REALWorld Law

Planning / zoning

Permission for new construction or designated use

What is the process for obtaining permission for development or carrying on a new designated use?

Angola

Angola

Decree No. 80/06, of 30 October 2006, governs the process of licensing for obtaining permission for development or carrying on a new designated use in urban areas.

The licensing process comprises common procedures and special procedures. Common procedures apply to permit requests for all types of urban operations to be held in urban areas with urban plans or supplementary instruments approved. The special procedures are of a contractual nature, being applicable to permit requests for urban operations to be held in urban areas without approved urban plans or in other specific situations.

In any case, the licensing process involves the submission of an application form together with some required documents and elements, which vary depending on the operation, to be submitted to the Governor of the Province where the land or building is located. Consultations to other administrative bodies may be required. The Governor of the Province may delegate the licencing authority in the municipal entities.

Australia

Australia

Generally a town planning application is made to the local authority. There is an application form (which varies between each state) and a requirement to provide adequate information, plans and reports, having regard to the nature of the proposed use, to ensure that the authority can make an appropriate decision.

In most jurisdictions, special application and approval procedures are available for state or regionally significant development. Development with significant environmental impacts may require a detailed environmental impact assessment to be undertaken.

Belgium

Belgium

In the Flemish Region, the Brussels Capital Region and the Walloon Region, there is no distinction made between a ‘permission for designated use’ and a ‘building permit’. A permission for designated use is covered by a 'building permit' and the following procedures apply:

In the Flemish Region, applications for environmental permits for building are granted mostly by the municipal council. In principle, the municipal council’s administration decides within 30 days upon the ‘completeness of such request’. Executive decrees specify further which instances need to be detailed in specific permit procedures, and whether a public consultation will be held.

The timing of the procedures are similar to the procedures on the municipal level.

In the Brussels Capital Region and in the Walloon Region, applications for building permits have to be granted by the municipal council in which the property is situated. There is a similar procedure in the Flemish region.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Permission for development or use is obtained on the basis of application submitted to the local authority. The application must contain all necessary details and documentation regarding the construction and use of the building.

Canada

Canada

In many cases, local governments have by-laws that set out the local government’s application procedures for obtaining permission for development or carrying on a new designated use.

The process for obtaining permission generally involves the submission of an application, the form of which is prescribed by the local authority, describing the proposal. The local authority will review the application and the information accompanying it. On the basis of this review and, in some cases, consultation with professional experts, a report will be prepared by local government staff which will recommend whether the request should be granted or refused and also recommend conditions that should be attached to an approval.

Depending on the nature of the proposal and on the by-laws and rules of the local government, the final decision on the application will either be made by the local elected body or planning staff under powers delegated to them by the local government. Where the desired use of the land is not already 'permitted' or otherwise allowed in the applicable zoning district, approval of the elected body of the local government will often be required.

Depending upon the type of approval sought, the local government may conduct a public hearing at which members of the public are given an opportunity to present opinions for or against the development proposal. The applicant will also be given an opportunity to make submissions and respond to the submissions of the public. Local governments may in some cases provide for a public hearing even when there is no such requirement under the applicable legislation or by-laws.

If permission for development or changing the designated use is refused, an appeal may be submitted to a local appeal board or to the courts in the form of an application for judicial review challenging the local government’s action.

China

China

Although real estate development in China is regulated by a mixture of laws, regulations and procedural guidelines set out by the relevant departments and the detailed aspects of the development process vary between cities, the main principles and procedures are essentially the same.

Prior to obtaining governmental approvals, the developer must have obtained a feasibility report for the project, complete with detailed planning design parameters and renderings, and put down adequate development funds. Among other examinations by various departments, the following permits relating to land need to be obtained:

  • A land-use planning permit from the competent planning department
  • A construction project planning permit from the competent planning department, and
  • A construction project building permit from the department in charge of building administration of the local people's government at county level or above.

To apply, the relevant application forms and the required documents (eg building and development plans, written opinions from other relevant departments, etc) need to be submitted to the department in charge of issuing the permit. In approving the applications, the department in charge will work and consult with other municipal authorities overseeing land use, planning and other governmental functions (eg transportation, fire safety, landscape planning, etc).

