BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Ministry of Development has updated a series of planning guidelines to improve land use and safety, including extension and renovation of public housing.

The 2019 edition of planning guide and standards for extension/renovation of existing homes in National Housing Scheme was launched on Monday, replacing the previous version that was published 12 years ago.

It was reported earlier this year that there were over 18,000 cases of illegal extensions and renovations on existing residences in the National Housing Scheme.

Homeowners under the National Housing Scheme are required to seek government approval if they wish to extend or renovate their houses.

The ministry’s Department of Town and Country Planning also launched guidelines on subdivision and/or consolidation of land, guidelines and standards for industrial development as well as supplementary guidelines on density and plot ratio for housing development.

All the guidelines are part of the department’s efforts to optimise land use and achieve efficient development management.

To commemorate World Town Planning Day 2019, the department further launched two websites that promise to make it easier for law firms to submit applications and seek information on land-use planning.

The Planning and Development Information System (i-PK) is an online platform for law firms to submit applications for land and legal search, which provides planning and development information. Through the system, the department hopes to make the application process easier for users.

The Information on Land Use Planning (i-PG) is a joint project of the Town and Country Planning Department and Survey Department, where planning zones of districts have been incorporated into the Survey Department’s geoportal. Each of these planning zones will be linked with existing planning policies.

i-PG is one of the department’s initiatives to share information on planning guidelines that can be used as a reference in identifying the types of development allowed within a specific planning zone. It aims to make it easier for the public to plan their development in line with national policies.

Minister of Development YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Suhaimi Hj Gafar said the efforts are aimed at creating systematic, inclusive, sustainable and competitive development, while facilitating ease of doing business – especially in sectors dealing with construction permits.