the legislation the removal of certain hedgerows without permission is against the law.
Piles of rubble, rock, log piles or earth banks with plenty of ground fissures providing good hibernation and refuge sites for wildlife, in particular reptiles and amphibians. These may be natural features with intrinsic habitat value or purpose built structures to compensate for habitat loss or enhance existing habitat. The Landmark Practice Ecological Site Works team delivers practical ecological solutions on the ground, including construction of artificial hibernacula.
Resting or breeding site of an otter.
Any change in the physical, natural or cultural environment brought about by a development Project. Impact and Effect tend to be used interchangeably.
Development between existing uses and buildings within a built-up area.
Refers to land, works or other specific investments. It relates to the physical and social facilities, services and amenities needed by the community at large (see also Green Infrastructure)
Combinations of natural and man-made elements, including vegetation, that cover the land surface.
Combinations of slope and elevation which combine to give shape and form to the land.
Primarily the visual appearance of the land including its shape, form and colours. However, landscape is not purely a visual phenomenon but relies on a range of other aspects including geology, landform, soils, ecology, archaeology, landscape history, land use, settlement character and pattern, and cultural associations.
An assessment of potential impacts of a proposed development on the appearance and character of the landscape and of the potential visual impacts of the proposed development on people. Our landscape architects are experienced in performing landscape and visual impact assessments for a wide range of development projects.
The degree to which a landscape (or seascape/townscape) is able to accept change without significant effects on its overall character, or change of landscape character type.
Distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements, in the landscape that makes one landscape different from another.
Individual component parts of the landscape such as field boundaries, woodlands, patches of similar vegetation, structures and rock outcrops.
Based on judgements about the physical state of the landscape.
The relative value attached to different landscapes. Landscapes maybe valued by different communities for different reasons including scenic beauty, tranquillity, wildness, cultural associations, rarity and importance either nationally or locally.
Accumulation of animal faeces often used for denoting a territory e.g. badgers and water voles.
A building of special historic or architectural interest listed by the Secretary of State under the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Suite of documents that set out the local authority's policies relating to the development and use of land in its area. Should be prepared in accordance with the Local Development Scheme.
The spatial planning strategy introduced in England and Wales by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. LDFs will replace the previous system of county level Structure Plans and district level Local Plans, and Unitary Development Plans for Unitary authorities.
Outlines the details of, and timetable for the production of, all documents that make up the Local Development Framework over a three year period.
Measures taken to avoid or reduce negative impacts.
Development for a variety of activities on single sites or across wider areas such as town centres.
Intermittent surveillance that is undertaken in order to ascertain the extent of compliance with a pre-determined standard or the degree of deviation from an expected norm. The Landmark Practice ecology team has experience in devising, agreeing and implementing monitoring programmes for a wide range of species.
Statutory reserves established under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. They protect those wildlife sites which have national and regional importance. In England they are owned or leased by Natural England or are managed in accordance with Nature Reserve agreements with landowners and occupiers. These are all ‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’ (see SSSIs).
An extensive tract of countryside selected for its natural beauty and the opportunities afforded for open air recreation, having regard to both its character and position in relation to centres of population, and designated under the provision of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.
Comprehensive classification system for vegetation communities in Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland). Requires a systematic approach to sampling vegetation communities for comparison with standardised descriptions.
Ecological network of protected areas (SACs and SPAs) in the territory of the European Union.
The Phase I habitat survey method provides, relatively rapidly, a record of the semi-natural vegetation and wildlife habitat over large areas of the countryside. It is a classification based principally on vegetation, augmented by reference to topographical and substrate features. Habitats are mapped using standard colour codes with further information provided by means of dominant species codes and descriptive target notes. A slightly more comprehensive version of this survey is provided by the Extended Phase 1 survey (see E). For further assistance in organising an Extended Phase 1 habitat survey please contact us.
Legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer, or undertakings offered unilaterally by a developer, that ensure that certain extra works related to a development are undertaken, such as provision of highways. Agreements are normally made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and are often called ‘Section 106 agreements’.
Formal approval sought from a council, often granted with conditions, allowing a proposed development to proceed. Permission may be sought in principle through outline planning applications, or be sought in detail through full planning applications. The Landmark Practice Environmental Planning team can advise on environmental input required to inform applications for planning permission.
The principle that authorities should act prudently to avoid the possibility of irreversible environmental damage in situations where the scientific evidence is inconclusive but the potential damage could be significant.
Species protected under either European and/or domestic legislation including the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations, 1994 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
A term sometimes used by Local Planning Authorities. We recommend undertaking an Extended Phase 1 habitat survey in the first instance which will identify likely presence / absence of key species as well as sensitive habitats. The results from the survey may highlight the need to carry out further, species-specific studies (which may be subject to seasonal constraints) to fully inform a planning application. The Landmark Practice ecologists are fully qualified and licensed in their specialist fields, which include bats, badgers, dormice, great crested newts and birds. For further assistance in organising an Extended Phase 1 habitat survey please contact us.
Wetlands of international importance designated by the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. The objective of this designation is to stem the progressive encroachment onto, and loss of, wetlands.