Furthermore, before land is granted or allocated explicitly for real estate development, the urban planning administration and the real property development administration department of the local People's Government at or above the county level must provide a written opinion on the nature, scale and development terms of the real property development project, the conditions of the urban planning design, the requirements in respect of construction of infrastructure and public works, the definition of title after the infrastructure has been constructed, and resettlement in connection with the project. This written opinion will serve as one of the premises for the grant or allocation of land use rights. If the owner wants to change the land use specified in the land use rights grant contract, he must obtain the consent of the grantor and the urban planning administration of the municipality or county. An agreement on the alteration of the contract for the grant of land use rights or a new contract for the grant of land use rights must be signed and the fee for the grant of land use rights must be adjusted correspondingly.

Croatia

Croatia

According to the Act on Zoning (Official Gazette No. 153/13 and 65/17), buildings to be situated on one or more plots of land in respect of which the investor has not yet resolved issues of title, require a separate location permit. All other projects (except for military and certain other categories of projects) do not require a location permit, needing only a building permit in accordance with the Act on Construction (Official Gazette No. 153/13 and 20/17). Accordingly, an investor may apply for a building permit even if it does not yet own the relevant plots of land, for example, based on an owner’s consent. In the case of a simple building (eg an auxiliary building of up to 50 sqm) a building permit is not necessary, and the construction works can be carried out on the basis of the design documentation.

For the purpose of obtaining the building permit, the investor has to be submit the following documents:

  • Three copies of the main project plans and specifications
  • A statement from the architect certifying that the main project has been prepared in accordance with the relevant zoning documentation
  • The report on the approval of the main project documentation, if required
  • Confirmations / consents by/from public bodies as to whether their requirements regarding the project (eg electricity, water, sewage, gas, traffic etc) have been fulfilled
  • Evidence that the investor has the necessary legal interest to apply for the building permit (eg evidence of ownership rights, owner’s consent, a concession right)

The building permit should be issued within 60 days from the filing of a complete and proper application.

Before beginning the use of a new building, the investor has to obtain a usage permit.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Planning permission is issued by the competent building authority following either full or summary planning permission proceedings. The proceedings are commenced by an application, which should describe the proposals and include certain stipulated additional material. During the proceedings, binding assessments by the relevant authorities, objections by the participants and the remarks of the public are noted, and the building authority considers whether the applicant's proposal is in accordance with the relevant plans and principles prescribed in secondary legislation issued by the relevant authority.

The building authority approves the proposal by means of planning permission and sets the conditions for the use and protection of the site, as well as for the further preparation and realization of the development proposal. In some cases, the authority may require further disclosure of operational documentation for the proposed building. The authority will also rule on any objections by participants in the proceedings, and in its reasoning it will assess the comments made by the public and set the validity period for the permission where the period exceeds the statutory two year period (but it cannot be longer than five years).

In certain cases (eg smaller construction projects or advertising structures) planning consent may be issued instead of planning permission. The validity period of planning consent is 2 years from the date of issuance and cannot be extended.

Subject to certain conditions, planning permission proceeding may be merged with construction permission proceeding and even with Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) proceeding.

Denmark

Denmark

Generally, the process for obtaining permission for a designated use of a new construction begins with an application to the municipality for a building permit and, in a rural zone area (a rural area which is not classified as an urban zone or a zone where most of the houses are holiday homes), a planning permission.

In an area with a local plan a dispensation from the local plan can be required if  i.e. the dimension or location conflicts with the provisions of the local plan. The dispensation is granted by the municipality.

France

France

The process involves the submission of a planning application form to the mayor of the municipality where the land is located. The mayor will then refer the application and the information accompanying it to a range of consultees (including the public, when important projects are involved). The mayor either grants the permission or refuses the permission.

Germany

Germany

First, an application must be submitted in which the planned construction works and the use of the land are specified. The responsible authorities will then forward the application to any other authority with a potential interest in the planned project (for example: the environmental authorities, historic monument protection authorities, etc).

