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‘Owners must have plans’

All building owners must have a copy of their approved building plans at hand.

So says the City of Cape Town, as having these plans readily available will prove to be very helpful when wanting to make extensions, additions or alterations to a building or when the opportunity to sell arises.

As the authority responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy built environment, the City holds approved building plans for existing buildings. Property owners or architects who have the necessary power of attorney may obtain copies of these plans from the City before preparing a building plan submission on any previously approved building plans.

It is also customary for property owners to have their building plan available when selling their home. When wanting to sell, owners need to ensure that the property is in the same condition as reflected on the existing approved building plan. In cases where unauthorised alterations have been made, owners are encouraged to submit the necessary plans to regularise the unauthorised alteration before the sale and transfer of ownership takes place.

In some instances, an owner may be liable to pay an administrative penalty for unauthorised building work. Building plans also form an important part of various processes which include the insurance of properties.

‘The City’s Development Management Department offers a decentralised service delivery system to ensure that our services are available closer to communities. All building owners are therefore able to obtain hard copies of their building plans at our various district planning offices across the city.

“Customers simply have to complete the plans request form which is available on the City’s website, pay the search fee and obtain the plan at the nearest district office,” explained Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee member for Spacial Planning and Environment.

“Each building owner has a business partner number which can be found on your municipal account. Please remember that this number is an essential requirement when requesting a copy of your plan.”

However, there are certain instances where the City may not have a copy of a previously approved building plan on record. If, for any reason, plans are not available, it is the responsibility of the registered owner to have the as-built structures measured and drawn up.

In terms of submitting building plans and land use applications for approval, residents, architects and developers can do so by submitting applications via the Development Application Management System (Dams), which allows for the electronic submission, processing and tracking of building plans and land use applications via e-Services on council’s website.

“We are in the process of enhancing the Dams, which will then allow customers to obtain their building plans online,” Nieuwoudt added.

“The City is moving towards online submission via e-Services as the only mechanism for the submission of building plans and land use applications, therefore we encourage anyone intending to submit planning applications to register.”

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