Do I need a permit?

Prior to commencing any structural works on a property or project you intend to carry out or change the permitted use of a building, it is important to either consult and seek advice from an architect, or visit our offices and consult with one of technical planning officers. This preliminary exercise will empower you to know whether such works require a planning permit or not and if so what kind of development permit is needed to cover such works. At present, the main development application types are the following:

Outline Development Application - This type of planning permission seeks to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development is acceptable in principle to the Authority. Subsequent, to receiving this planning permission an applicant will require a full development permit to actually carry out the project. With this application fewer details are required, which details will be spelt out in the full development application. The outline permit will state the timeframe by when a full development permit must be submitted to the Authority. Failure to adhere to this condition will render the outline development permit null. Such a period shall not exceed five years.

Full Development Application – Full Process - This planning application type is pertinent to all proposed major project developments and those proposed developments which are excluded from the Summary Procedure and Development Notification Order (DNO) type. This type of application is the most detailed and includes within the process, a 30-day period during which the public can make a submission and become a registered objector. Moreso, the application is referred to 11 external consultees for feedback from their end. A full development application must be determined within a maximum of a 100 days from the date of validation.

Full Development Application - Summary Process - This type of application applies to development proposals which may include the construction of new residential buildings which do not create more than sixteen dwelling units (not in an UCA, ODZ or villa or bungalow areas) to development related to minor works (example: afixing air conditioniong unit on facade). There are 12 category development types. The planning process for this type of application also includes that the public is informed of the proposed development but does not include external consultee feedback. A Summary Procedure application must be determined within a 42 days window from the date of validation.

Minor Amendments – this application seek planning permission for alterations to any valid permit. Such changes are limited to the extent that the remit of the said permit is not exceeded to. These changes include internal and external alteration to the approved development that do not compromise both policies and conditions on permit. Furthermore, through this process, a planning material consideration leading to the decision of the original permit may not be compromised through any proposed changes.

Development Notification Order (DNO) – This type of application is for any proposed development which does not have an impact on the site context and on neighbouring residences. There are 19 category classes of permitted development which include internal alterations, roof structures and more. For this type of application the public is no notified of proposed works. The Authority has to reply to a notification within 30 days from its submission. Certain minor works that fall under the DNO such as the placing of water tanks, photovoltaic panels and more do not require any form of notification to the Authority.

Regularisation Process – this application addresses existing unsanctionable non-conformant developments located entirely within the development boundaries. This application type is only open for a two year period. Applicants who in past years benefitted from a Category B concession may also use this application to regularise their property.

Application   Type

Publication in the   Government Gazzette

Notify External Consultees

Public Objection period

Duration for planning   decision

Outline   Development Application

 YES  

YES 

30 days

100 days

Full   Development Application: Full Process

YES

 YES

30 days

100 days

Full   Development Application: Summary Process

 YES    

 YES

15 days

42 days

Development   Notification Order

NO 

 NO

30 days

Minor   Amendment

NO

 NO

 -

 -

Regularisation   Process

YES

 NO

15 days*

 -

* When the Planning Authority receives an application for a site on which there is an enforcement notice still in force, the Authority will safeguard the interests of all third parties who had submitted a formal complaint for which a notice had been issued. In these cases, the Authority will inform these same third parties of the submitted regularisation application and offer them the option that within a 15 day period, they are to notify the Authority whether to be considered as registered interested parties. Registered interested parties automatically hold the right to appeal the Planning Commission's decision before the Tribunal.