A Guide to Permitted Development Permits (PDPs)

An application for a Permitted Development Permit (PDP) may be submitted for development that is described by the Development and Planning (General Development Order) 1999 (the “GDO”). If approved, a PDP would effectively grant both planning permission and a building permit for a development.

Once a PDP application is submitted, the planning officer assesses only whether the proposed development falls within the scope of the GDO and does not assess any potential impact of the proposal as per the full DAP1 planning application process. A PDP application is not publicly advertised and does not require the formal approval of the Development Applications Board (DAB) or the Director of Planning, therefore the processing time is substantially less than that that of a full DAP1 application. The Department aims to process the majority of PDP applications within 5 working days.

In order to be approved by planning, a PDP must satisfy all relevant criteria of the GDO and all relevant policies of the applicable development plan and the application must be submitted and approved prior to the commencement of development on site.

It is important to note that, when reference is made to maximum permitted site coverage, this means the cumulative total since the property was originally constructed rather than the amount of site coverage proposed per application.

Classes of Permitted Development

The GDO sets out five different classes of development which are deemed to have planning permission:

Class I. Development within the curtilage of a residential building – includes but it not limited to the enlargement or alteration of a residential building, installation of a skylight, enlargement or alteration of an accessory building, swimming pools, construction of hard surfacing, pergolas and barbecues

Class II. Development within the curtilage of a building other than a residential building – includes but is not limited to the enlargement or alteration of a building other than a residential building, the construction of hard surfacing and the development on industrial land for industrial purposes

Class III. Repairs, maintenance, temporary, sundry or minor works – includes but is not limited to repairs of damaged buildings, works and plant, excavation works or deposit of fill, maintenance and building repair, temporary building works, plant or machinery, temporary use of land, erection of gates, fences and walls, development related to chimney, flue, soil or vent pipe, satellite receiving dishes and antennae, ramps to provide wheelchair access and the erection of a flagpole

Class IV. Development by statutory undertakers – development for the provision of public utilities or services, including the sinking of exploratory boreholes

Class V. Solar Energy Collection Systems which are 1,000 square feet or less in area

The criteria set out by each Class of the GDO is summarised below, however it is important to note that this summary is not exhaustive. If you consider that your proposal constitutes “permitted development”, a PDP application should be submitted for the consideration of the Department of Planning and no development should commence until such time that the PDP is granted.

• The height of an addition must not exceed the height of that part of the existing residential building to which it is attached, nor the height of any part of a two storey building

• An addition must be attached to the existing residential building

• Any skylight must not exceed a width or depth of three feet

• Swimming pools must not be located forward of the building line of the principal elevation and must not front onto a road

• Porous materials must be used to construct hard surfacing or the hard surfacing must be designed to direct run-off water to a permeable or porous surface within the lot

• Any excavation or fill required for the construction of hard surfacing, including that required for pergolas, must not exceed 30 inches above grade or four feet in depth

Site coverage and floor area restrictions of this Class are set out as follows:

 

Detached Houses

Accessory buildings

Maximum additional site coverage permitted

500 square feet

150 square feet

Maximum additional gross floor area permitted

1,000 square feet

250 square feet

Accessory buildings (which include garages, carports and garden sheds) must remain for non-habitable purposes only to qualify for the PDP process otherwise (including if any additional residential unit is proposed) a DAP1 application will be required.

• The site coverage of the existing building (measured externally) must not be exceeded by more than 500 square feet
• The gross floor area of the existing building must not be exceeded by more than 1,000 square feet
• The building as enlarged or altered must be used for the same purposes as the principal building
• Porous materials must be used to construct hard surfacing or the hard surfacing must be designed to direct run-off water to a permeable or porous surface within the lot
• Any excavation or fill required for the construction of hard surfacing must not exceed 30 inches above grade or four feet in depth
• For industrial development, the installation, replacement or rearrangement of plant machinery, sewer main pipe, cable or other apparatus is permitted if:
o the works do not materially affect the external appearance of the premises when viewed from a public road;
o the apparatus does not generate air or noise pollution, odours, vibrations, or obstruct the flow of vehicular traffic; and
o the apparatus does not exceed the height of any existing apparatus

• The building, restoration or replacement of buildings, works, or plant which have suffered damage is permitted if no more than 60% of the volume of the said building, works or plant has been destroyed by such damage
• No part of the grade of a site can be decreased or increased by more than 4 feet
• Gates, walls and fences, including retaining walls, must not exceed 4 feet in height and must be located entirely within the lot line
• For repairs to listed buildings:
o any replacement door, door-frame, window-frame or shutter must be made of wood and be the same size and design as the original;
o any replacement window or door must use the same opening as the original; and
o any replacement roof must be of the same material as the original
• The temporary use of land and any associated moveable structures are limited to no more than 28 days in total in any twelve month period
• A flagpole must not exceed 30 feet in height and must not to be used for advertising purposes

