How Land-Use Management Affects You as Property Developer

The municipalities in South Africa have the responsibility to oversee the land-use management in their areas of jurisdiction. In the simplest form, land-use management is a system that provides for a framework according to which land can be used for infrastructure development, buildings, recreational use, and more. The system entails regulations to govern the way property is developed and utilised to ensure sustainability.

The land-use management system is in place to ensure that the right types of development take place at the relevant places and within the specific time frame. With such in place, desirable outcomes can be attained that include the reduction of human and economic impact on the environment.

Why is a Land-Use Management Policy Important?

With it in place, development can be done according to a plan and within the framework set for such. This makes it possible to ensure orderly development in a manner that promotes economic growth and the creation of sustainable employment opportunities. The management of development helps to create a safer and healthier living and working environment for the people living in the urban area. The creation of the perfect balance between the needs of the community, the protection of the environment, and the growth of the economy are possible through land-use management. Responsible use of resources is possible to achieve development goals in line with the larger land-use policy.

Such policies take into consideration factors such as urban integration, need for public transport, environmental protection, reduction of poverty, improvement of living conditions, patterns of human settlements and economic growth needs.

Plans and Policies That Affect the Policy

The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) plays an integral role in the City Council’s land-use management. It is the five-year or long-term plan of the City Council according to which all development in the urban area must take place to reach certain development goals. The zoning map, spatial plans, the building plans submitted, and sector plans are also considered.

Role Players in Development

Private property owners, developers, banks, architects, town planners, landscape architects, quantity surveyors, land surveyors, conveyance attorneys, consulting engineers and city council officials all work together in the development process. Other role players include the likes of real estate agents, building contractors, building inspectors, the Title Deed Office, affected communities and the Surveyor-General.

How Land-Use Management Affects the Developer or Property Owner

Every parcel of land within the urban area is zoned for a particular application. Zoning is what prescribes what can be done on a particular property. Every zoning has specific development regulations, and development must be done within the specified perimeters. Such perimeters indicate how close to the property’s boundary a building can be erected, whether a multi-level building can be erected, the floor area that is allowed and more.

If you want to develop or utilise your particular property in a manner not prescribed by the zoning for the property, you can apply for the zoning to be changed for the unit. This is a rezoning application. As an alternative, you can apply for change or relaxation of the development rules for your particular property.

For the erection of new structures on the unit, you normally require a building plan that must be approved by the City Council. The division overseeing development management considers the application in line with the requirements of the National Building Regulations. The Council determines if the buildings and development proposed are allowed by the zoning and development rules for the particular property as set out by the Development Management Scheme of the relevant City Council.

Once the application is approved, the City Council reviews the building plan according to the requirements of the National Building Regulations. The Council also reviews whether buildings or development proposed are in line with the requirements of the property’s Title Deed.

If Title Deed restrictions apply, you can apply for removal of the restrictions or apply for the zoning rule to be changed for the property. Once approved, the City Council lists the conditions that apply and monitors the development to ensure that their conditions are met.

Get in touch for professional help in setting up land-use management policies, interpreting such or applying for rezoning of properties in your particular urban area.