The responsible authority itself verifies whether the project complies with planning law. If so, and if there are no relevant concerns raised by the other authorities involved, the responsible authority must grant the permission.

If a permit is refused, legal action can be commenced.

Hong Kong, SAR

Hong Kong, SAR

The use of a new construction that is expressly permitted by the relevant statutory town plan does not generally require separate permission. For uses that do require separate permission from the Town Planning Board (the Board), the following applications should be made:

  • An Application for Permission under section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance (TPO) using applicable versions of Form No.16 for uses that are set out in the plan as requiring permission from the Board (a 'section 16 Application')
  • An Application for Amendment of Plan under section 12A TPO using Form No.12A for uses that are not mentioned in the plan (a 'section 12A Application')
  • An Application for Amendments to Permission under section 16A(2) TPO using Form No.16A for amendments to the use granted under a section 16 Application (a 'section 16A Application').

All applications must be submitted to the Board together with the supporting documents. The relevant Guidance Notes and Guidelines should be consulted when making the applications.

Section 16 and section 12A Applications

If a section 16 or a section 12A application is not made by the sole current land owner of the premises (ie the person whose name is registered in the Land Registry as the owner of the land), the applicant must show that they have obtained consent of or notified each and every other current land owner within a reasonable period (usually one year) before the application. If not, the applicant must show that he took reasonable steps to do so.

All documents submitted in the application will be made available for public inspection until the application is considered by the Board. Any person can make comments to the Board on the application within the first three weeks of the documents being made public. For section 12A applications, the applicant may attend the meeting at which the Board considers the application and be heard by the Board.

The final decision is made by the Board. Section 16 Applications may be approved with or without conditions or refused by the Board. Section 12A Applications may be accepted in whole or in part or refused by the Board. If permission is refused, a review and an appeal can be requested for section 16 Applications only. There is no right of review or appeal for a Board decision on a section 12A Application.

Section 16A Applications

Where a section 16 permission is granted by the Board, amendments to such permission are provided under section 16A of TPO.

This type of application is usually considered by the Director of Planning under the Board's delegated authority but may be submitted to the Board for consideration if it is considered unacceptable by any of the concerned governmental departments.

The Board or the Director of Planning can approve the application with or without conditions or refuse it. If permission is refused, a review and an appeal can be requested.

Hungary

Hungary

If required by law, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) must precede the licensing process.

As a first step, the technical documentation for the development/construction must be prepared. Based on this documentation, a request for the issue of a building permit is then submitted to the relevant building authority.

The relevant government decree contains a list of the construction activities for which no building permit is required. Some of these activities must simply be reported to the authority, whilst others can be commenced and completed without any reporting or licensing obligation.

Special integrated permitting procedures are available for industrial and large-scale development projects, through which the developer can obtain other additional permits in conjunction with the building permit.

Usually, developers decide on the planning and permission strategy and the sequence of obtaining the various permits, after having consulted with an engineering consultancy and the competent authorities, in order to ensure that the permission process is carried out in the most cost and time efficient way.

Generally, for changing the designated use of the property the submission of a prior notification to the competent body of the local municipality is required, based on which the local municipality’s competent body will decide on acknowledging or rejecting the proposed change in the designated use.

Nevertheless, if such a change in the designated use involves works subject to building-permitting procedure, then the aforementioned notification of the local municipality’s competent body is not required (as in such case the building authority will be assessing whether the intended new use is allowed for in the local structural plan, zoning map and local building code applicable to the given zoning block). Furthermore, a special permit is required for the change in the designated use in case of certain retail buildings and units with a gross floor area of over 400 square meters.

Ireland

Ireland

The process involves the submission of a planning application form and drawings describing the proposals to the relevant local planning authority.

Notice of the planning application must be made in an approved newspaper and on a site notice, within the two week period before the submission of the planning application.

A report will be prepared by a planning officer (the individual within the local planning authority with responsibility for dealing with the planning application) which will recommend whether planning permission should be granted or refused. Depending on the nature of the proposal, the final decision on the application will either be made by planning officers under powers delegated to them by the local planning authority or will be referred to a committee or executive board for determination.

