How Town Planning Consultants can Help Property Owners in South Africa

As town planning consultants we have the functions of gathering and assessing information pertaining to a specific property. Based on such information, we advise the property owner regarding zoning, development and related information. We furthermore assist with following of the correct procedures to apply for rezoning, registration of servitudes, lifting of building restrictions, and more. As part of the process of procuring the relevant information for land use applications, our town planning consultants work closely with professionals such as land surveyors, engineers, architects, environmental consultants and conveyancers. Many of the terms normally encountered with the procurement of development rights can be confusing. Below we briefly explain some of the common terms used in the industry. Township Establishment It refers to a process whereby agricultural land is converted into erven earmarked for inter alia residential, commercial and industrial use. Access roads form an integral part of township establishment. Rezoning The term refers to the process whereby a Town Planning Scheme is amended in respect of the use of rights of an erf. Such amendments may include the removal of restrictive conditions contained in the title deed of a property which relate to usage, development and the like. Subdivision and Consolidation Subdivision is the process of dividing a portion of property into more than one portion. The process may be relatively straightforward, but factors such as access to the various properties must be taken into account, in addition to density restrictions, water access and more. Consolidation is the process of consolidating portions of land which is normally less complicated than that of the subdivision of land. Restrictive Conditions The Title Deed...

SPATIAL PLANNING AND LAND USE MANAGEMENT ACT, 2013

THE ACT, THE REGULATIONS AND THE BY-LAWS A TRILOGY OF POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS 1. THE ACT, REGULATIONS AND MUNICIPAL BY-LAWS SPLUMA as an Act was placed on the Statute in August 2013 subject to a proviso that all or parts of the provisions of the Act would come into operation at a later date by the publication of a notice in the Government Gazette under the hand of the President. The Regulations to SPLUMA were promulgated on 1 July 2015. Constitutionally, Municipalities are authorised to prepare and adopt by-laws to give effect to their various responsibilities within their areas of jurisdiction.  This includes a by-law pertaining to spatial planning and land use matters, as would be contemplated in SPLUMA.  Based on a number of court judgements dealing with this matter, there appears to be general consensus that all municipalities will eventually prepare and adopt by-laws with regard to spatial planning and land use matters, which by-laws will have to align with the principles enshrined in SPLUMA and its Regulations. The various provincial governments are in the process of preparing "model" by-laws in the form of a generic "template which may be used by individual municipalities to guide and inform the preparation and adoption of municipal specific by-laws.  A number of the larger metropolitan municipalities are well progressed with having prepared draft by-laws.  The SAACPP has been informed that the draft by-laws for municipalities such as the City of Tshwane and the City of Cape Town have indeed been "approved in principle" and will soon be published for public comment with a view to bringing such by-laws into operation. The municipal...

Strategic Development Planning

Strategic development planning, forms an integral part of modern urban planning. With sustainability being the focus of the United Nation’s Agenda 21 programme, which is now widely applied throughout the world, it is essential for modern urban planners to create strategic development plans that support the development of sustainable growth patterns. Modern strategic development planning has to include the creation of a framework for the delivery of housing, transport, energy and facilities that will support sustainable growth. It must support secure economic development with consideration of the immediate and future needs of the affected communities and should ensure that the full economic and sustainability potential of the planned area can be reached. With such, the spatial strategy provides the framework within which to reach goals of the strategic development plan. Moreover, with such a plan, the modern urban planning teams work towards a design that supports optimal economic growth of the critical economic sectors within the affected area. Part of the process involves the creation of a strategy to address the housing and transportation needs of the communities. A key feature of sustainable urban development is to ensure that people don’t have to travel long distances to get to their places of work. An example of a modern sustainable hub is where the housing is within walking distance of work opportunities with rapid transport systems available to transport commuters to the area. In such a hub, traffic congestion is directly addressed by limiting the need to travel by vehicle to get to the place of work. An integration approach is followed where sustainable transport modes are offered to reduce...

Spluma splash and by-law fever

Following the enactment of Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013 (SPLUMA) in July 2015, there has been a veritable lull in activity surrounding the implementation of the new planning law dispensation. Municipalities throughout the country are hard at work in preparing new planning by-laws for each of the municipal jurisdictions. The municipal by-laws are to be adopted to be brought into effect. Typically, this will be foreshadowed by a public participation process to afford interested and affected parties an opportunity to comment on the draft provisions proposed by the relevant municipalities. Locally, the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality has published its draft By-law for comment and has called for nominations for persons to serve on its Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT). Expectations are that both the MPT and the new By-law will come into operation in early 2016. As far as Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni are concerned, it is reported that the planning by-laws have been prepared in draft but have not been published for comment as yet. In the case of Johannesburg, it is foreseen that the existing Municipal Tribunal (a collection of municipal officials from various municipal divisions) will serve as the new Municipal Planning Tribunal as contemplated in SPLUMA, to decide relevant matters which are submitted in terms of the new by-law. There is no precise date of enactment in this regard, and the SAACPP will keep members informed accordingly. It has been reported that, in the Free State Province, a number of municipalities have elected to adopt the so-called “model” by-law prepared at provincial level and made available to those municipalities who wish to make...

Urban and Regional Development Planning

As urban and regional development planning consultants, we offer an extensive range of services to corporate clients, developers, municipalities and local government agencies. Part of urban and regional development planning entails the designing and co-ordination of projects in close collaboration with various professionals and the affected communities. Other urban and regional development planning related services we offer are briefly discussed below. Urban Renewal and Design Frameworks We assist in the researching and planning for renewal and regeneration of urban areas where urban decay has set in. This includes planning of new land uses, such as schools, clinics, parks, residential areas, taxi ranks, railway lines, airports and commercial centres. The entire process is done in consultation with interested and affected parties. Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning These services focus on the planning of transportation facilities such as roads, railway lines, and airports and planning the upgrading of the current infrastructure. We work closely with the transport and traffic engineers to ensure the optimum integration of land uses. Strategic and Integrated Spatial Planning Our professional team develops integrated development plans and spatial development frameworks in collaboration with and on behalf of local authorities for their areas of jurisdiction. This service includes the assessment of the current land use and planned land uses considering factors such as transportation, urgent development priorities, economic factors, environmental impact and community needs. Town Planning and Land Use Management We prepare and review town planning schemes and regulatory requirements regarding management, zoning and control of specific land uses for local municipalities and metropolitan municipalities. Investigation and Professional Advice regarding Developments Our team assesses the development potential...