Getting your design and construction project underway is exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. Before you can commence with your construction project, you will need to get planning approval from your local municipality. The planning approval process can be daunting, even for those who have a lot of experience. One thing all projects have in common, is the numerous forms and documents required just to submit drawings for planning approval. Apart from the actual drawings themselves, the following are 10 important documents your consultant will need to get your construction project approved.

  1. TITLE DEED.

This document is generally available from the financial institution holding the bond, or the transferring attorney. The municipality will check restrictions in the deed and compare them to the proposed project. If a property has recently been transferred and a deed is not yet registered, then a draft deed must be submitted together with a letter from the attorney confirming the transfer.

2. APPLICATION FORMS.

These documents are available from the municipality and must be completed by the property owner as well as the competent person. The competent person is usually a consultant who is appropriately qualified to undertake a submission process. Should a property be owned by a company or entity, then a company resolution will be required along with a power of attorney.

3. ZONING CERTIFICATE.

This document is available from the municipality. The zoning certificate states the rights of the property in terms of the types of buildings that can be erected, the permissible coverage and the maximum bulk area of the buildings. The municipality will check the rights stated on the zoning certificate against the proposed development shown on the drawings to ensure the proposed development is permissible on the property.

4. SURVEYOR GENERAL (SG) DIAGRAM.

Every property has its own unique SG diagram. This document is available from the municipality. In essence, it a diagram containing essential information about a property. The information includes a unique property description, a drawing showing the shape and extents of the property, boundary descriptors like sizes and angles, corner beacons and a table listing numerical data for the boundaries. The SG diagram will be compared to the site plan drawn on the drawings for the development.

5. BUILDING LINE RELAXATION APPLICATION FORMS.

Should any part of the proposed development encroach over the property building lines, then building line relaxation forms are available from the municipality and will need to be completed by the owner. The building line relaxation process must be finalized prior to the balance of the planning approval process proceeding. Usually, consent is required from neighbours for the building line relaxation process. Whilst neighbours can provide objections, these need to be reasonable and consent cannot be withheld for petty reasons.

6. SANS 10400 FORMS.

These forms are usually provided by your consultants. They must be completed by the owner, the architectural professional and any other competent persons like structural, fire, mechanical or electrical engineers, as applicable. These forms outline the details, duties, and responsibilities of the relevant consultants on the construction project.

7. SACAP REGISTRATION FORM.

This form is usually provided by the architectural professional on the project. It must be completed by the owner and the architectural representative. The municipality checks this form to ensure that the architectural representative is a professional person registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession, as this is a legal requirement.

8. PREVIOUSLY APPROVED PLANS.

For any application where there are additions or alterations, the previously approved plans must be submitted along with all the documentation. Should these not be available, the municipality may insist that existing drawings (often referred to as As-Built drawings) be created prior to submission of the proposed development.

9. MUNICIPAL CONNECTION DIAGRAMS.

Not all municipalities insist on these documents. The documents are available from the municipality. They basically show the positions of the municipal connections, like sewer, water, electrical connections.

10. NEIGHBOURS CONSENT.

The site plan shown on the proposed construction project drawings must indicate all adjacent properties in dashed lines, together with the adjacent property numbers. It is common practice for the municipality to insist on the property owner obtaining signatures from all adjacent neighbours on the site plan. It is the easiest way to indicate that no neighbours are objecting to any part of the development.

Planning approval for your construction project is critical, but it can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Remember to use a consultant with experience, who can either guide you through the process or get the relevant approvals on your behalf. Feel free to give us a call to chat about how we can provide solutions for your planning approvals and take some of the stress off your shoulders.

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