City to improve turnaround times of building plan applications

City to improve turnaround times of building plan applications

Submitting building plans is set to become easier, faster, more user-friendly and paperless, with the City of Cape Town’s massive overhaul of the current development plan application process.

From 1 April 2014, residents and development professionals will no longer have to haul heavy packs of documents to the City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department when submitting development proposals. A new management process for the submission of development applications is coming into effect, which will allow for the use of a flash stick when submitting plans and for online payments.

It is further expected that the turnaround times for the development proposal process will improve significantly.

In order to increase efficiency, the City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department (PBDMD) will be migrating data from the existing system to the new Development Application Management System (DAMS).

Councillor Garreth Bloor, City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, says, “Apart from improving turnaround times, the new system will allow for payments to be made through electronic funds transfers (EFTs). From July 2014, it is expected that it will be possible to submit development applications online, from the comfort of your home or office, to the City’s planning portal. Although we are already proud of our high turnaround times and efficiency, we are likely to shave off days from the current submissions and rejections timeframes.”

Customers will also be able to enjoy the convenience of submitting their land use and building plan application forms in PDF format using a memory stick and will no longer have to produce multiple copies of the plans for submission. In addition, the new system will allow for customers to receive their plans back on their own memory stick with the comments from the officials for amendment or a copy of the approved plan. It is important to note that paper submissions will still be possible. Customers will have both the electronic/online and paper options.

Currently, development applications, which include building plans of various prescribed sizes, in accordance with the National Building Regulations, can only be physically submitted at the PBDMD. EFTs are furthermore not possible on the current system.

Those who would like to submit new applications or make payments must do so before 14 March 2014 or again from 1 April 2014 due to closing business dring that period.

In the interim, the PBDMD is still available for consultations on development proposals. Pre-consultation meetings; enquiries on the status of applications already in the system; the collection of approved/refused/amended and withdrawn plans will be possible; zoning queries can go ahead; inspection notices can be issued; general planning and building enquiries and information will be attended to and the business processes for all active applications submitted before 14 March 2014 will continue as normal.

The City apologises for any inconvenience caused during this period and thanks residents for their patience. Ultimately this new system will serve to enhance the City’s services and ensure a more convenient system for customers, in line with our commitment to being a well-run city.

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