If planning permission is refused, or is granted subject to conditions which are unacceptable, an appeal may be made by the developer to An Bord Pleanála. Third parties who made submissions on the planning application have the same rights to appeal as the developer.

Italy

Italy

As to the development of a building, the permission has to be requested with the filing of a paper to the competent municipality, either in the form of a request for building permit or of a certified work commencement notice (s.c. SCIA). The building title can be obtained by the applicant after the municipality expressly issues the authorization (in the case of a building permit) or after the request (in case of work commencement notice). In the case of a certified work commencement notice, the works can be started immediately after the submission of the notice, but the municipality is still entitled to order a halt to activity or to ask for further documentation and changes to the works covered by the certified work commencement notice within 30 days of the submission. Once the 30-day period has passed, the municipality can order a halt to the works only where there is a serious risk to artistic and cultural assets, health, the environment, public security or national defence. At any rate, unless the declarations in the SCIA request are false, after 18 months days the municipality cannot order a halt of the works.

Depending on the type of permission and the stage of the process, the applicant and third parties can make objections to the intention to grant or refuse and the applicant and third parties with a particular interest can object to the municipality’s decision. The municipality must take the objections into account when deciding or, if provided after the decision has been made, review that decision. If the municipality does not address objections which are raised against the intention to grant or refuse permission or does not review its decision satisfactorily, the applicant or third party with a particular interest can submit an appeal to the competent court.

Japan

Japan

The owner must file an application for a construction permit granted by the relevant local government. The applicant must file an application form together with supporting documents such as blue prints and layouts of the building. The authorities will then consider if the applicant's construction plan is compliant with the building regulations.

Netherlands

Netherlands

An integrated environmental permit to build is needed to construct a new building. The use of the new building, and the carrying on of a designated use must be in accordance with the applicable zoning plan and, if applicable, other zoning rules and regulations. If the designated use is authorized, permission is not needed.

If the designated use is not authorized, permission can be obtained by submitting the proposal to the municipality. The municipality will decide whether to allow a deviation from the zoning plan. There are relatively few restrictions on the municipalities’ powers to assess the proposal. Dutch administrative law entails a more elaborate procedure for specific types of permits (eg large-scale non-zoning compliant construction) which includes more elaborate motivation requirements eg relating to spatial permissibility while a relatively ‘simple’ procedure is available for construction activities that fit within the zoning plan.

Nigeria

Nigeria

The process for obtaining permission for development commences by an application for planning information to confirm the land use/zoning, building development control and land status. The application for planning information to the relevant authority is usually accompanied by copies of the land survey plan and relevant title documents.

In Lagos State, the application for building development is made to the Physical Planning Permit Authority in the local area district, which the land is located. The documents to be submitted with the application letter are five copies each of Architectural and Structural Drawings, Survey Plan and Title documents. All applications must follow the Operative Development Plans and Planning Standards in Lagos State as well as the National Building Code.

The application will be processed and approved after final screening and payment of permit processing fees assessment that is required for the grant of a planning permit. The processing fees payable includes Registration/Application Form Fee, Layout Fee, Fencing Fee, Local Planning Office Fee, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Levy, Spatial Enhancement Fee and Infrastructural Development Charge.

The process for a change of designated use is by formal application by the owner of property to the Physical Planning Department of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development of the respective state where the land is located. The decision to grant the application is at the discretion of the state government and cannot be challenged as of right.

The grant or approval is subject to payment of the assessed official fees and compliance with the procedure as may be determined by the location and valuation of the property. The process involves submission of an application letter with copies of title documents (evidence of ownership), perimeter survey of site, set of approved building plan, technical report to be prepared by a registered Town Planner, photographs of land, location sketch showing land in relation to surrounding development, tax clearance certificate, development levy receipt, evidence of payment of processing fee for change of use.

Norway

Norway

Before the developer or the responsible applicant starts to prepare the building application, it is possible to have a preliminary conference with the local planning and building authority in order to clarify the scope and the overall content of the project. This may give the developer the necessary overview of the municipal plan and/or zoning plan, and can therefore help the developer adjust the application so it becomes in compliance with such plans.

