Getting Started

What is Physical Planning?

Physical Planning guides and regulates a country's physical development.  Under Physical Planning Act 5 (2002) "development' is defined as "the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under any land, the making of any material change in use of any building or land or the subdivision of land".

Development requires consent from the Physical Planning and Development Authority, otherwise known as the Planning Authority, and this consent is known as Physical Planning Permission.

It is important to understand that without a planning system in place every person would build and use land however he or she pleases. This is problematic because without some form of guidance the results would lead to conflicts of land use, incompatible land uses, issues of safety, poor building standards and negative environmental impacts. 

Physical Planning is concerned with safeguarding the health, safety and interest of the the public as opposed to  private interest.  There are varieties of ways land can be used, but by controlling how it is used, helps the country as a whole to achieve balanced development and protect natural resources.


Why apply to the Physical Planning and Development Authority?

The Physical Planning Act (2002) mandates that persons or agencies apply to develop land. The Act also confers the responsibility for Administration on to the Physical Planning and Development Authority as follows:

"to guide the orderly and progressive development of land in both urban and rural  areas; to preserve and improve the amenities thereof; for the grant of permission to develop land and for other powers of control over the use of land; for the regulation of the construction of buildings and related matters; to confer additional powers in respect of the acquisition and development of land for Planning purposes and for other matters connected therewith." Physical Planning Act 5 (2002), page 107


What is the Physical Planning Division?

The Physical Planning Division (PPD) is the executing arm of the Planning Authority. Headed by the Chief Physical Planner, the PPD is responsible for administration and operation of the system of Planning for which the Act provides.  It is also the point of contact of the Planning Authority with the Public Service and Government.


What information do I need to help make the process easier?

The requirements for an application will differ according to the application type, its location and size. Therefore, in order to make the process easier, there are a number of things that you should do prior to starting the Planning Application process.  To begin, see Your Responsibilities.

Also see Land Use and Development Plans.

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