& Establishing New Development Areas

Greenfield development is a complex process of converting large portions of undeveloped agricultural land into residential, commercial or industrial properties.

Golf estates, lifestyle estates and subsidised housing schemes are typical examples of Greenfield development. The process to convert agricultural or natural areas into urban spaces requires special considerations. Town planners begin by assessing the feasibility of the development. This includes investigating the biophysical site conditions, identifying certain areas such as steep slopes or pristine natural vegetation, or areas of high agricultural potential. We use specialised geographic information system (GIS) software to assist us in this process. The feasibility of the project also depends on the policy and legislative environment contained in relevant Spatial Development Frameworks or Local Precinct Plans, as well as the level of compliance with the SPLUMA development principles. Other considerations would be the availability of infrastructure and the direct and cumulative impacts that the proposal may have on the surrounding built and natural environment.

The planning and establishment of new development areas often require a bundle of statutory approvals from different authorities. Approval largely depends on the location and the sensitivity of the land and the scale and nature of the planned development. These typically include environmental authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (Act no 107 of 1998), approval from the Department of Agriculture in terms of the provision of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act (Act No 10 of 1970), approvals from the relevant Roads Authorities such as SANRAL (The South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act, Act 7 of 1998), and approvals in term of the National Heritage Resource Act (Act 25 of 1999), to name only a few.

Aside from obtaining the necessary statutory approvals, we can assist you with conceptualising your development and preparing layout designs. We collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team and often take a coordinating role to ensure that the different application processes and specialist inputs are streamlined.

Once approval is granted, we can also assist developers to comply with the conditions of approval to bring the decision to full effect. In other words, we can assist in addressing various post-approval formalities such as preparation of Service Level Agreements, Homeowners Constitutions, Architectural Design Manuals, Environmental Management Plans, negotiate augmentation fees and bulk services contributions, etc.

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