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This section is responsible for the delivery of development permits within the district as per the outline scheme. Normally, about 5000 applications are dealt with yearly for various activities namely residential, commercial, land divisions, etc.

Planning Application for Development Permit under the Town & Planning Act 1954:
(a)  new residential / commercial / industrial building;
(b)  extension to existing building;
(c)  change of use of whole or part of existing building;
(d)  excision of a portion of land from a large portion;
(e)  sub- dividing a property among heirs;
(f)  erection of an enclosure wall.

How to apply for a permit?
A list of all documents needed is readily available at the reception desk of the Planning Department.
(a) A copy of title deed, or if a lessee a consent from the owner;
(b) A copy of identity card;
(c) Two sets of plans drawn to metric scale of 1:200 or 1:100 or 1:50 on A4 sheets for residential / excision purposes; or Three sets of plans for 3 residential units and above;
(d) Calculations for plot coverage & density should be shown on plans (for Portions 1 & 2 of the Coastal Zone).
(e) Three sets of plans drawn to metric scale for commercial / industrial level for commercial / industrial development or four sets of hotel complex;
(f) Fire clearance should be obtained for a commercial and industrial development.
(g) A prior planning clearance from the Ministry of Housing + approved plans for state land lessees.


A reference is given to the application and a file opened for the project. Ministry of Health is consulted for commercial / industrial & residential (3 units & above) projects.

The file is referred to an Inspector who visits the site and submits a report to the Planning Officer.

If construction has started without permit, a Notice to Stop Construction is served. If one does not comply with the Notice, a Notice for Intended Prosecution is served and a case is lodged at the District Court, with pulling down order. If the illegal construction is of a scale or nature that is against the planning norms, the Council may seek an injunction from the Supreme Court.

The Planning Officer then Processes the application and submits his recommendations to the Planning Committee, which meets once monthly. It is the Planning Committee which approves or rejects applications for Development Permit. An application is processed at Committee stage when health clearance is obtained.

If there is any complaint about the project, following notice in two dailies for commercial / industrial development, the Planning Committee will hold a hearing. Once approved, the Development Permit is sent by post.