Planning Authority permission is a legal document that allows a development to be carried out at a particular location. It is issued only by the Planning Authority on receipt of an application for developments which are found not only to be acceptable but conform to all existing laws, policies or guidelines.
Planning Authority permission is attached to the land rather than to an applicant or developer. The approved project may be implemented by anyone, not necessarily the person who applied for the permission.
There are several types of planning application, including those of Pre-Planning, Outline Planning, Detail application, Subdivision Application, Reclamation Application, Change of Use, etc. In addition, there are several other types of permissions associated with planning, that are specific to trees, advertisements, listed buildings and conservation areas. These are all similar and are all dealt with under the same system and are processed in the same manner. However, processing fees differ for each type of application.
Applications are assessed by planning officers and designated referral agencies, all having direct interest in their field of work. They will assess the applications and make recommendations to the Planning Authority Board. (PAB). The PAB is responsible for making final decisions either to grant or refuse permission according to whether or not the proposal conforms to the regulations, adopted policy and guidelines.
Simple, small and straightforward applications are determined by a Planning Authority Minor Works Committee but their decisions are authenticated by the Planning Authority Board. In all cases, the Department for Environment becomes involved since they are custodian of the Environment Protection Act which also guides matters relating to development on land.
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Class 1 is necessary for large and complex developments. The Department of Environment should be consulted on same.
Planning permission is required for most types of development such as:
New buildings or building extensions (Dwelling houses, commercial buildings, stores, kiosks, outside kitchen/toilets, private sheds, erection of farm houses, hotels and guest houses, self-catering structure, discotheques, bars, restaurants, takeaways)
subdivision of land other than that for partition amongst heirs, subdivision surveys to excise encroachments
reclamation, backfilling, excavations, earth cuttings,
retaining walls, boundary walls, fences,
road/bridge building, roads/ accesses, private drives, private/public paving, road diversions, right of way diversion
material change to buildings or land,
the demolition of listed buildings,
change of use of land and existing structure,
Change of existing color scheme, offices, mechanical garages, etc...
re-roofing involving structural elements,
new septic tanks
jetties and piers, ports, drainage systems
mining and quarrying operations,
locating containers on site
water and communications
erection of billboards and advertisements,
works involving material change to land
sewerage treatment plants, etc.
Development applications are classified as either minor development or major development.
1. Minor Developments
Planning application for Minor Developments small residential developments only. Such type of development applications are classified as CERT Applications, CPS Applications and MW Applications.
Certification Application (CERT): Residential development less or equal to 100m2
Minor Work Applications (MW): Minor residential developments such as Extension to dwelling house, Ancillary buildings, Improvement or alteration to a dwelling house, Construction of retaining walls, boundary walls, fences, gates or other means of enclosure up to 1.5m in height, Temporary buildings (e.g sheds – closed/open, storage facilities, hoardings, site offices etc…) and Forestry Buildings (e.g forest stations, huts lookout posts etc…)
Certificate for Permitted Subdivision (CPS): Subdivision of up to 3 plots
2. Major Developments
Planning applications for Major Developments are submitted as Development Control (DC) applications. All developments above 100m2 including Commercial, Industrial, Residential development etc…
Other types of planning Applications:
- Outline Application
- Can be submitted for all types of development proposals
- Followed by subsequent submission of detailed planning application –Within 1 year
- Retrospective Planning Application
- To regularize unauthorized construction
- Penalty fees- 7 times Normal applicable processing fees to type of development proposal
- Substitute plans
- Changes made to previously approved plans by clients’ Agents
- Changes made and by clients’ Agents to application still in process
- Supplementary plans
- Additional drawings/ details submitted by clients’ Agents for applications under processed
- Structural Details and Calculations
- Various structural elements and loading requirements after approval of architectural drawings designed and certified by Private Engineers (link to redirect to list of agents)
- S2: Submitted by Private Licensed Engineers for the
- S1: Requested prior to or after approval of development
- Verified and endorsed by in-house Engineers
Together with your licensed agent, you will be required to make a declaration surrounding pertinent aspects of your application.
