06 Nov How to register building plans
How to register building plans
Getting municipal approval for a new construction or renovation project may seem daunting at first, especially when you don’t know where to start.
After drawing up the plans with a professional,SACAP-registered architect or draughtsman, the plans need to be submitted for approval at your local municipality. It is a common misconception that smaller construction plans such as renovations or extensions do not need approval, but the reality is that any additions or alterations to an existing structure have to be authorised by the local authority.
Any building work done without the relevant approval can legally be halted or even authorised for demolition by a building inspector. In addition, fines could also be imposed if construction work has begun without approval.
Not obtaining municipal building plans approval can be an unnecessary, costly mistake.
Once the building plans for your new home or renovations have been drawn up you will need to submit them to your Local Authority for approval.
Here are important tips on how to register your building plans:
Choosing an Architect or Draughtsperson
Although it may be tempting to get an unqualified friend to draw up plans for you as a cheaper option, this could be a costly mistake in the end
A professional will design the house or extensions according to correct building regulations and will be able to walk you through the process from concept to submission to council and ultimately obtain final approval for you
Local Council Regulations
- According to the National Building Regulations & Building Standards Act, no person may remove, add, or modify any building without prior approval from the Local Council / Municipality
- The required documents must be submitted with a submission fee, at the local municipality offices or the City’s Development Management Department for approval
Submitting your plans
Once you have your plans, should you wish to submit them yourself you will need:
- Application forms obtained from your Local Authority
- The plans
- Standard forms from engineers who have consulted on the plans
- A copy of the Title Deed
- Zoning Certificate
Building plans to be submitted:
- General diagram that shows the allocated property, property linings, numerical data of the property lining etc.
- Layout drawings of the structure outlining each area, including electrical and drainage components
- A copy of the registered title deed
- Confirms which zone category your project falls under (i.e. residential, business, agriculture, or commercial) and the recommended living space
A submission fee
- The final amount will be calculated according to the details provided at the local municipality office/help desk
- If your building site is within a complex/estate, approval from the Residential Committee is required, as well as neighbour consent
- If you wish to install a pool, fireplace or alter the interior structure of the house, these plans must also be submitted and approved
Where to submit your documents:
- Once you have gathered the required documentation, you may submit them to your local municipality
- Other forms that may be required are the Appointment of Registered Person form which indicates that the builder/s involved have agreed to do the project
Which Documents Will You Need For The Building Plans Submission?
- Building plans approval application.
If you want to submit your building plan for approval, you’ll need to get the building plan application form which can get from your municipality. The documentation that you’ll need for the building plan application form depends on the type of submission.
Copies of plans application form
You’ll have to take the copies of plans application form along with you when you go in person and make a request at your municipality.
You’ll need to:
- attach your identity document and your municipal rates account to the form, and
- You’ll need to pay the prescribed fee. You can contact your municipality to find out what the fee is.
If you aren’t able to make the request in person and you send a representative to make the request on your behalf, then you’ll need to give your representative permission by writing a letter of consent. The person you sent in your place must produce their ID when they submit the copies of plans application form.
- SANS 10400 Application form
Engineers’ appointment form and certificate
If you appoint an engineer to undertake the design or segment of the building then you’ll need to the following forms which are a part of SANS 10400-A:2010:
Form 2 is the appointment of an engineer or a competent person.
Form 4 is the completion certificate after Form 2.
Form 3 is only required when the appointed competent person appoints another person to design a particular element or part of the building. Generally, Form 3 isn’t required to be submitted although your municipality can ask that it be submitted in specific cases.
- South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) registration form.
- A copy of the property’s title deed.
The most important document in this procedure is the title deed (= deed of transfer), which is proof of ownership and states various conditions for a particular property. It usually covers:
- Use of property
- Number of dwellings allowed
- Restriction of building lines
- Special conditions
In case of non-compliance with the conditions of the title deed a removal of those conditions can be obtained. This is a time consuming process and involves a town planner.