A local environment that has escaped regional ecological change and therefore provides a habitat for threatened species. A technical tool generally comprising squares approximately 0.5 square metre composed of materials such as corrugated iron, roofing felt, wood and carpet. Used as a survey aid to locating reptiles.
Energy derived from a source that is continually replenished, such as wind, wave, solar, hydroelectric and energy from plant material, but not fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
Any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a bat. Because bats tend to re-use the same roosts, legal opinion is that a bat roost is protected even though the bats themselves may not be present. The Landmark Practice ecologists have extensive experience in undertaking bat surveys which can be used to identify roosts. Several members of the ecology team are also licensed bat workers.
An initial step in the EIA process, undertaken formally by the local planning authority, to identify potential significant impacts that are likely to arise from a proposed development. EIA Scoping identifies the content and extent of the Environmental Information that must be submitted in the Environmental Statement (see E). Our Environmental Planners offer full screening and scoping reporting to inform clients of programme and cost implications of the EIA process. For further information on this service, please contact us.
The process by which the receiving authority makes its decision on whether or not EIA is required for a particular development project. For further information on this service, please contact us.
Confer planning obligations on persons with an interest in land in order to achieve the implementation of relevant planning policies as authorised by Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (see Planning Obligations).
Habitats and Species of Principal Importance for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in England are defined under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act (HMSO, 2006). Under the NERC Act the Government has a duty to take reasonably practicable steps to further the conservation of the living organisms and habitats that are included in lists published under Section 41.
Often used to describe the essential character and spirit of an area. Genius Loci literally means 'spirit of the place'.
In landscape terms, the vulnerability of a sensitive receptor to change.
An underground tunnel system used by badgers to provide safety and shelter. Badgers generally have a number of setts in their territory for different purposes which are generally classified into main, annex, subsidiary and outlier. The Landmark Practice ecologists have extensive experience in undertaking badger surveys which can be used to identify setts. Several members of the ecology team are also licensed badger workers.
Regionally varying names for a designation for a non-statutory or 'local wildlife site' that is used in many parts of the UK to protect areas of importance for nature conservation at a local (city or county) scale. See also County Wildlife Sites.
A classification notified by Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 as amended). These sites represent some of the best examples of Britain's natural features including flora, fauna, and geology.
Strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive. Article 3 of the Habitats Directive requires the establishment of a European network of important high-quality conservation sites that will make a significant contribution to conserving the habitat types and species identified in the Annexes of the Directive. The listed habitat types and species are those considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds). All SACs are also protected as SSSI, except those in the marine environment below Mean Low Water (see M).
Strictly protected sites classified in accordance with Article 4 of the EC Directive on the Conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC), also known as the Birds Directive. They are classified for rare and vulnerable birds, listed in Annex I to the Birds Directive, and for regularly occurring migratory species.
Otter faeces used to mark their territory.
SPGs can take the form of design guides or area development briefs, or supplement other specific policies in the plan. However it must be consistent with national and regional planning guidance, as well as the policies set out in the adopted plan. It should be clearly cross-referenced to the relevant plan policy or proposal that it supplements. Although not part of the statutory plan, SPGs may be taken into account as a material consideration in determining planning consent.
Techniques which can be adopted for most new and redevelopment sites to give a reduced environmental impact from surface water drainage e.g. the use of grass swales, porous paths, wet and dry ponds, storm water wetlands.
To ensure that Landmark staff operate at optimum efficiency, the following varieties of tea are imbibed on a regular basis - English breakfast, Earl Grey, redbush, green mint and ginger. Tea time occurs over a similar time period to biscuit time (see B).
The first stage of the Appropriate Assessment process (see A). The test is a coarse filter intended to identify whether a proposed plan or project in the vicinity of a European Site (see E) requires further assessment under the Habitats Regulations (see H). It is distinct from the Appropriate Assessment of ‘adverse effect on integrity’ that may follow.
The area within which any aspect of a proposed development might be seen based solely on the analysis of topography. It does not factor in other potential elements such as buildings, woodland and hedgerows. It is usually calculated by 3D digital software.
Term used to describe the features of the earth.
A line across a habitat or habitats along which organisms are sampled in order to study changes that may occur along that line.
The active removal of an animal by live capture and release to a site outside of the animal's normal dispersal distance (as opposed to relocation which is within the animal's normal dispersal distance).
Report prepared and submitted to inform a planning application for developments likely to have significant transport implications. For major proposals, assessments should illustrate the following: accessibility to the site by all modes; the likely modal split of journeys to and from the site; and proposed measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling.
The likely visual effects that would result from a development proposal or change in land management.
The measure of the degree to which change is likely to cause a visual impact within a particular landscape.
Act of Parliament which aims to protect the wildlife and countryside of the United Kingdom.
Percussion instrument with wooden bars tuned to produce a chromatic scale and with resonators; played with small mallets (used to relieve stress in The Landmark office).
The extent of visibility to or from an existing or proposed development. It is often referred to as the Visual Envelope. See also Theoretical Visual Envelope (TVE)