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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 164 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Habitats Regulations Assessment

A Habitats Regulations Assessment is the assessment of the impacts of implementing a plan or policy on international protected sites for nature conservation. These sites are Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds identified under the Birds Directive and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for habitats and species under the Habitats Directive. Ramsar sites (wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention) are also considered under the assessment, as are candidate SACs and proposed SPAs.

The purpose of Habitats Regulations Assessment is to ensure that plans will not result in significant damage to protected wildlife sites. The assessment considers the impacts of a land use plan against conservation objectives of the site and identifies whether it would adversely affect the integrity of the site. Where significant negative effects are identified, alternative options should be examined to avoid any potential damaging effects.

Higher tier authority

Local authorities with elected councillors (county councils, metropolitan bodies and unitary authorities); so called because they are a higher level of government than district councils in counties with two tiers of government.

Highway authority

In most places, a local highway authority is either a county council, a metropolitan council or a unitary authority. Transport for London is the highway authority in the capital. Highway authorities are responsible for producing the local transport plan and for managing existing or proposed new local roads in the area.

Highways Agency

An executive agency of the Department for Transport, responsible for the construction, maintenance and management of the trunk road and motorway network.

Historic parks and gardens

Historic parks and gardens are designed landscapes which have been identified by English Heritage as worthy of protection and are assigned a grade of I, II* or II. They are listed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. They have no additional statutory controls, but Government planning policy says local planning authorities should protect them in when preparing development plans and determining planning applications

Housing density

The amount of housing in a given area. Density is used in planning for new residential development to measure the amount of new housing to go on land, and is usually measured in 'dwellings per hectare' (dpha). Government policy says that local planning authorities can decide what densities should be used in their areas.

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