A site location plan, land ownership documents, location plan and/or a high resolution orthophoto particular to your site, and other plans and drawings are typical documents submitted with your application. Normally, several copies of the completed form and plans are needed. The number of copies varies for different types of application depending on the type and nature of the application. Having many copies allows for fast processing of your application. Most applications require a processing fee. Fees and charges for processing of applications by the Planning Authority varies. Please refer to Planning Fee Schedule for more details.
You should ensure that your application is complete and of a very high standard to avoid unnecessary delays in processing same.
Factors that may restrict development:
- Relevance of site location
- Constraint Data
- Urban and Historic Conservation
- Protected trees and animal species
- Health and Safety aspects (Flood risk and Industrial Hazard sites)
- Land Use Plan
- Development Design
- Other possible constraints:
- Proximity to roads, water bodies
- Preset development threshold density for a particular area
- Proximity to communal facilities e.g. schools, churches, etc
- Site topography and soil types
- Plot size
- Proximity to airfields
- Availability for parking spaces
For more information refer to the Planning Permission leaflet.
Since the planning process is very technical in nature, you may only make an application through a professional person; a licensed agent. When you appoint an agent to handle your application, all correspondences will be made with him/her during the time your application is being processed. All correspondences to agents will be copied to you, the applicant or developer.
Applications for permission are submitted on prescribed forms with all information required.
Together with your agent, you will be required to make a declaration surrounding pertinent aspects of your application.
A site location plan, land ownership documents, location plan and/or a high resolution orthophoto particular to your site, and other plans and drawings are typical documents submitted with your application. Normally, several copies of the completed form and plans are needed. The number of copies varies for different types of application depending on the type and nature of the application. Having many copies allows for fast processing of your application. Most applications require a processing fee.
You should ensure that your application is complete and of a very high standard to avoid unnecessary delays in processing same.
Planning Authority will soon make it possible to receive and process applications online through a Planning Portal.
- Updated and reviewed lists of licensed agents can be accessed either through visiting the official Seychelles Planning Authority counter (ground floor at the Independence House, Victoria, Mahé) or at the Seychelles Licensing Authority (Orion Mall Bldg., 5th June Ave., Victoria, Mahé).
- All lists contain the relevant contact information including mail and contact number of each agent or click on this link: http://www.sla.gov.sc/index.php/find-a-business/
- Applicants have the choice of agent, which is dependent on the type of development they are planning.
- When you select an Agent , Always ensure that S/He fully understand your plan and can entertain your wishlist.
• To submit an application to the Planning Authority, agents will need to acquire permission using the official SPA prescribed forms with all information required.
• As the applicant, you as well as your agent will be required to complete a declaration form surrounding the pertinent aspects of your application.
• A site location plan as well as land ownership documents, location plan and/or a high resolution orthophoto specific to your site. In addition, other detailed plans and drawings of proposed development are also typical documents which are to be submitted with your application.
- Fees and charges for processing of applications by the Planning Authority varies. These are considered on type of development.
- Please contact the Planning Receiving Counter for more information or consult our fee schedule.
As you are about to embark on a long term investment, ensure that you have chosen the correct agent suitable for your development. When deciding on an agent - to make sure that you are making the correct choice - visit either the Seychelles Planning Authority counter (Independence House, Independence Ave. Victoria, Mahé) or the Seychelles Licensing Authority (Orion Mall Bldg., 5th June Ave., Victoria, Mahé) or go to this link : http://www.sla.gov.sc/index.php/find-a-business/
As a client you should ensure that you are efficiently and effectively communicating with your agent; to provide them with detailed information about your plans and the key aspects of your envisioned development. In addition, good communication ensures that you are updated on the progress of your application to the Planning Authority.
Another important aspect of being a client is making sure that you are paying your agent in a sensible manner. A highly regarded recommendation from the Planning Authority is that the client should resort to paying their agents via installments, to ensure that their needs are being met in consideration to their application which has been submitted as well as the processes included.
It is also recommended that you encourage your agent to seek pre-planning advice from the Planning Authority beforehand as it will allow you to know if you will be able to carry out your planned development. This is a method that will save you both time and money.
If you are a licensed agent, then you should be well versed with the technicalities of:
- Technical drawings
- Development legislation and policies
- Planning Authority process, procedures and practices.