Furthermore, the developer or the responsible applicant must notify the neighbours and give them the opportunity to raise their objections to the project. A copy of the notifications, with the developer’s comments to the aforementioned notifications, must be enclosed with the application.

In addition, the application must include a sufficient description of the project which gives the local planning and building authorities the necessary information to determine the application.

When the application is submitted to the local planning and building authorities the authorities will consider all relevant aspects of the application, and it will result in the issue of a building permit or a refusal. If the application is in accordance with the plan for land use and all other legal requirements, the applicant has a legal right to be granted a building permit.

The building authorities are only required to consider the technical specifications of the application to a certain extent. It is therefore always the developer’s responsibility to ensure that the project is planned and constructed in accordance with the current technical regulations.

It is important to remember that a building permit only confirms that the application is in accordance with public laws. There may be private agreements and/or other commitments, such as easements, that can prevent the implementation of the building permit.

Poland

Poland

If the particular land is not covered by a local zoning and development plan enacted by the city council, a planning permit must be obtained prior to the filing of an application for a building permit. According to Zoning and Development Act there is a distinction between planning permits for public developments and for private ones. There are two different decisions. They cannot be issued unless the conditions specified in the Act are satisfied.

The following conditions must be satisfied in order to obtain a planning permit:

  • securing connections to utilities and public road;
  • ensuring architectural compliance with adjoining developments;, and
  • approval from the administrator of public roads in case of the need to secure connection to the public road.

It should be stressed that a planning permit may be obtained irrespective of whether the interested party holds legal title to the land. Moreover, any entity is entitled to obtain planning permission since such a decision is not binding and it expires if another planning permission holder obtains a building permit.

Portugal

Portugal

Major construction works may be subject to a licensing procedure (in which case the control is more demanding and time-consuming) or to a prior notice procedure (in which case the control is lighter and faster). These procedures begin with a request from the interested party, which is sent together with the project and the descriptive document, among other supporting documents.

Some works are regarded as having little urban significance and are not subject to any prior control procedure (for example, maintenance works).

Usage, or a change in usage, is subject to a procedure of authorisation in which the work’s compliance with the approved project or the compliance with the appropriate legal and regulatory standards is tested.

The regulation that establishes the procedures is the Legal Scheme of Urban Planning and Building (Regime Jurídico da Urbanização e Edificação).

Romania

Romania

According to the Law 50/1991 regarding construction works, in order to obtain a building permit the following steps must be followed:

  • Issue of the locality planning certificate
  • Initial evaluation of the investment in order to establish if an environmental impact study is necessary
  • Notification to the competent authority with issuing the building permit in the case that the environmental study is necessary, regarding the maintenance of the request for obtaining the building permit
  • Issue of the permits and approvals required in the locality planning certificate
  • Issue of the environmental approval
  • Drafting of the technical documentation
  • Filing the documentation with the relevant authority
  • Issue of the building permit

In addition, when necessary due to the importance and/or complexity or specifics of the construction works or when derogation from the provisions of the existing urban planning documents is requested by the investor, the investor may be required by the authorities to prepare a zoning urban plan or a detailed urban plan.

Furthermore, the authenticated (by the notary public) approval of the neighbours necessary for the purpose of changing the use of existing buildings, or for the development of buildings with a different use from that of the neighbouring buildings, must be contained in the technical documentation filed for the issue of the building permit.

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic

The proposed structure must comply with the zoning plan of the relevant region. The process can be divided into three phases:

Applying for the issuance of a zoning permit

Pursuant to the Building Act, a zoning permit is not required in a number of defined cases, such as small buildings, maintenance of buildings or telecommunication constructions.

The proceedings are commenced by an application, which should describe the proposals and include documentation specified in the Building Act. The application must also contain a list of persons and legal entities that are to be considered as participants and are known to the applicant (eg neighbours).

The relevant building office (being a municipality or district office) will consider whether a particular construction can be built in a particular area.

Please note that the zoning permit is granted for a limited period of time (usually two years).

