The toolkit glossary aims to provide users with a concise and informative explanation of key terms. It should not be used as a source of legal definitions or interpretations.

Area Action Plan

An Area Action Plan is a development plan document focused upon a specific location or an area subject to conservation or significant change, such as a major regeneration project or a growth area.

City Regions

City Regions are working partnerships of local authorities within the framework of Multi-Area Agreements for the purpose of strategic planning (for example, on economic development, physical planning or strategic housing) and governed by executive boards.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

CIL is a new charge brought in by the Planning Act 2008, which local planning authorities will have the option of levying on new development in their area. It will contribute towards the costs of local and sub-regional infrastructure that will enable development to go forward. It will be a standard tariff multiplied by a metric (i.e. per square metre, per dwelling) which are both locally determined.

Culture and Sport

Encompasses a wide range of hard and soft infrastructure, facilities, services and activities associated with the arts, culture, sport, leisure and creative industries and the historic environment. Details on specific provision are given in Defining culture, arts and sport section.

Developer Contributions, Planning Obligations and Section 106 Agreements

Duty to Co-operate

A duty set out in the Localism Act 2011, setting a legal requirement on local planning authorities to co-operate with each other and with other bodies on strategic cross-boundary issues in the Local Plan preparation process.


Eco-towns are new settlements of between 5,000 and 20,000 homes and intended to be exemplars of good practice of new development in England. The objectives for eco-towns include meeting the highest development standards in terms of sustainable development, social justice, and inclusive communities, whilst minimising their carbon footprints.

Infrastructure planning

Infrastructure planning considers the infrastructure required to support development including costs, sources of funding, timescales for delivery and gaps in funding.

Library authorities

living places

Living places was a partnership of key agencies and government departments from 2006 to 2011, which aimed to ensure that all communities, particularly those experiencing housing-led growth and regeneration, benefit from cultural and sporting opportunities. By working together, the five partners (MLA, Sport England, Arts Council England, CABE and English Heritage) and the government (CLG and DCMS) sought to ensure that culture is embedded in the development of our villages, towns and cities alongside other key areas of provision such as healthcare and transport. living places developed the original Culture and Sport Planning Toolkit to help deliver this aim.

Local Authority Leaders Board

The leaders board was a forum of local authority leaders, representing all local authorities in the region, would sign off the draft strategy and help to hold the RDA and its regional delivery partners to account. It is a structure proposed by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill (Clause 66).

Local Area Agreements (LAAs) and Multi Area Agreements (MAAs)

LAAs were a three-year agreement between central government, local government and major delivery partners in a local area. The LAA set out priority issues and a local action plan. LAAs are expected to achieve solutions that meet local needs, as well as contribute to national priorities and meet standards set by central government. MAAs were similar to LAAs in that strategic partners across local authority boundaries can agree targets and pooling of funding arrangements with their government office.

Local Development Framework (LDF)

LDF used to describe a folder of documents, which includes all the local planning authority's local development documents. They are now called the Local Plan.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)

LEPs are partnerships between local authorities and businesses. They decide what the priorities should be for investment in roads, buildings and facilities in the area. They replaced the Regional Development Agencies. See map of LEPs.

Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs)

Local Nature Partnerships (<abbr title="Local Nature Partnerships">LNPs</abbr>) are partnerships of a broad range of local organisations, businesses and people who aim to help bring about improvements in their local natural environment. See map of LNPs.

Local Plan

Sets planning policies in a local authority area and comprises a number of local development documents that give clear guidance on what development will and will not be permitted in an area, setting out strategic policies, development management policies and site allocation details. Previously known as the Local Development Framework.

Local planning authority

Local Strategic Partnership (LSP)

The LSP was a multi-agency body that matches a local authority boundary and brings together the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. Its purpose was to provide leadership of a local area and improve quality of life through better planning, co-ordination and delivery of services.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The national policy guidance which, in March 2012, replaced all planning policy guidance previously published in the form of Planning Policy Statements and Planning Policy Guidance Notes.

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

Priority Places

Members of the living places partnership identified five priority places to carry out focused research. The priority places included South West region, Pennine Lancashire, Corby, South Hampshire and the Thames Gateway.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

PFI is a method of procurement by which partnerships can be developed between the public and private sectors. These initiatives can deliver various projects, including the design and development of new assets, the refurbishment of existing assets as well as the provision of associated services, such as repairs and maintenance.

Public-Private Partnership (PPP)

In the broadest sense, PPPs can cover all types of collaboration between the public and private sectors to deliver policies, services and infrastructure.

Public Service Agreement (PSA)

PSAs set out the key priority outcomes the government wants to achieve in the next spending period (2008-2011).

Regional Assembly

Regional Development Agency (RDA)

Nine government agencies set up in 1999 to promote regional economic development and regeneration. Each agency helped its region to improve its relative competitiveness and reduce the imbalances that exists within and between regions. They were abolished together with the Regional Assemblies.

Regional Economic Strategy (RES)

Regional implementation plan

The implementation plan was critical to delivery the regional spatial strategies. It was an agreed implementation plan for each policy and priority proposal which sets out the organisation(s) who are responsible for delivery, the current status, timescales and output targets.

Regional Living Places Partnership

Regional Cultural Consortiums were replaced with a partnership between Arts Council England, Sport England, English Heritage and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. These agencies had a duty to work together to jointly deliver a core set of shared priorities across the culture and sport agenda.

Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS)

A regional planning document which laid out a broad development strategy for how a region over a 15 to 20 year period. The strategy decided how much development there should be, how it will be allocated to different parts of the region and how it will be delivered. The Regional Spatial Strategy set a framework for all local development frameworks in the region.

Regional Strategy

Regulation 123

Regulation within the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 that clarifies the relationship between the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 planning obligations. A Community Infrastructure Levy charging authority is expected to publish on its website a list of infrastructure that will benefit from a Community Infrastructure Levy charge.

Section 106 Agreements

See Developer Contributions.


Spatial Planning

Spatial planning goes beyond traditional land use planning to bring together and integrate policies for the development and use of land with other policies and programmes which influence the nature of places and how they function. It is a process of place shaping and delivery.

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

The aim of the Statement of Community Involvement is to help ensure community ownership of the Local Development Framework and strengthen community involvement in planning over time. It also aims to improve overall representation and involvement across all sections of the community.

Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Local planning authorities prepare SPDs to provide greater detail on the implementation of policies within its development plan documents.

Sustainable Communities Plan 2003

Sustainable Community Strategy

A local strategy to promote or improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area. The Sustainable Community Strategy sets out the vision and priorities, agreed by all parties and based on a solid evidence base.

Sustainable development

The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations.

Total Place


Defined in Viability Testing of Local Plans: Advice for Planning Practitioners, the June 2012 report of the Local Housing Delivery Group chaired by Sir John Harman, as follows:


Visioning is a process by which a community defines the future it wants. Through public involvement, communities identify their purpose and core values of the future.