Building Plan Processing

What is a Building & What is a Building Permit?
A BUILDING is any structure, temporary or permanent, that is placed or erected on land and/or another structure.
A BUILDING PERMIT is a formal approval from your Local Building Authority (Municipal Corporation) to construct, modify, extend or renovate any structure.
A PERMIT is also required when placing a temporary structure (A trailer or wooden structure), on your property.

How Long Does The Process Take?
Approximately eight (8) weeks (for residential single family buildings), however other departments and agency approvals may affect the timeline.

What Do I Need To Submit My Plan?
No. of Plans Needed:

Single Family Dwelling House Three (3) Sets
Multi-Family Dwelling House Nine (9) Sets
Apartment Building Nine (9) Sets
Commercial Structure Nine (9) Sets
Change of Use Nine (9) Sets

Documents Required:

  • Completed Application Form with prescribed fee.
  • Surveyor’s Diagram
  • Complete Checklist
  • Proof of Ownership which can be:
  • Certified Copy of Registered Title
  • Certified Copy of Sales Agreement
  • Certified Copy of Will *
  • Certified Copy of Deed of Gift / Conveyance *
  • Certificate of Tax Payment
  • Accompanied by a letter from a Lawyer or Justice of the Peace *
  • If you are not the owner of the land, a Letter of Authorization from the owner, stamped and signed by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public, should be presented.
  • Other documents may be required to conduct a complete review of the application, to be requested where necessary.

What Do I Do After The Plan Has Been Approved?
You are required to:

  • Pick up your approvals. If you are not the owner, s/he must give you a Letter of Authorization, stamped and signed by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public.
  • Commence construction within six (6) months of the issuance of the permit or it shall lapse.
  • Contact the appropriate departments to carry out the inspections during the course of construction.
  • Keep a copy of the plans and permits on site.

N.B. For temporary buildings, the permit is to be renewed yearly.

What Happens If My Application Has Been Refused?
If your application has been refused, the Municipal Corporation is required to do the following:

  • Write a notification letter to you stating the reason(s) for refusal and guide you as to the process that you can take to appeal this decision.
  • If the appeal process is unsuccessful, to give a refund not exceeding 50% of the total fees payable.

What If I Erect A Building Without An Approved Permit?
Anyone who is found to be building without a permit may be issued a Stop Notice requesting IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF WORKS until the plan is submitted, approved and a permit is issued.
If a building is found to be in breach and the developer has subsequently submitted the plans, the fees will be doubled.
When a Stop and Enforcement Notice is issued and you have disobeyed, you will be taken to Court and a fine of up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS can be imposed. If the development continues, FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY is imposed. In the event of conviction, your property can be forfeited to the Crown.

What Are The Fees Required For Processing Plans?
The main fees are

Single Family Dwelling Unit $120 / sq m
Apartments / Multi - Family $190 / sq m
Commercial (Shops, Offices, Warehouses, Cinemas etc) $190 / sq m
Hotels, Guesthouses, Motels, Bed & Breakfast etc $280 / sq m
Church / School / Hospital / Day Care $190 / sq m
Temporary Structure 1/2 rate of permanent structure
Card Fee $200
Drainage Inspection Fee $1,000
Inspection Fees $4,500
Over 2 storeys $1,500 per storey
Any other visits required $3,000
Copy of Building Permit & Conditions $2,000
Appeals $5,000
Research $3,000
Lettters $500

Can I Construct My Building If The Permit has Been Approved 2 years Ago?
NO, Building Permits are only valid for six (6) months after the date of issuance. If you do not intent to build within the initial six (6) months after approval has been issued; take the plans back to the Municipal Corporation and get them REVALIDATED; the fee is calculated as follows: -

  1. 10% of the original building fee

N.B. You can only revalidate a permit for two (2) years, that is 4 times; after that a new plan has to be submitted.

Can An Approval Be Amended?
YES, it can. Just return the building permit, conditions and stamped plans along with the new plans for an amendment to the approval. The fees are as follows:

Residential $3,500
Commercial $9,750