Parameter and practice of development control in Zimbabwe: An evaluation of the System of Development Control with emphasis on the Determination of Planning Permission Applications and Appeals 1976 to 1996.
The concern of the study is to document and evaluate the development control process in Zimbabwe. Development control is an interventionist tool used by government to regulate development. This regulatory mechanism has been criticised mostly by developers. The planning environment in Zimbabwe has been and is changing. It is time to take stock and there may be need to improve on it. This study is a step towards critically understanding our planning system through analysing planning appeals. This has been achieved through documenting a brief history of development control. This history gives a background to an analytical view of applications for planning permission that were brought before the Administrative Court. Historical developments are traced to bring out the institutions involved; the reasons why some of the planning standards in use today are as they are. Changes that have taken place over the time are revealed. Planning appeals often go unnoticed and receive very little coverage in any form of the media. The control of development, controversial as it is, worries the users mostly. For many citizens in Zimbabwe control of development is not a major issue because they seem to take physical development as given by government. This thesis looks at the handling of planning permission applications by the LPA and the Administrative Court to check whether government laws and regulations are followed. The process is evaluated through analysing applications that went through the LPA and turned into appeals at the Administrative Court. The findings under the history of development control and the planning appeals chapters lead to conclusions about development control and planning appeals. It is hoped that specific studies on planning appeals reveal useful information that might be used in improving upon development control. The recommendations advanced relate to both the procedure and substance of development control. The study found out that there is substantial delay in the process of development control for application for planning permission and at planning appeals stage. There is delay of varying degree at various stages in the process. It starts from lodging an application for planning permission as demonstrated with the case study on the City of Harare to lodging of Notice of Appeal and the Appellant’s Case by the Applicant/Appellant. Worse still there is further delay by the Respondent and to some extent by the Administrative Court. This delay problem is accompanied by lack of adequate framework for planning. This inadequacy in policy framework and the resultant delay in processing applications raise the cost of development or leads to loss of revenue by investors.