Local Planning Process and Approvals Explained

In case you are wondering how a new development of the building started nearby to your house or office, and you are unable to reach the conjecture of how and when it started?

It may come as a surprise that just like a project takes months or even years before actualisation, likewise it takes months or years of planning and approvals of any project to implement on the ground. 

There are numerous levels of processes in the planning, approvals, factors checks and balances that culminate into an approved design of the constructed structure.

In the article below, the local planning and approval process is briefly explained for your understanding:

  1. The Legal Framework

Starting from the local level, each locality and territory has its own set of codes and guidelines enabling development and construction projects. Under the framework, the safety element of construction, durability and reliability of the structure is ensured.

The framework is applicable to each and every new construction and renovation project which is undertaken in the locality.  It is mandatory to align the new project with the planning, approval, regulation and guidelines of the area.

The next step is to move to the Municipal level where there is an Official Community Plan (OCP), which includes the framework vis-a-vis the vision of the land and development associated with it. Any local area requires the OCP from the municipality. 

The OCP is the document which carries the detailed framework which functions as the guide for the various environmental, economic, and social aspects of the project.

The municipalities are dedicated to zone laws. Each zone is governed by different sets of land use, where some zones could be residential, industrial or commercial.

However, today the lengthy process of seeking approvals from multiple authorities is assisted by companies like CIVAC by making the whole process less cumbersome. In case you are planning to save your time by not indulging the approvals there is always an option to outsource it.

  1. Submissions of Application & Plan

There are a lot of submissions once you are on the go with your development project. It begins with the submission of your concept plan and development application.

It is always suggested to be well-versed with the format and details to be mentioned in the application before the actual submission. Along with the application, it is also desired to send a copy of the concept plan with a set of diagrams of the proposed projects to give clarity to the authorities while seeking approvals. 

  1. Development Recommendation and Approval 

The report prepared by the city administration based on the application received will be processed by the Council. The report comprises the recommendations and the outline of the prerequisites that need to be fulfilled.

The council concluded whether or not the application is approved or any other pre-requisite in the concerned application.  And if the application is approved, it is stipulated with a time-bound initiation of the work and further needs of the permits of construction. 

6. Other factors 

There are numerous review meetings by various departments, supplementary questions, revision of plans, and public consultation meetings for clarification or plan revisions.

Further, there could be a need for submission of the Subdivision Plan, signing of Servicing Agreement, and acquiring the Building Permit Application and Approval. 

The approval process can be lengthy or quick depending upon the complexity of the project.  Once the approvals are granted, the applicant can begin with the construction project. Building Construction