Use Restrictions on Property

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Title Deed Restrictions
A property cannot be sold in contravention of a title deed restriction. For example,  a property developer registers restrictive conditions against the title deeds of erven within a development, restricting the use of each of the erven. For example, there could be limitations on design, house size and roof covers. This type of restriction is very common for golf estates and gated communities.
Guide Plans
A guide plan is a broad outline for determining land use patterns for the future development of a region er for industrial development, commercial development, residential establishment, farmland, recreational areas, etc

Urban Structure/Development Plans
The larger local authorities should each have a structure, development or policy plan specifying the land use patterns for an entire town or city, or parts thereof. It should set out where shops, offices and residential development can take place.
Town Planning Schemes
Every local authority has a town planning scheme, which is devised for the purpose of providing for the general welfare and attractiveness of the environment. The scheme should consist of both a scheme map and scheme clauses, which sets out limitations and controls for the usage of property in an area:
The above impacts the way the land may or may not be utilized. If you are purchasing your property with the intention of starting a business, a day care centre etc. You will need to find out whether or not you will be permitted to do so before concluding an offer to purchase to avoid being disappointed.
Removal of Restrictions
It is possible to have a title deed description removed in terms of the Removal of Restrictions Act 84 of 1967. Applications for the removal of title deed restrictions are normally dealt with on behalf of the property owner by an attorney or town planner.

Rezoning can be more involved and the success of an application depends on the following:

  • The town planning scheme
  • The structure/development plan
  • The need for re-zoning
  • The desirability of the rezoning
  • The environmental impact of the rezoning
  • The precedent set by the rezoning
  • The opportunities/restrictions relating to the property
  • Acceptability of proposal to adjacent residents and civic associations

A rezoning application generally takes around 6 to 12 months to be processed and involves the following steps:

  • Preparation of motivation or application for rezoning by applicant
  • Advertising of the application, calling for comments from the public
  • Replying to comments and objections
  • Consideration of application by the local town planning department
  • Referral of the application if required to other town council departments
  • Referral of the application to the council committee
  • Referral to provincial authority on appeal

In conclusion, the variables in land use control are vast. If any questions or queries on land use are required, it is prudent to refer these to a professional; a town planner, the local municipality or an attorney.

This article has been reprinted with the kind permission of Masilo Freimond Inc.
Tel : 011 958 0488
Fax : 086 610 0276
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Author: Barry Davies

Submitted 17 Nov 10 / Views 3336