A unit of measurement

Next year the case of Burdle & Williams v SSE & New Forest RDC [1972] will have provided the planning system with a half century of useful service. In recognition of this achievement we really ought to be making plans. We could name a ship, a hospital or a school after it, or perhaps more appropriately we could adopt ‘the burdle’ as a measure for a planning unit. Have a think.

In the meantime, here is a reminder of the important role that Burdle plays in the planning system, having been cited by an inspector in a recent appeal case (DCS Number 200-010-032). 

The judgment of Burdle & Williams v SSE & New Forest RDC [1972], the inspector recorded, established that the planning unit should be determined by identifying the unit of occupation and whether there is physical and/or functional separation of primary uses as a matter of fact and degree. The judge suggested three broad categories of distinction: 1) a single planning unit where the unit of occupation is used for one main purpose and any secondary activities are incidental or ancillary; 2) a single planning unit that is in a mixed use because the land is put to two or more activities and it is not possible to say that one is incidental to another; and 3) the unit of occupation comprises two or more physically separate areas that are occupied for different and unrelated purposes. In such a case, each area used for a different main purpose, together with its incidental activities, ought to be considered as a separate planning unit. 

Science has its watts, its hertz and its newtons….

Section 4.3424 of DCP Online concerns the planning unit concept.