Town Planning

Town Planning Professional Urban Development and Town Planning Consultancy Services in Pretoria PlanPractice Incorporated, a well-respected town planning consultancy firm located in Pretoria, opened doors for the first time in 1986. Since its inception, the company has grown into a larger group of companies consisting of two subsidiary services known as EnviroPractice and MapPractice – both part of The Practice Group. EnviroPractice offers environmental assessment services, whilst MapPractice is our electronic mapping and drafting bureau. The Practice Group offers a full range of town planning services and because of our extensive experience in mapping, township establishment and environmental assessment, we are able to provide multi-disciplinary solutions to our clients. Some of the services on offer are briefly introduced below to provide an indication of our expertise and service scope in South Africa: Urban Development: We plan new towns and urban areas to meet the growing housing and urban development demands in South Africa. This is done in close collaboration with relevant communities and covers all income groups. Obtaining Land Use Rights and Rezoning: We apply for and obtain new or amended land use rights through rezoning and planning consent applications in accordance with the required procedures in terms of the relevant laws. Investigation of Development Potential: Clients benefit from our expertise in the assessment of the development potential of a specific property. The results of the investigation are compiled in a report and submitted to clients. This report includes recommendations regarding planning procedures, meeting of relevant environmental requirements, the costs and time implications for implementing the development proposal, and alternatives. Subdivision and Consolidation of Land: We apply for the subdivision or consolidation of...

Integrated Development Planning

Integrated Development Planning What is Integrated Development Planning? Integrated development planning is a participatory approach used by planners to integrate various strategies including sector, spatial, fiscal, institutional, social, economic and environmental in support of the best allocation of resources in development planning. The purpose is to attain sustainable growth, equity, and empowerment of marginalised and poor communities. Integrated development planning (IDP) is therefore an important tool for sustainable development and forms the basis of modern municipal management as part of the system for planning and delivery. It provides direction for decisions and activities of municipalities according to the terms of the Local Government:  Municipal Structures Act of 2000. IDP allows for the identification of the most important development prospects and the formulation of clear vision, mission, goals and values, as well as strategies. IDP includes an analysis that forms a key component in the process to assist municipalities understand their internal structure and operations, which gives them a solid basis from where they can manage change to attain the vision of the future development. The analysis thus includes an assessment of the staff make-up, deployment, structures, and the financial status, as well as culture, in addition to analysis of other factors. Through the IDP approach, resources and needs are matched and communities are involved in the identification of priorities to ensure optimal matching of the said resources and needs. This makes provision for the development of alternative service delivery vehicles, which can include partnerships between private and public entities. The IDP follows a holistic approach and all projects, forming part of the plan, are designed specifically to address the...

Zoning Rights vs. Home Owner’s Association Rules

Zoning Rights VS Home Owner’s Association Rules A recent High Court judgment addressed the knotty problem of an HOA’s powers to bar an owner from running a home-based business. The facts of the case were that a homeowner in an estate who was running a hair salon from her house breached a written undertaking to the HOA to cease business, and that the HOA then applied to the High Court to interdict her from continuing. She was bound (via both her purchase agreement and the title deeds) by the HOA’s constitution and conduct rules – which prohibited the use of homes in the estate for anything other than residential purposes, except by special resolution, she argued, however, that her home business was permitted by the local zoning regulations – which did indeed permit certain small-scale non-residential activities – and that the HOA had no right to override these zoning scheme provisions by prohibiting all non-residential use. The interdict was, though, eventually granted by a “full bench” of the High Court, which held that “… there is nothing contained in our law which prevents a property owner from agreeing to a limitation of its rights ….”, and that the individual home owners in this estate had, by agreement, forfeited their right to use their properties for anything but residential purposes. Moreover, the Court said, the HOA had not purported to change the municipal zoning scheme and was “well within its rights to seek to preserve the residential character of the development.  The home owner was thus ordered to stop running her business from home and, to make things worse, was...

Law of Property

Law of Property MORE OFTEN than not, land owners do not understand the nature and consequence of servitudes in respect of their land.  This is largely due to the fact that South African property law hinges on old Roman-Dutch law, which is the foundation of our common law. In a recent case a full bench of the Western Cape High Court held that the Roman-Dutch principle of blokland is still very much alive in our law today. A company in Stellenbosch subdivided its land into two portions. The western landlocked portion was transferred to Fleurbaix Farm (Pty) Ltd and the eastern portion, accessible by public road, was transferred to Van Rhyn. By operation of law, and without having being required to be registered in the Deeds Registry, Fleurbaix had an automatic right of way servitude over Van Rhyn’s property in order to access the public road. Later, Van Rhyn made improvements and altered the landscaping of his property. In doing so Van Rhyn unilaterally closed Fleurbaix’s access to the right of way and replaced it with a right of way running across the northern section of his property. Fleurbaix was not happy with this new arrangement and approached the court. Judge Binns-Ward pointed out that the two properties were what were known in Roman-Dutch Law as blokland. The general rule with regard toblokland is that the landlocked property is automatically entitled to a right of way servitude over the adjoining subdivision in order to access a public road.  In terms of the principle of blokland Fleurbaix was entitled to choose the path of the servitude over Van Rhyn’s land. The caveat to this rule is...

Township Planning South Africa

Township Planning South Africa The Range of Services Offered by Township Planning Experts in South Africa The Practice Group offers developers, municipalities and property owners our expertise in township planning in South Africa. Our wide range of expertise – ranging from financial planning, involvement in government agencies and township planning – benefits client companies since town planning in South Africa is a complex process requiring expertise from multiple disciplines. Some of our services are briefly introduced below. Strategic & Integrated Development Planning We formulate guidelines for the strategic and integrated development of the planning area on behalf of and in collaboration with local, metropolitan and provincial authorities. This includes determining the nature, amount and arrangement of land uses. Urban Renewal & Design Frameworks We help to solve urbanisation problems through research of contemporary planning methods for upgrading of urban areas. Town Planning and Land Use Management We prepare and review statutory land use management schemes or other regulatory mechanisms for zoning, control, and management of land uses on behalf of local municipalities. Urban Development This entails the planning of new towns and urban areas for various income groups in close collaboration with the affected communities. Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning We are actively involved in the planning of transport infrastructure, including airports, new roads and railroads, as well as the planning to upgrade such infrastructure. This is done in close collaboration with transportation engineers. Acquisition of Land Use Rights and Rezoning We apply for and attain new or amended land use rights by applying for rezoning and permission according to the current legislation and regulations of the specific...