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The Planning and Settlement Development Department as part of its mandate under the Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 20:01 is tasked with the responsibility of promoting and facilitating orderly and sustainable development within the country.

This is achieved through the planning approval process.

The planning approval process mainly involves the preparation and submission of building plans along with an application form to the Department and the subsequent decision by the CH&PA Board.

Therefore, prior to any development taking place planning permission is required.

Why Planning Permission?

  • The planning permission system ensures that things get built in the right place.
  • It helps to balance the development the country needs.

When do you need to apply for planning permission?

The following factors determine the need for Planning Permission:

  • Your premises is no longer being used mainly for private residence;
  • Your proposed business would result in a marked increase in vehicular and pedestrian traffic;
  • Your proposed business involves any activities unusual in a residential area;
  • Your proposed business would disturb your neighbour at unreasonable hours and creates other forms of nuisance such as noise or odor;
  • Your proposal is to extend your existing premises;
  • You propose to erect a new building.

How do you apply for Planning Permission?

You must apply to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) through your respective Local Authority for planning permission.

Making an Application

  • You will need to purchase a planning application form from your Local Authority or the Central Housing and Planning Authority;
  • Your application must be accompanied by a site location plan, detailed plans of proposed works and a copy of the document of ownership for the property.

NB: At least three copies of the plans are required.

Is there a fee?
YES. Your Local Authority or CH&PA will tell you how much is payable. The amount varies according to the type of development proposed.

What happens after you submit your application?
Once your application has been accepted, it will be investigated and reported on.

Other sector Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Fire Department may need to be consulted where applicable.

A report will then be presented to the CH&PA Board for a decision.


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