A property developer intending to construct a house should first seek the services of a registered architect who will design the house plan. The plan can be of any design that the developer wants, but the architect should be able to moderate it so that if fits the requirements of the city council. When the plan is complete, the developer should take it to the council’s district office for onward forwarding to Cleveland House in the city centre where the city’s architects and planners are housed.
At Cleveland House, officers from various departments including health and fire, sit and discuss whether or not the plan complies with the city’s requirements. The chief building inspector makes a final assessment and issues an approval of building plans to the applicant.
A building form is issued which contains a commencement of work notice that must be submitted by the applicant once the footings are ready for inspection. Subsequently, all phases of the construction must be approved by the building inspectorate.
If there are no problems with the plan it should be approved within a minimum period of two weeks. The cost of submitting and having the plan approved is one percent of the estimated cost of constructing the house.
Should construction works commence prior to the approval of the building plans, the local authority imposes a regularisation fee or fine. A final inspection will occur only if specifically requested and is required for obtaining the occupancy permit.