Property Development Finance Glossary

Posted by John Yates

Greenfield Capital funding products are flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs. We understand building projects and that a one size fits all approach is not the best way to proceed. Our Relationship Managers can talk your language and will discuss your property development finance requirements, so that you can have confidence that you’re in partnership with the right lender.

We have compiled an informational property development finance glossary for easy reference


Property Development Terminology



The ability of people to access any area, place or facility.

Area Action Plan

A plan of development in an official document that details a specific location subject to change or conservation




An abbreviation for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. This group is comprised of area experts that are dedicated to ensuring new projects are designed to compliment the local area.


The amount of money a buyer invests in a home or business property.

Capital Gain

The amount of growth on an investment during a measured period of time.

Change of Use

A change in the way that land or buildings are used (see Use Classes Order). Planning permission is usually necessary in order to change from one ‘use class’ to another.

Clawback Covenant

A property agreement that gives a former owner financial rights to a piece of land upon its sale.

Code for Sustainable Homes

A code established in 2006 to detail national standards for the design and construction of new homes.

A new national standard for sustainable design and construction of new

Contract for Sale

A legal, binding document that outlines the details of the sale of land anywhere in the United Kingdom.


A written promise regarding the terms of a real estate transaction. A covenant may convey a warranty which guarantees a property title is free of claims. A covenant may also convey an easement that gives access to a property to a third party.



A legally binding document enforced by law which grants the title of real property to another party during a sale or exchange. A deed legally proves that an individual owns a property.

Delegated Powers

Powers conferred to local planning officers by counselors to act in a decision making capacity. Delegated powers give the planning officers the authority to make executive decisions on designs and building details through the construction process.


Refers to the number of individuals or items per unit of area. When referring to land, density is used to count the number of buildings and homes per acre.


The accruing reduction of the value of an item over a given period of time.

Detailed Application

A detailed application, (sometimes called a full application), is a submission requested by a developer for approval of a complete plan for a project from start to finish.


Environmental Agency

A government body appointed to prevent the effects of pollution on the environment. This body issues citations to individuals and businesses that violate waste removal laws. It also strives to raise awareness on environmental issues.


Flood plain

An area of land near a watercourse that is a back up recess area for flooding. A flood plain can occur naturally or be man made.


Green Belt

A section of land protected from development by the government. This designated area is governed by specific laws that regulate its use.


Informal Hearing

A hearing regarding a development without the official procedures of a local inquiry.


Judicial Review

A legal procedure in which the High Court reviews a decision made by a lower authority including planning decisions.


Lawful Development Certificate

A certificate issued by a planning board that confirms an existing LCD 191 or comparable form of development is approved by law for the planning of development.

Limits of Development

Restrictions placed on development projects before the onset of a building project. By limiting the scope of a development, the council seeks to protect surrounding areas from invasive construction.

Localism Bill

A legal ruling by the Coalition Government legislation which approves in writing, the right to build on a local property.


Master Plan

A finalized outline that includes the blueprint for a development project.


Nature Conservation

The fortification, administration and promotion of natural lands for the benefit of wild species, the environment, and the communities that use them.


Planning Brief

A document outlining the scope of a development project that includes the design, framework, and master plan of construction. A planning brief may be submitted to the counsel for approval to move forward on a project.

Planning Inspectorate

Part of the National Assembly for Wales, this official body of government has the authority to inspect, deny or approve development projects.

Planning Permission

The process of receiving approval from a local council to plan for a development project. Permission may be requested by an official planning application complete with an outline for the project. If approved by the local council, the developer will be issued an official notice of permission to proceed with a planning brief.

Planning Policy Guidance (PPG)

An official review issued from England’s central government upon evaluating a development project. The central government applies land development policies to each plan and the developer must comply with the policies issued. This review may also be called a Planning Policy Statement (PPS).

Planning Portal

England’s national governmental website that features information on the laws, authorities, and requirements for development projects.

Prior Approval

An automatic approval status for project developers who properly submitted a request that was not answered by the planning authority in a specified amount of time. In many cases, the developer can assume that permission for a project is granted when an official response is not given.



The process of renewing and improving urban and rural areas.

Regional Development Agency (RDA)

A national agency comprised of nine Regional Development offices throughout England that function strategically to bring economic improvements to their area by means of development. The coordinated efforts of each office reduces the economic imbalances in the nine regions.

Regional Housing Strategy (RHS)

A function of the local council in which regional housing needs are studied. The council compares the availability and affordability of existing housing with the needs of the citizen and makes recommendations to investors on what is absent in the community.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Much like a Capital Gain, a return on an investment is the amount of profit made on an venture measured in percentage.


A modification made to a local planning policy which would allow a development project to be completed.

Right to Build

A section of England’s Localism Bill which grants power to communities to independently make decisions on developments in their areas.

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

A non-government body of professionals that combine their expertise to foster art and historical integrity in local development projects.

Rural Exceptions Policy

The process of creating a development plan that apportions specific sites in rural areas for the creation of affordable housing for those in poverty.


Section 106 Agreement

A legal treaty under the Town & Country Planning Act. Section 106 agreements exist between local authorities and the developer. This agreement spells out specific conditions on whether additional construction can or cannot be added after construction has begun.

Sustainability Appraisal

An evaluation by local council on the sustainability of a community development. Set forth by the government, development plans for neighborhoods must be designed to create an adequate housing supply, room for new growth, and adequate housing for a frame of 15 to 20 years.



The English law that states the Crown retains of ownership to all of the land in England, but grants tenure of land by title to the citizens.


Urban Capacity Study

Studies carried out by local counsel to determine how much supplementary housing can be added urban areas.

Urban Regeneration

The process of improving the growth of urban areas economically and environmentally.


Zone of Visual Influence (ZVI)

A development term for the potential view created by the design of a plan.



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