Council wants to be planning authority

Applies for exemptions

02 March 2021 | Local News

Leroy Victor; Management committee, Chairperson; “… this is aimed at streamlining planning applications and processes… ”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The Walvis Bay municipal management committee approved an application to be submitted to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development (MURD) for council to be declared an authorised planning authority.

The Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2018 commenced on 3 September 2020, following the promulgation of the Regulations relating to the Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2018.

In a nutshell, the Act and Regulations combine the Townships Board and Namibia Planning Advisory Board (NAMPAB) into one to be known as the Urban and Regional Planning Board, and delegates the decisions on town planning applications to Local Authorities (LAs). However, an LA can only make decisions after the MURD has declared an LA as an Authorised Planning Authority (APA).
The act is aimed at streamlining planning applications and processes.

Management committee chairperson Leroy Victor said that once the ministry has granted approval for an LA to be declared an APA, the former will be able to make final decisions on certain applications, provided they are in accordance with the approved Integrated Urban Spatial Development Framework (IUSDF), which is referred to as Urban Structure Plan by the Act.

FINAL DECISIONS

“The LA (in this case, Walvis Bay) can make decisions pertaining to subdivision, consolidation, rezoning, township establishment, alteration of the boundaries of an approved township, and the disestablishment of an approved township or portion of an approved township. This also includes the alteration, suspension or deletion of conditions relating to land.”

Victor said that amendments to the Town Planning Scheme (now known as the Zoning Scheme), review of the IUSDF and all applications that do not comply with it, will still have to be referred to MURD, through the new Urban and Regional Planning Board, for approval.

However, some provisions of the Act are cumbersome. Thus some of the other recommendations that were made include that the ministry considers and approves the Walvis Bay Integrated Urban Spatial Development Framework as an approved Urban Structure Plan in terms of the Urban and Regional Planning Act, 2018.

“It was also recommended that the ministry exempts applicants for the subdivision or consolidation of land made to the Municipal Council of Walvis Bay from giving notice to neighbouring landowners of the intention to make those applications and from providing an explanation to the neighbouring landowners of the purpose of the application,” Victor said.

Additionally, they asked that the ministry exempt the municipal council of Walvis Bay from submitting private applications (that are not the LA’s own applications) to the Urban and Regional Planning Board and that the private applicants submit their planning applications directly to the aforesaid board; and allows the municipal council to delegate and assign powers to staff members for determining applications.

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