|Guidline For Developments|
DEVELOPMENT CONTROL APPLICATIONS
This type of application covers the development of the land and is generally undertaken by a surveyor or planner on behalf of a client. This does not include subdivision and/or consolidation. Examples are cluster housing, change of use and special consent applications. The processing of a Development control application can be broken into the following stages:
1) STAGE 1: GENERAL BACKGROUND
a) An application is made to the Local Authority and if approved will result in the local Authority issuing a development permit. Survey, servicing and development is done by the land surveyor, civil engineers etc.
b) The permit usually has a life span of +/- 1 year during which time specific development must have been carried out. However, if not, an extension of time can be sought. As a rule Council usually only extend the permit for a maximum of a year, but the extension must be sought before the expiry date or the whole application process will have to repeated.
c) The time taken for a permit to be issued varies, but it is usually 4 to 6 months. A period of 3 months is stated as the maximum in the Regional, Town & Country Planning Act 1976. Thereafter, extensions of time must be granted by the applicant.
d) With this type of application, e.g. a cluster housing development, there is no specific creation of stands on the ground as with subdivision. Rather the land is split up and the new owners receive a land share equal to a percentage of the total stand (e.g. if 10 housing units then each get 10% of the whole stand) and a building share equal to the extent of the housing unit. A title deed to this effect would have to be prepared by a legal practitioner.
e) The developer would be responsible for provision of all infrastructure between the Municipal service and the housing units, power and telephone supply, and the houses themselves. Basically the new owners simply walk into an existing serviced house, unlike a subdivision where all infrastructure that has to be put in is only up to the new stand boundaries, and does not include superstructures.
2) STAGE 2: NECESSARY INFORMATION FROM CLIENT
Information needed from the client for the application includes:-
a) One copy of the current title deed and diagram of all properties concerned. These need to be certified.
b) If there is a mortgage over the property, then a letter from the mortgage holder agreeing to the application.
c) If the application is likely to need special consent from the Local Authority then a letter (or at least some facts/figure) will be needed from the client to justify and support the application.
d) Any ideas/preferences the client wants with proposed development e.g. land areas for special land use. Vehicle access points etc.
3) STAGE 3: BASE MAPPING AND INFORMATION CHECK
a) Base mapping is obtained from the Surveyor General’s Office, 7th Floor and Topographic Cadastral info from the ground floor, Electra House, Samora Machel Avenue.
b) Previous title deeds of the property have to be checked for any conditions in the title deeds that may be at variance with the proposals, and therefore need to be altered by advertising.
c) Harare City Council Survey Section (Shepperton House, 2nd Floor) have orthophoto maps (1:2500) that are more recent than the Surveyor general’s 1:5000 and 12500.
d) Checks have to be done with Scheme/Local Plans that the proposed development is possible, what are the limiting factors and if these can be amended. If possible, development must be revised or the application terminated.
4) STAGE 4: WORK BEGINS
The drawing is prepared and if necessary checked on the ground. A copy is sent to the client for his/her final go ahead.
5) STAGE 5: THE APPLICATION
The application would comprise the following:
a) Covering letter basically indicating what is to be done, and that this will not adversely affect existing land uses within the property and surrounding plots. What the future land uses will be and a note pointing out any town planning and or title deed restrictions/conditions that are at variance to the proposals. Justification why the Council should agree to allow the development.
b) The completed and signed application form. For Harare City Applications there are special forms with the city’s name along the top of the first page. Only one application needs to be submitted.
c) 4 photocopies or ammonia prints of the plan showing the proposed development.
d) A copy of the property title deeds especially if the proposed development is at variance with any conditions given in the deeds.
e) Letter from the mortgage holder, if there is a mortgage over the property, stating they have no objection to the proposed development.
f) Letter of support for the development (e.g. to prove the need) copies of any soil test, water survey reports.
g) Payment equal to the amount of the application fee. The rates for the application fee are given in the application.
6 STAGE 6: FOLLOW UP
a) The application should be officially acknowledge or more information requested within 2 weeks of the application going in. However, this usually takes about a month. In some cases the local authority needs to be reminded by letter or phone call.
b) Progress checks can be made but in the first 3 to 4 month period the local authority should be left to work at their own pace.
c) If an extension is requested agree to this in writing, if you do not the application is deemed refused. The extension of time should be relative to the number of outstanding replies (e.g. if four people have not replied, a two month extension is acceptable)
SUBDIVISIONS AND CONSOLIDATED APOPLICATION
The processing of subdivisions and/or consolidation applications can be broken up into the following stages:-
a) An application for subdivision or consolidation is made, which if approved, will result in the local authority issuing a permit. Survey and provision of infrastructure is done by a land surveyor and civil engineer respectively.
b) The permit has a life span of 12 months during which time survey of the property(s) must be undertaken by a land surveyor and all survey information submitted to the Surveyor general’s Office. If not possible, and extension of time should be sought before expiry date. As a rule of thumb it is unlikely Council will extend a permit past the second extension, or for longer than one year. The whole application process has to be repeated if extension is not applied for before expiry.
c) The time taken for issue of a permit varies but is usually 9 to 10 months. A period of 4 months is stated as the maximum in the Regional Town and Country Planning Act 1976, thereafter extensions of time must be granted by the application.
d) As the developer, the client will be responsible to pay an endowment for any subdivision of land less than 100 ha. Extent. The amount of endowment is as per Statutory Instrument 271 of 1994 and can be paid in cash or land or both.
e) The developer is responsible for provision of the infrastructure to serve the new stands e.g. water/road/sewerage up to the stand boundary.
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