What Are Development Control Regulations?

What Are Development Control Regulations?

What Are Development Control Regulations?

Development control regulations (DCR) refer to the set of rules and regulations that guide urban planning and development in cities and towns. It refers to the the rules and policies that govern land use planning, development permissions, and building controls.

 The key regulations include:

  • The Physical and Land Use Planning Act, 2019 – Provides the overall framework for physical and land use planning in Kenya. It establishes County and National Physical and Land Use Planning Committees and gives powers to regulate land use and grant development permissions.
  • The Physical Planning Act, 1996 – Still applicable for aspects not yet aligned to the 2019 Act. It provides for the preparation of physical development plans and granting of development permissions.
  • The Physical Planning (Building and Development) (Control) Rules, 1998 – Outlines the building rules and standards, application process and requirements for development permissions.
  • County Governments Act, 2012 – Gives powers to County Governments to control land use and physical planning. Counties develop their own regulations to implement development control.
  • Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999 – Requires Environmental Impact Assessment for certain types of development projects.
  • The Building Code, 2009 – Provides the standards for different aspects of building construction.

Objective Of Development Control Regulations

The key objectives of DCRs are:

  • To regulate the use of land and built up spaces to ensure planned, orderly development.
  • To provide for adequate light, ventilation, infrastructure services, open spaces etc. in buildings.
  • To ensure new constructions are safe and follow building codes and standards.
  • To conserve heritage sites and environmental resources.
  • To restrict development in hazard prone areas.

DCRs regulate various aspects like floor space indexes, building heights, setbacks, parking requirements, landscaping norms etc.

They aim to balance public health and safety with optimal land utilization. DCRs are prepared by urban local bodies as per provisions of state Town Planning Acts.

Here are some key points about the Physical Planning Regulations in Kenya:

  • The Physical Planning Regulations are made under the Physical Planning Act, 1996 to provide procedures and guidelines for physical planning and development control.
  • They provide detailed procedures for preparation and approval of physical development plans, applications for development permissions, enforcement of development control, and the roles of various authorities.
  • The Regulations cover issues like forms and fees for development applications, public participation, development conditions, enforcement notices, and offences.
  • They give powers to local authorities and area Physical Planning Liaison Committees to regulate physical development.
  • The Regulations have provisions on zoning through preparation of Part Development Plans showing land use zones.
  • Development permissions are required for activities like change of user, subdivision of land, demolition of buildings, new constructions, etc.
  • The Regulations set out requirements for development application documents like site plans, survey plans, EIA reports etc.
  • Procedures are outlined for public notification, objecting to permissions, appeal process, and enforcement.
  • The Regulations are still in force for aspects not aligned to the Physical and Land Use Planning Act, 2019.


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