BUILDING: Project To Streamline Building Plans
Recent Western Cape Business News
The City of Cape Town’s Planning and Building Development Department will be introducing a pilot project to streamline building plan applications in February 2009. This project is a joint initiative between the City, the Cape Institute for Architecture and the Association of Consulting Town and Regional Planners which has come about after several workshop sessions. Initially the project will be implemented in one of the City’s Planning districts, namely, Table Bay.
Applications where the applicant has determined that there are no land use (zoning), environmental or heritage issues will be part of this pilot project. A series of checklists have been drawn up to assist the professionals in determining whether or not there are any land use, environmental or heritage issues. The compilation of a zoning compliance plan by the planning professionals will also assist in this process.
“This joint effort is a necessary step to improve the well publicised problems occurring in plan submissions, and the Cape Institute for Architecture supports further initiatives from the City to simplify and accelerate plan approval,” said Louis Steyn, President of the Institute for Architecture.
“In developing a closer working relationship between the City and the architectural and planning professions, we hope to achieve improved submissions, and a streamlined assessment and approval process. There will no doubt be a number of issues which will emerge once the project commences, however careful monitoring will result in a reviewing and refining of the entire process,” said Dave Saunders, Executive Member of the Association of Consulting Town and Regional Planners.
It is envisaged that the less complex applications will be processed and cleared at the front counter, while the more complex plans, or plans associated with a previous planning application will be submitted as building sketch plans for a more detailed assessment. The advantage of this is that the progress of the application in the process can be monitored via the Department’s Building Plan Tracker System. This process will enable City officials to rapidly access applications and verify that there are no land use, environmental or heritage issues.
While the Environmental Checklist and the associated Operational Manual have not been endorsed by the two professional bodies it is hoped that further engagement with the City will lead to the finalisation of these two documents before the commencement of the pilot project.
The pilot project will run for a period of two months and then be reviewed.
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