Applying for the issuance of a building permit

The Building Act lists developments where the issuance of a building permit is not required and a regime of notification to the relevant building office or an unrestricted regime will apply. If the building permit regime applies, a developer must apply for a building permit as is the case with a refurbishment or alteration works or maintenance works to the building.

Applying for the issuance of an occupancy certificate

In certain instances, the zoning permit can be issued in one proceeding with the building permit. This applies to minor constructions and to structures in areas with a zoning plan.

In addition, a building office shall be provided with standpoints of various state bodies before rendering any decision (eg if a cultural monument is concerned, a standpoint of an office of monuments is required).

Spain

Spain

The process involves the application for an 'activity permit' together with a 'technical project' made to the city or town council. Such project has to fulfil the requirements and policies included in the urban planning regulations and in the environmental regulations for the relevant plot of land.

Further to this application, the city council will establish any possible corrective measures (conditions) required for the relevant activity and whether they should grant it.

Sweden

Sweden

The complexity of the process for obtaining permission for a new designated use depends on the extent of the works to be carried out. Generally, however, the process begins with an application for a planning permission. The application is made to the municipality where the property is located. The municipality then deals with the application and verifies that it complies with statute and policy on a national and regional basis.

Depending on the complexity of the application, the planning officer at the municipality can require additional information to be communicated by the applicant. The planning officer may also send the application to other authorities for review.

The application will then be subject to a decision by the municipal planning committee which will decide whether or not a permit will be issued.

Thailand

Thailand

The developer must apply for a building permit from, or submit a notification of building construction to, the relevant local authorities. The applicant must file an application or submit a notification together with the blue prints and layout of the building. The authorities will consider the application or the notification and the plan based on the relevant zoning and building control regulations. After examination, construction permit approval or receipt of notification (as applicable) will be issued.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

The DUPM has established a streamlined process to review development proposals, depending on the nature of the development.

This process in short includes a review which will be tailored to small, medium and large applications, comprising:

Step 1: The information meeting

The DUPM will hold an initial meeting as soon as a development site has been acquired, where the DUPM will explain plans and policies that will determine site development potential and outline the upcoming development review. It also helps set the parameters for supportable development and alerts the applicant to the documents/agencies that should be consulted.

Step 2: Preliminary development options

The applicant will then prepare site analysis (including elements such as transportation, habitat, climate and infrastructure) to prepare preliminary development options for the site. Two options for general land use and site layout must be provided.

The DUPM shall review this to check compliance with the Emirate’s urban planning policies (eg Capital 2030, land uses, densities and Estidama (an environmental concept/plan)).

The applicant and the DUPM select the preferred option and work together to prepare a complete concept review application.

Step 3: The concept plan

This application covers all of the systems-level components of a development consent. It will include site and massing plans, a comprehensive approach to open space and community facilities. The DUPM and up to twenty other review agencies evaluate the plan to check it complies with other plans and polices and agree on the seven key elements of the plan which include: land use; density; building form; site layout/design; services; strategies; and phasing.

Step 4: The detailed plan

Applicants with small and medium sized projects shall prepare and submit detailed site and building plans for review. This step also confirms that any conditions of approval have been met.

For large projects, this stage of the process is aimed at helping applicants translate concept masterplans into detailed regulations and guidelines.

For small and medium sized projects once these steps have been satisfactorily carried out, this is the end of the planning review process and they can move on to apply for municipal building permits from the relevant municipality. Additional developer and DUPM/municipal review shall be required for large projects to ensure compliance with DUPM-approved regulations and guidelines before they can apply for building permits.

The four step review of the proposal is carried out for the purpose of obtaining permissions for significant new developments. There are limited laws dealing with changes of use without actual building work. Following a successful review, a building or works permit then needs to be obtained from the relevant municipality. This is done by submitting the proposed drawings to the relevant municipality. There is no limit on the grounds under which the municipality can refuse permission.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

Each relevant authority has a slightly different procedure regarding their permissions process. Generally, the permitted use is found on the affection plan. We are unaware of any situation where the designated use has been amended.

There are limited laws dealing with changes of use without actual building work. A building or works permit then needs to be obtained from the relevant municipality. This is done by submitting the proposed drawings to the relevant municipality.

