Appendix 2.1 : Definitions of Environmental Terms

A number of terms which are commonly used in this chapter are defined as follows :


Polluting uses : land uses which, by virtue of the nature, scale and distribution of the activities thereon, generate residuals such as wastewater, aerial emissions, solid waste, runoff, noise, odour and visual impact, or create physical changes causing impacts on other land uses or on environmental resources;


Sensitive uses : land uses which, by virtue of the nature of the activities thereon or resources therein, are susceptible to the influence of residuals or physical changes generated by polluting uses.  Examples include schools and residential areas;


Environmentally sensitive areas : areas whose environmental quality and capacity, by virtue of their natural environmental attributes and existing land uses, are significantly affected by activities which generate residuals or create a demand on resources.  Examples are topographically-confined airsheds and commercial fisheries;


Environmental facilities : facilities which fulfill the functions of collection, handling, storage, treatment, transportation, disposal or recycling of residuals generated by human activities.  Examples are refuse collection points and wastewater treatment plants;


Environmental capacity : the capability of the environment either to accommodate changes induced by human activities without long term damage, to sustain natural resources for future developments or to assimilate the residuals generated by such activities;


Environmental suitability : the suitability of a site, in environmental terms, for a particular land use;


Land use incompatibility : a situation in which the co-existence of a particular land use on a site, or two or more land uses in close proximity, either creates adverse environmental impacts beyond acceptable limits or compromises the proper functioning of the affected land uses;


Buffer area : an area of land separating incompatible land uses, being of sufficient extent to minimise the potential conflict between them.  These areas may contain non-sensitive structures or uses; and


Buffer distance : the shortest horizontal distance between the lot boundaries of two incompatible land uses, unless otherwise stated.

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   Last revision date : May 2014