- Power of Attorney for your architect or draughtsman to submit your building plans for you.
- The Surveyor General diagram, along with a zoning certificate, contour map and an aerial view of the property.
Depending On The Scale And Nature Of Your Project, You Will Also Need To Submit These:
Depending on the nature of your application, you will need to include the following forms or documents:
- fully completed SANS 10400 forms (forms 1 and 2, if applicable)
- power of attorney (if the application is not submitted by the owner, i.e. by the architect or draughtsperson)
- the application fee / receipt
- site plan
- layout plan
- drainage installation drawings (if applicable)
- fire protection plans (if applicable)
- structural engineer’s drawings (if applicable)
- party wall consent (if applicable)
- copy of the Surveyor-General’s diagram / general plan
- copy of the title deed
- letter of approval for any departure from the zoning scheme (if applicable)
- architectural compliance certificate
- consent form from your neighbour / sectional title / homeowner’s association / body corporate (if applicable)
- zoning certificate (if applicable)
- Stamps from the relevant authorities. These could include the fire department and an environmental health authority.
- An Engineer Certificate of Appointment/Completion.
- Permission from the Body Corporate or Aesthetics Committee.
- Official building line relaxation permission or rezoning consent from a town planning authority.
- An approved and updated Site Development Plan.
- Your home’s energy efficiency calculations, along with the lighting layout.
- Your property’s water and sanitation layout.
- If you’re renovating or extending a home built before 1951, you will also need a heritage approval stamp from the council.
- Demolition permit application form
- Before any demolition work can start, you’ll have to complete the demolition permit application form which you can get either at your municipality or you can download the application from their website if your municipality has a website. You’re required to supply a waste management plan along with the application form and if the application you’re completing is for a company owned property then you’re required to have a resolution.
- You’ll have to notify the building inspector of your intention to commence demolition 10 days before the intended date before demolition begins.
The approval process does take time, so it’s vital to take this into account in planning your building project timeline. Contact us for assistance with this to help make the process smoother.
How long will it take?
- Patience is required once applications have been submitted. The approval process may take well over six weeks
- If you wish to see how far the procedure is, you may check the progress of your application on the local municipality’s website
- After four weeks, request an update and follow up with your local municipality to ensure that all the required documentation has been received
Once your application is approved:
- A written notice of approval will be sent to you which should be given to the building inspectorate
- The notice informs the building inspector that building may begin and inspection should be completed at each stage (foundation, framing, plumbing etc.)
- It is important to note that if you do not follow the approved plan, a new set of building plans must be submitted and approved before you use them
- Upon receiving the approval notice, a building inspector from the local council will need to oversee the following elements in the building process:
Post-Approval Building Inspections
- The inspector will check the land/site to confirm you are building within your property lines
- The foundation will be checked once the trenches have been dug out (before concrete is poured), the condition of the soil, erosion, and waste/under drain pipes and footings will also be examined
- The next inspection will be conducted once the walls have been built (prior roofing) The local council will check the structure of the building, the roof trusses, wiring, piers and columns, and the wall bracing
- During the building process, any piping fixtures that are added must be left uncovered for inspection
- The inspector will then conduct a final check to ensure that all building work has been done according to plan
- Upon final approval, an Occupancy Certificate will be issued so that the individual may take occupation of the house and complete the necessary interior fixtures and fittings
We accept the following methods of payment:
- Cash, debit and/or credit card: We will cover the bank cost on a cash, debit and/or credit card payment on an amount above R7000 per transaction. We absorb such costs in respect of single payments of R7000 and below.
- Direct deposit at ABSA Bank: Insert your payment reference number on your deposit slip
- Electronic payments (EFT): Select the City of Cape Town as a bank listed beneficiary on your bank’s website. Use your 9 – digit reference number in the beneficiary account number/ payment reference field.