Health and environmental justice starts and ends with land use.

The system of land development is complex, multi-layered and overlapping, almost to the point of intentional gaslighting and obstruction.


A person or team of people hired to produce plans from project ideation through to complete and technical design. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) classes 7 stages of work in which architects typically work. They are required to produce technical designs as part of multidisciplinary teams in accordance with local and national standards. They are responsible for collating all the possible commercial and social objectives into a physical outcome that is viable and safe.

Business Rates

A per square foot tax levied upon non domestic properties that is paid directly to the local authority. The levy is set by the Valuation Office, a central government department with no relationship to local government.

Community Infrastructure Levy

A charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area. It is an important tool for local authorities to use to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Concordats set out agreed frameworks for co operation, between it and the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive, which have devolved responsibilities for these matters in their respective nations.

Defra also leads for the United Kingdom on agricultural, fisheries and environmental matters in international negotiations on sustainable development and climate change, although a new Department of Energy and Climate Change was created on 3 October 2008 to take over the last responsibility; later transferred to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy following Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister in July 2016.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency (EA) is a non-departmental public body, established in 1995 and sponsored by the United Kingdom government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the environment in England (and until 2013 also Wales).


Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights. Due to public pressure ESG is becoming more important to private organisations in seeking investment however there is still some way to go in ensuring that ESG criteria and frameworks are meaningful and deliver on their promises.

History of Land Use Regulation

The land planning system arose from the industrial revolution as a way to regulate the increasingly dangerous urban development by individual actors with little care for the negative externalities they may cause. It is a constantly evolving process tackling the challenges of the past, present and future working within physical, social and economic restrictions.

Housing Association

In Ireland and the United Kingdom, housing associations are private, non-profit making organisations that provide low-cost "social housing" for people in need of a home. Any budget surplus is used to maintain existing housing and to help finance new homes and it cannot be used for personal benefit of directors or shareholders.[1] Although independent, they are regulated by the state and commonly receive public funding. They are now the United Kingdom's major providers of new housing for rent, while many also run shared ownership schemes to help those who cannot afford to buy a home outright.

How Policy is Made

The Ministry of the Homes Communities and Local Government defines the overall planning system through what’s called the National Planning Policy Framework. From this framework local, city and regional authorities create their local plans. These documents guide developers, architects, urban planners and other consultants in what is accepted and what is not in an area.


A person or company of significant wealth that invests money with a developer in order to seek a profit return from the activities of the developer. An investor can be a high net worth individual or pension fund looking to insure they can meet the requirements of their pension holders in the future. Pension funds are one of the largest investors in global real estate. UK pension funds and individual investors – are among the UK’s biggest owners of high street retail by sq ft and number of assets, with a 35.9% share of the retail universe. Add to this the fact that 60% of the investor base of the UK’s retail Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are pension funds, and public ownership shoots even higher. Arguably it is the public’s money being used in land development.


A person or legal entity that owns a property for personal use or to rent out to tenants in return for income. A landlord typically inherits the property from another person/company or developer. The landlord typically benefits from the developer having taken the risk to produce an asset that a rent is sought against. The risk associated with being a landlord is whether the property becomes redundant after a period of time and it loses demand.

Local Planning Authority

The local planning authority is usually the planning department of the district or borough council.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines a local planning authority as, 'the public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area. All references to local planning authority apply to the district council, London borough council, county council, Broads Authority, National Park Authority and the Greater London Authority, to the extent appropriate to their responsibilities.'

The planning portal provides a service enabling people to find out who their local planning authority is: Find a local planning authority

Neighbourhood Plan

A document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications. It is written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority and is a powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place. For further information go to 

Neighbourhood Planning Group

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act 2011. It is an important and powerful tool that gives communities statutory powers to shape how their communities develop.

Planning Application

A formal request to a local authority for permission to build something new or to add something to an existing building or piece of land.

Planning Officer

A person working on behalf of a planning authority that responds to planning applications to assess whether they meet the criteria set out for consent to be given.

Policy Officer

Someone who works for a local, city, or government authority drafting appropriate policies that meet the social, environmental and commercial objectives set by local and national politics. A policy officer typically sets the documentation for organisations to use as guidance for making change within the designated area.

Section 106

A Section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission (typically a developer) and the local planning authority, which is used to mitigate the impact of change on the local community and infrastructure. Section 106 Agreements often require a financial contribution, made prior to the project starting. Unlike the Community Infrastructure Levy which is tariff-based, Section 106 is charged based on the specific needs of the local community and some councils.

Urban Planning

Urban planning is a geographically tiered system governance and policy intended to ensure equitable and fair distribution of homes, commerce, services, and transport. OR Urban planning is the process of developing and designing urban areas. Encompassed in that process is the use of open land, air, water, and the built environment, including buildings, transportation, economic and social functions.


Who Influences Policy

What is accepted is often influenced by elected local councillors and government objectives such as housing targets for example. The local authorities are responsible for setting regulations that allow urban development to take place within safe, meaningful and positive manners.