There is no limit on the grounds under which the municipality can refuse permission.

UK - England and Wales UK - England and Wales

UK - England and Wales

At its simplest the process involves the submission of a planning application form together with supporting information describing the proposals and the relevant fee to the relevant local planning authority. It will publish and refer the application and the information accompanying it to a range of consultees, including the public, and seek comments from them. Note also that major developments (as defined) in Wales and some onshore wind projects in England required pre-application consultation.

Taking account of the consultation responses, planning policies and all material considerations, a report will be prepared by a planning officer (the individual within the local planning authority with responsibility for dealing with the planning application) which will recommend whether planning permission should be granted or refused.

Depending on the nature of the proposal, the final decision on the application will either be made by planning officers under powers delegated to them by the local planning authority or will be referred to a committee or executive board for determination.

The basis upon which the planning system works is that proposed development which is in accordance with policy and an up-to-date development plan should be granted permission, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. If planning permission is refused, an appeal may be submitted.

Large projects over certain thresholds which are Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects in England are subject to a development consent process with decisions made by the appropriate Secretary of State (ie a senior member of the government, a politician appointed by the Prime Minister).  Similarly, Developments of National Significance in Wales are also subject to a specific consenting process.

UK - Scotland

UK - Scotland

At its simplest, the process involves the submission of a planning application to the local planning authority describing the proposals to the relevant local planning authority, who will refer the application and the information accompanying it to a range of consultees including the public and seek comments from them. A report will then be prepared with a recommendation as to whether planning permission should be granted or refused.

Under a hierarchy of development introduced by the Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006, different development management procedures will apply depending on the type and scale of development proposed. For developments classed as 'local development', a significant proportion of applications will be delegated for determination by planning officers whilst the remainder will be determined by a planning committee.

For development classed as 'major development', the applicant must undertake consultation on the proposed development before an application may be submitted. The application is determined by a planning committee.

If an application for major development would involve a significant departure from the development plan or if an application is for 'national development' then, in additional to the pre-application consultation requirement, a hearing must be heard before the application can be determined. Anyone who has lodged a representation on such an application has the right to be heard at such a hearing.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Under Ukrainian legislation permission for development is granted by means of the authorization of plots of land for construction purposes by the local councils, state administrations or the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (depending on the location, the ownership and zoning of the plot of land) and the issuance of initial data for planning by the authorized local architectural and construction authorities to the owners and users of those plots of land ready for development subject to consideration of applications to be made by those owners and users. Provided that construction is in line with existing town planning documentation and the zoning of the plot of land, the owner/user of the plot of land should obtain town planning conditions and restrictions for development of the plot of land, which represent an authorization to commence planning works.

The complexity of the construction procedure depends on the complexity of the building.

Technically simple buildings may be constructed without the development and approval of planning documentation and based on declarations of commencement and completion of construction works.

The planning documentation for a complex building should be approved by the independent experts  which are certified for such works. The expert organizations are entitled to involve the state land resource, environmental, sanitary and other competent authorities in the conduct of an expert review of the documentation. After approval of the planning documentation the Permit for the Carrying out of Construction Works (the document allowing commencement of construction works) should be obtained from the central state authority responsible for the state policy in respect of state architectural and construction control and supervision (at the moment such authority is newly created State inspection of architecture and town planning of Ukraine that have to replace State Architectural and Construction Inspectorate of Ukraine) and, from 1 September 2015, also from the relevant local municipal authority). Before approval of the planning documentation only preparatory works (eg excavation works) may be undertaken subject to obtaining a Permit for the Carrying out of Preparatory Works.

Be aware that creation of the State inspection of architecture and town planning of Ukraine was provided by Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No 1340 dated 23 December 2020. The newly created authority is in the process of being established.

In October 2015 an initiative to submit construction documents required to obtain a permit electronically was launched. Thus, the relevant notification as to the commencement of preparatory or construction works, as well as the declarations on completion of construction may be submitted on-line via the web-site of the electronic administrative services. Starting from 30 November 2020 documents allowing commencement of construction works (except technical simply building and works) should be obtained electronically.

