O-R

Open Space – All open space of public value, including not just land, but also areas of water (such as rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs) which offer important opportunities for sport and recreation and can act as a visual amenity.

Operations Requiring Consent (ORC) – A list of activities that legally require approval from Natural England before they can be carried out on a SSSI. ORC’s will be included in each SSSI notification package.

Outline Application (OUT) – A general planning application to establish whether a development is acceptable in principle, subject to further approval of detailed matters.


Parish Council – A local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. It is the lowest/bottom tear of government and therefore the closest to the community.

Permitted Development – Derived from a general planning permission granted by Parliament rather than the local authority which allows people to undertake minor development without the need to submit a planning application.

Planning Application – A document submitted to the local planning authority requesting permission for a development of some kind.

Planning Condition – A condition imposed on a grant of planning permission or a condition included in a Local Development Order or Neighbourhood Development Order.

Planning Contravention Notice (PCN) – A type of enforcement notice which Council’s use to control development that they consider has been carried out unlawfully i.e. without planning permission or a lawful development certificate.

Planning Inspectorate (PINS) – An executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government that deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework.

Planning Obligation – A legally enforceable obligation entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal.

Planning Permission – Permission required in the UK in order to be allowed to build on land or change the use of land or buildings.

Playing Field – The whole of a site which encompasses at least one playing pitch as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010.

Pollution – Anything that affects the quality of land, air, water or soils, which might lead to an adverse impact on human health, the natural environment or general amenity.

Previously Developed Land – Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. Exclusions apply.

Priority Habitats and Species – Species and Habitats of Principle Importance included in the England Biodiversity List published by the Secretary of State under section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

Public Local Inquiry – An examination conducted by an Inspector into a local plan or planning application with the aim of setting forward the case for and against a decision. This is an opportunity for local people to make their voice heard in local decision making.

Public Right of Way (PRoW) – A pathway that is designated as legally open to everyone. This can be a road, path or track and can run through a town, the countryside or a private property.


Ramsar Sites – Wetlands of international importance designated under the 1971 Ramsar Convention.

Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS) – Original Sussex name for a Local Geological Site

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy – Covers those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment,from the wind, the fall of water, the movement of the oceans, from the sun and also from biomass and deep geothermal heat, as wells as those that can help reduce emissions compared to conventional use of fossil fuels.

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – Professional body for architects that champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and their members.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – Professional body for chartered surveyors that regulates property professionals and surveyors in the UK.

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) – Conservation charity that operates as an umbrella body for the 47 individual Wildlife Trusts, helping to co-ordinate the Trusts’ activities and campaigning for wildlife at a UK level.

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) – The principle body representing planning professionals in the UK. It promotes and develops policy for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning.

Rural Exception Sites – Small sites used for affordable housing in perpetuity where sites would not normally be used for housing. Rural exception sites seek to address the needs of the local community by accommodating households who are either current residents or have an existing family or employment connection. Small numbers of market homes may be allowed at the local authority’s discretion, for example where essential to enable the delivery of affordable units without grant funding.