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The Art of Council Submissions

08 August 2014

When do you have to send building plans to council? What does a council submission consist of? What if I choose not to submit a plan?

When do you have to send building plans to council?

Any new building and/ or interior alteration that changes or adds onto the structure of an existing building must be approved by the City Municipality. If you were to redecorate your space, by plastering or painting, you don't need permission from the municipality, because you haven't made any structural changes or altered the drainage system in any way. When submitting a plan to council it is vital to make sure that you have complied with the zoning regulations of the Town planning scheme.

What does a council submission consist of?

A full issued pack to council consists of:

  • A filled in application form, signed by the owner of the property or his/her authorised representative (proof of authorisation is required) together with a copy of the registered title deed. 
  • Where an application for approval is submitted by a company or an organisation, a letter of power of attorney must be provided by the organisation authorising one person to sign the application form. 
  • A copy of the approved Site Development Plan
  • A separate form needs to be completed by a professional engineer or technologist registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa when structural work such as full height brick walls, reinforced concrete floor and roof slabs, and so forth are part of the proposed building. 
  • Other certificates such as fire certificates, electrical certificates etc. or designs need to be submitted depending on the technical aspects of the plan. You should consult an architect or engineer in this regard. 
  • A zoning certificate with a copy of the most recent Amendment Scheme is to be provided.
  • The floor, ceiling, elevation, fire and plumbing layout indicating all dimensions and labels.
  • Site plan of the centre indicating the location of the space.
  • All drawings to include fire, glazing and walling SANS notes.
  • Entrance should be indicated clearly on all drawings.
  • Name and number of shop, township and stand number to be indicated clearly on the drawings.
  • SACAP and SANS10400 forms completed by a registered architect.

What if I choose not to submit a plan?

If you've decided to build without having the plans approved by council, a building supervisor is entitled to visit your property and instruct construction to stop immediately. The supervisor has the right to obtain a court order for all work to be demolished at the owner’s expense. If the building goes unnoticed, you will not be able to sell the building when the buyer asks to see approved building plans.