On 17 January 2017 the Parliament adopted a law implementing a new classification of buildings. The law came into force on 10 June 2017. Thus, Town Planning Law divides all buildings by three classes of consequences instead of 5 existing categories of complexity: I class of non-essential consequences technically simple buildings, II class of medium and III class of essential consequences technically complex buildings. Based on new amendments to town planning legislation, the buildings of I class of consequences may be constructed after development of project documentation based on notification on commencement of construction works. The buildings of II and III class may be constructed after development of project documentation, which is subject to mandatory expertise, based on the Permit for the Carrying out of Construction Works. The buildings of I class of consequences are commissioned based on the declaration on completion of works, and buildings of II and III classes of consequences based on the act and certificate of readiness for exploitation.

United States

United States

At the simplest, approval for a new designated use may be reviewed and approved by the local planning officer. Where the use is not already “permitted” or otherwise allowed in the applicable zoning district, approval of the local reviewing body or the local corporate authorities will be required.

Development approvals are typically reviewed by a reviewing body appointed or designated by the corporate authorities, such as a local Planning Commission or Board Zoning Appeals, which often issue recommendations to the local corporate authorities for a final determination.

The process for obtaining permission involves the submission of an application, the form of which is prescribed by the local authority, describing the proposal – the uses (such as office, hotel, retail,  warehouse, data center, shopping center, homes, gas station, total square feet, configuration, set-backs, number and type of residential units, transportation network and improvements, building heights and setbacks, nature and extent of landscaping, pedestrian linkages, open spaces, public amenities, and other details). The local authority will review the application and the information accompanying it. On the basis of this review and, in some cases, consultation with professional experts, a report will be prepared by a planning officer (the individual within the local authority responsible for dealing with the planning application) which will recommend whether the request should be granted or refused.

Depending upon the type of approval sought, the local reviewing body may conduct a public hearing at which the applicant will be given an opportunity to present testimony and facts supporting approval of the proposal. Members of the public will also be given an opportunity to present testimony for or against the development proposal.

The local reviewing body will issue findings of fact and recommend whether the request should be granted or refused.

Depending on the nature of the proposal, the final decision on the application will either be made by planning officers under powers delegated to them by the corporate authorities, the local reviewing body or the corporate authorities.

If planning permission is refused, an appeal may be submitted to a local appeals board or to the courts in the form of a lawsuit challenging the municipality’s action.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

An application for change in use of land would need to be lodged with the responsible authority. Depending on the land, the responsible authority may be the Minister of Lands, the Minister of Local Government or the relevant local authority.

Even where a developer (private or public) is responsible for putting structures, plans for the structures need to be prepared by the developer and approved by the responsible planning authority. The actual construction process only begins after the approval of the dwelling plans.

  • Firstly, the project would need approval from the Inspector of Factories (if it is a commercial factory) in terms of the Factories and Works Act. The process takes approximately one month. Approval of the construction plan is then sought from the local authority. Before a plan is approved, the local authority would ordinarily circulate the request in almost all its departments that are related to the proposed construction. For example, Chemical Laboratory and Trade Waste, Department of Works, Land Survey and Valuation among other departments. This process takes about 4 weeks, the current costs will be approximately ZWL 18 000.00/ USD 220.32 per square plinth area for a single storey building and ZWL 25 000.00/ USD 306.00 for a double storey building.
  • The Building Inspectorate then inspects the building on application upon completion of the foundation of the building. The process ordinarily takes approximately one month.
  • A second inspection by the Building Inspectorate upon completion of drainage installation is then sought. This process normally takes one business day.
  • Upon completion of the structure there will be a further inspection by the Building Inspectorate. This normally takes about two weeks to obtain.
  • Upon completion of the construction, a final inspection from the Building Inspectorate will be conducted. This process will normally take one month.
  • The next stage would be to request and obtain:
  1. A water and sewage connection from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority. This process will take up to two weeks and will cost not more than USD 350.00.
  2. A connection to the national electricity grid from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority for a cost of approximately USD 600,00.
  • Finally, the occupancy certificate from the City of Harare would be obtained. This process will normally take one or two months.