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Lawful Development Certificate – A document that states that a building project is legal under permitted development and therefore does not require planning permission.

Local Development Framework – Old name for a Local Plan.

Local Development Order – An Order made by a local planning authority (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) that grants planning permission for a specific development proposal or classes of development.

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – A body, designated by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, established for the purpose of creating or improving the conditions for economic growth in an area.

Local Green Space – A new designation introduced in the NPPF that allows local communities to protect areas of green space through a local plan or neighbourhood plan.

Local Government Association (LGA) – The national voice of Local Government. It works with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

Local Government Ombudsman – Investigates complaints about councils in a fair and independent way.

Local Nature Partnership (LNP) – A body designated by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, created for the purpose of protecting and improving the natural environment in an area and the benefits derived from it.

Local Nature Reserve (LNR) – A site designated by local government due to its important for wildlife, geology, education or public enjoyment. They are for both people and wildlife.

Local Plan – The plan for the future development of the local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community. In law this is described as the development plan documents adopted under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Current core strategies or other planning policies, which under the regulations would be considered to be development plan documents, form part of the Local Plan. The term includes old policies which have been saved under the 2004 Act.

Local Planning Authority – The public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a given area.

Local Site – A site designated by local government as having substantive nature conservation or geological value. They do not have a statutory status but are protected through the planning system. Can also be known as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and Regionally Important Geodiversity Sites (RIGS).

Local Transport Plan – A forward looking plan created by strategic transport authorities that advice the local government on highway and transport matters.


Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) – A new designation under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. MCZs form part or a wider group of marine designations commonly known as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Minerals of Local and National Importance – Minerals which are necessary to meet society’s needs.

Mineral Safeguarding Area – An area designated by Minerals Planning Authorities which covers known deposits of minerals which are desired to be kept safeguarded from unnecessary sterilisation by non-mineral development.


National Park – An extensive tract of countryside designated to both conserve and enhance its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage as well as the opportunities it affords for open air recreation. The only National Park in Sussex is the South Downs National Park (SDNP).

National Nature Reserve (NNR) – A statutory designation that covers a selection of the very best parts of England’s SSSI’s. They are declared by Natural England and the majority of NNR’s also have European nature conservation designations.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – Published in March 2012, this document sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied by Local Planning Authorities.

National Trails – Long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Natural England (NE) – An Executive Nondepartmental Public Body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Principle aims are to protect and improve England’s natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings.

Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC) – Legislation that aims to encourage greater consideration of biodiversity within everyday decisions made by all public bodies.

Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP) – Government document outlining their vision for the natural environment for the next 50 years (2011 – 2061).

Nature Improvement Areas – Inter-connected networks of wildlife habitats intended to re-establish thriving wildlife populations and help species respond to the challenges of climate change.

Neighbourhood Development Order – An Order made by a local planning authority (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) through which Parish Councils and neighbourhood forums can grant planning permission for a specific development proposal or classes of development.

Neighbourhood Plan – A plan prepared by a Parish Council or Neighbourhood Forum for a particular neighbourhood area (made under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004).

Non-Government Organisation (NGO) – Any non-profit group which operates independently from any form of Government.