As an agent, you act as the medium between your client and the Planning Authority, so you should act on behalf and in the interest of your client(s) when it comes to communicating to and about a proposed plan. Good communication with your client will enable the process of the application submission with both the Authority as well as your client to go at a much smoother pace.
The agent has to ensure he/she presents proposals having taken into consideration all policies and laws and regulations dealing with development. In addition, consult with the PA and or relevant agencies when in doubt. This will ensure the application is considered smoothly with to and froing
- Developers have the right to appeal decisions of refusal issued by Planning Authority
- Application form and fee must be submitted within 30 days after refusal date
- The process is independent whereby the Appeals’ Advisory Committee makes recommendation to the Minister
• Your development is a long term investment. Ensure that you know and understand fully what the agent is submitting to the Planning Authority. Final Planning Authority decision is not negotiable and you may have to incur additional costs in the event that you wish to make changes to your approved development.
• There are many individuals out there who draw plans but they are not eligible to submit applications to the Authority. Always chose an appropriate, competent and trusted licensed agent to handle your application. When in doubt, verify with the Seychelles Licensing Authority or our Customer Care personnel to confirm if an individual or agent is eligible to handle your development proposal
• Encourage your agent to seek pre-planning advise from the Planning Authority before making a detail application. It can save you time and money. Pre-planning will allow you to know if you will be able to develop the land with your preferred proposal.
Ask your agent to consult the land use planning unit to ascertain the land use classification and to what extent you can build on your parcel of land before working on your application.
• Your application to Planning Authority is only complete when you receive a refusal or approval decision in writing from the Authority. Therefore, avoid making full payment to your agent until you receive the final decision from the Planning Authority. If you enter into an agreement with your agent, there should be no reason for you to keep paying the agent when the Authority requests for him/her to make changes to your application. It may be the result of mistake(s) made by your agent. Such requests are not chargeable by the Authority and are part and parcel of the assessment process. Site and proposal pegging is part of the application process. This is normally done by your chosen agent.
• When you receive an approval, ensure that you read and understand all the conditions attached to the approval. Seek help from your agent or the Planning Authority if in doubt.
• When your application is refused, take time to read and understand the reasons for refusal. These are ALWAYS inscribed in the refusal documents. The law makes provision for you to appeal to the Minister within 30 days of the date of refusal. If you wish to make an appeal, ensure that you do so in the prescribed format and within the specified time frame. Your agent or you may only appeal against the decision of the Planning Authority to the Minister when the Authority issues a red card or ’NOTICE OF REFUSAL identified as P.F 7 or an Environment refusal.
• When you submit a commencement notice, your project will be allocated to a designated Development Control Officer. The responsible officer will within a few days enter in contact with to monitor but not to supervise your project. This is to ensure that your project is carried out as per the approval. Feel free to consult the officer for advise or when you are in doubt.
• When your project is under Stop Notice, you are obliged to stop all works on site immediately. Works may only resume when the Stop Notice is officially lifted. Ensure you understand why a Stop Notice is served on your development.
• Ensure that you obtain separate permission from Planning Authority before you undertake any earth cutting.
• You need permission to blast rocks or boulders on your site. This is issued by the Department of Environment.
• It is advisable for you to use the services of a competent licensed building contractor to implement your approved project.
Always enter in a formal contract agreement with your building contractor. This will save you a lot of hassle later.
• For storey buildings or others with structural elements, ensure that the operations on site are effected under the supervision of your preferred licensed engineer. The engineer has to certify your project on completion. Ensure you obtain a certificate from him/her on completion of your project. The engineer may be liable and responsible for what happens later to your project.
• Approved planning applications is valid for up to 3 years (except for Minor works and Outline approval )and renewal requests are allowed up to 5 years from date on Certificate of Approval. Renewal Fees Applicable and the Development Control Officers at Seychelles Planning Authority have the duty to undertake site visit.
• For all Control Notices should be submitted by a Contractors/Licensed Builder- 48 hrs prior to commencement of development. This include commencement notice / Drainage notice and Reinforcement Notice. As for completion Notice Contractor or the Developer can submit attach with Engineers letter to certify the work. Arrangement is made for occupancy visit with other concern Agencies for commercial development and then is when an Occupancy certificate is given to the developer.