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STEP 1:     Contact the Development Control Department and tell it what you want to do  

Possible things/works you could do which will require planning and Development permits are categorized as follow:

  1. Erection of new building
  2. Major improvement works such as erection of car port (b) Pergola. (c) major mechanical, electrical and civil maintenance work (d)underpinning of a building  (e) structural alterations (f)Balustrade/balconies (g) Alterations of building façade (h) construction of swimming pool, gazebo, bar etc (i) Extension/additional structure, (j) kiosk (k) fence (l) gate house (m) total redevelopment works.
  • Total Redevelopment Works
  1.         Other things or works that you could do which do not require permit but Notice is categorized as follow:
  2. Painting
  3. Replacement of Damaged roofs
  • Replacement of defaced/broken down fences
  1. Minor plumbing repair (including provision of additional ducts)
  2. Removal of a tree near a wall for safety of life and property
  3. Repair of damaged /faulty sewer system
  • Provision of access into a property
  • Major landscape works.

Step 2:  If relevant, ask to be furnished with Development Control Guidelines and discuss any potential problems.

This can be done through an application to the Director stating the nature of problem and level of assistance required. You will need to state the Plot No. and its location.

Step 3: Obtain an application form. Find out how many copies you will be required to submit.

In the case of building Plan Permit it is sated in DC.REG.2 of the Manual that “Submitted plans must include one (1) soft and three (3) Hard copies of complete sets of A3, firmly bound and legible prints containing general notes, technical specifications, details and drawn to prescribed scale without prejudice to copy right laws”. DC.REG.3 requires that “the original seal, stamp and signatories of relevant registered professional(s) as appropriate must be on all drawings”.

In the case of implementation/Development Permit it is stated in development control Regulation 19 that “Before any prospective developer or contractor performs any work or any given site,  a notice of commencement stating the construction methodologies  to be adopted in execution of the entire work shall be prepared and authenticated by relevant government licensed/Charted Engineer(Architect, Builders, Civil, Structural, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers ) who will bear liability for any construction and (or) installation defect on the structure.

Step 4: Decide on the type of permission you want to apply for.

The development control department offer different types of permits depending on area of need of developer. They are as follows:

  1. Building plan permit.
  2. Implementation/Development permit.
  • Habitation permit.
  1. Improvement permit.
  2. Redecoration permit.
  3. Advertisement permit.
  • Telecommunication permit.
  • Improvement permit.

Step 5: If necessary consult neighbors that will be affected by your proposals.

This is particularly relevant when seeking for improvement permit, Redecoration permit and Development permit. Typical example is those living in Government sold houses and wishing to improve them needs to inform their neighbors.

Step 6: submit application with certificate of ownership/notification and the fee.

In the case of building plan permit, it is stated in DC. 4 of Manual that “completed application forms should be accompanied with copies of the following documents.

  1. Evidence of rights over the land (Right of occupancy, Certificate of occupancy, which a plot is to be put, Title Deed Plan and fulfillment of financial obligations).
  2. A site plan and a detailed site analysis report certificate by a registered town planner.
  • Environmental impact Analysis Report for commercial, industrial, public building, recreational, large scale residential development, change of use of plot or on existing buildings and any other land use as may be deemed necessary, prepared and authenticated by a registered town planner.
  1. All application in respect of special Development such as Petrol Filling Station, Water Supply, drilling/Outlets, private health and educational facilities, child welfare related developments and any other land use that may be considered special by the department of development control shall be accompanied by letters/license of the relevant regulatory body

With regards to notification and fee, it is stated in DC REG. 7 that “on assessment/verification of content of application, appropriate acknowledgment letter shall be issued to the applicant by the department’s receiving officer, alongside bills for processing application. Applicants must pay full processing fee within two(2) weeks of receipt of acknowledgment and bill before processing commences.

In the case of Development Permit, it is stated in DC. REG. 18 that “Before the implementation of an approved development plan, the Department of Development Control shall require prospective developers to obtain an implementation permit (IP) upon payment of prescribed fee”.

  1. REG. 23 collaborates it further stating that an implementation permit shall be required in order to construct, add on to, move, erect or structurally alter a building or other structures on properties located within the limits of FCT.

While DC.REG 24 requires that “prior to submission of application of implementation permit, plots should be properly demarcated using survey beacons, the safety of which shall be the responsibility of the allotted”.

DC.REG 25 provides the level of the construction works where staged approvals are required namely.

  1. Setting-out and Foundation approval(DCIP-001)
  2. Damp Proofing and Basement Works Inspection Approval (DCIP-002)
  • Suspended floor(s) Works Inspection Approval (DCIP-003)
  1. Structural Roofing Works Inspection Approval (DCIP-004)
  2. Electrical and Mechanical Installation Testing and Commissioning Approval (DCIP-005)

Step7: find out when the decision is likely to be made.

In the case of Regular Planning Permit, DC. REG. 8 states that “processing of submittals for Regular Planning Permits shall normally not exceed ninety (90) days from the date of submission as stipulated by the Urban & Regional Planning Act, except with firm notification by the department or on request by the developer.

In the case of Fast-Track Planning Permit, DC. REG. 16 states that “there shall be a fast-track processing of submittals which shall not exceed 28 days on payment of appropriate fees.

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