Frequently Asked Questions

Development Approval Process

·         Two (2) application forms
·          Previously Approved building plan
·          Surveyor’s report
·          Four (4) copies the Revised Strata Plan on parchment paper (size - 11” x 17”)
·          Up-to-date Certificate of payment of Taxes
·          Proof of Ownership
·          A letter of Consent from Cooperative Society giving permission to amend the strata (where necessary)

Development means the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land (Town & Country Planning Act section 5 [2]). Since development includes building where the Planning Act is appropriate Planning Permit is also required.

Under the Building Act, permission is required for any of the following :
a. Construction/Erection of building
b. Demolition of building
c. Additions/alterations and external repairs
d. Temporary building & Farm House
e. Change in use of building from one use class to another e.g. Residential to Commercial
 

Anyone who is found to be building without a permit may be issued a Stop Notice and an Enforcement Notice requesting IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF WORKS until the plan is submitted, approved and a permit is issued. Under the TCPA, If individuals fail to obey the notices a fine of up to one million dollars can be imposed and thereafter a fine of $5,000.00 per day if the development continues or imprisonment with hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months Additional fees are proposed under the New Building Act.

See below

Type of Development                                                   Sets of Drawings Required

 Single Family Dwelling House                                     4 Sets
 Residential (multiple lots)                                           10 Sets
 Apartment Building                                                    10 Sets
 Commercial Structure                                                10 Sets
 Change of Use                                                           4 Sets
 Institutional                                                               10 Sets
 Industrial                                                                   10 Sets
Telecommunication                                                     4 Sets
 

See below

Type of Approval                                                 Duration
Residential (single lot)                                          At least 8 weeks
Residential (multiple lots)                                      3 - 6 months 
Commercial development                                      3 - 6 months 
Subdivision                                                          3 - 6 months 
Change of Use                                                      3 - 6 months 

Approval time may vary depending on the number of agencies that need to give their recommendations. Also approval time is stopped once discrepancies are found with the application and is restarted once the necessary changes have been made and presented to the Council.
 

It is required that all buildings be designed to Jamaica Building Code standards. Buildings greater than 300m² must be designed and stamped by registered professionals (Architects/Engineers). Buildings less than 300m² can be designed by other qualified practitioners (Licensed Draughtsman). However, buildings that are considered to be complex structures and or requiring complex services whether less than or greater than 300m² should be designed by registered professionals.

Currently, the first Tuesday of each month except for the month of August where these applications are approved out-of session.

No. You are required to wait on the building approval before commencing any construction.

You are required to:
·         Pick up your approved plans. If you are not the owner, he/she must give you a Letter of Authorization stamped and signed by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public.
·         Commence construction within the 6 months of the date of approval or the permit will expire and you will required to pay for and obtain a new permit.
·         Contact the appropriate departments to carry out inspections during the course of construction.
·          Keep a copy of the plans and permits on site.

Approvals granted are valid for 2 years subject to the revalidation of the building permit.

Restrictive covenants are clauses in a property title that limit what the owner of the land can do within the property boundaries. They are intended to enhance property values by controlling development. Restrictive covenants are enforceable in a court of law. A person who purchases a lot in a development with restrictive covenants must honor the limitations, as these covenants "run with the land."

A breach is a violation of the restrictive covenants set out in the property title.

Compile your Documents
         i. A Copy of your Title
         ii. A Surveyor's Report done by a Commissioned Land Surveyor
   2. Enlist the Services of an Attorney
          i. Find an Attorney-at-Law who specializes in Restrictive Covenant Modifications.
          ii. The attorney will in turn have a Fixed Date Claim Form and an Affidavit filed in the Courts to receive a hearing date.
          iii. The documents will then be served on the Council, processed and a decision given on the Modification request.
          iv. The attorney returns to Court and the modification process continues. (Note:The judge makes the final decision)

Land Valuation

This a drawing which contains a parcel land which is to be further divided into two or more parts, usually for the purpose of sale and further development.

Payments