• The site coverage of the existing building (measured externally) must not be exceeded by more than 500 square feet
• The gross floor area of the existing building must not be exceeded by more than 1,000 square feet
• The height of an addition must not exceed the height of that part of the existing residential building to which it is attached, nor the height of any part of a two storey building
• An addition must not project forward on an existing front building line
• Porous materials must be used to construct hard surfacing or the hard surfacing must be designed to direct run-off water to a permeable or porous surface within the lot
• Any excavation or fill required for the construction of hard surfacing must not exceed 30 inches above grade or four feet in depth

• No roof-mounted panel may:
o project more than ten inches from the surface of a pitched roof or 48 inches from the surface of a flat roof;
o be within four inches of the hip of the roof or six inches of the edge of a gable or flat roof;
o project higher than, or be located within, four inches of the ridge of the roof;
o impede or prevent the harvesting of rainwater;
o be located within a setback to a road; or
o be installed on a pergola which is located within any setback
• No ground-mounted panel may exceed 48 inches in height or be located within any setback

Additional Requirements

In addition to the relevant criteria set out above, in order to qualify for a Permitted Development Permit the proposed development must adhere to the criteria set out below. All current development plans can be found here.

Development must:
Development must not:

How to Apply for a Permitted Development Permit

Applications must be submitted online via the Department’s Customer Self Service portal, which can be accessed by clicking here.

In addition to a completed online application form, all PDP applications must include the following, to be submitted as a single PDF document:

(a) The location and extent of the application site and the location of all neighbouring properties and roads within at least 500 feet of the site

(b) The name of the road on which the application site is located and at least one other road within the vicinity, including at least one public road

(c) The extent of the application site outlined in RED

a. The area outlined in red must encompass the entire lot(s) on which development, subdivision or an alteration to a right of way is proposed

b. If the application site comprises more than one legal lot, the extent of each lot must be represented in BLACK

(d) Additional adjacent land owned by applicant outlined in BLUE

(e) Access to the site from the nearest public road coloured YELLOW

(a) The boundaries of the application site edged in RED and all minimum setback lines which are applicable to the application site demarked with an ORANGE dashed line and labelled

(b) The length of existing boundaries, in feet, and the area of the application site, in square feet

(c) The location and use of all existing structures on and, where practicable, within 15 feet of the application site, with any listed buildings clearly labelled

(d) The location and use of all proposed structures within the application site with clear differentiation between existing and proposed development (e.g. using different line work, shading, notations, colours or separate existing and proposed drawings)

(e) The location of any Conservation Zone, Conservation Area, Protection Area, Tree Preservation Order and/or area covered by a Zoning Order, Section 34 Agreement or active Conservation Management Plan on or within 15 feet of the application site

(f) The distance, in feet, of all proposed buildings, structures, fill or excavation, including rock cuts, within any minimum setback from the adjacent site or conservation area/zone boundary

(g) Existing and proposed grade illustrating contours at no greater than one metre intervals and including proposed spot heights

(h) The location of the site sections through the site and identification of:

(i) the present grade line and elevation;

(ii) the maximum depth of any site excavation work, vertical rock faces and steps; and

(iii) the proposed grade line and elevation

(i) Existing and proposed storm water drainage details

(j) Location of existing and proposed cess pits, septic tanks, sewage lines, water tanks and wells

(k) Location and layout of existing and proposed car and bike parking and turnaround areas including dimensions of all parking spaces and aisle widths and details of surfacing

(l) Existing and proposed landscaping, identifying trees and shrubs to be removed, retained and planted (including species, size and quantity or spacing of plants)

(m) The location, width and gradient of all existing and proposed means of vehicular access to the site, including details of sight lines and bell mouth radius where the affected access is onto a public road

(n) The location, extent and dimensions of any existing legal rights or easements associated with the application site as well as any rights or easements which exist over or under the application site

a. Rights of way or easements for the benefit of the application site to be coloured YELLOW

b. Encumbered rights of way or easements (i.e. those within the application site for the benefit of another property) coloured GREEN

(o) If a change of use is proposed, the part of land or building subject to the change of use, with existing and proposed uses noted

(p) If re-grading is proposed, the extent of the area to be excavated or filled and the depth to which it is proposed to be excavated or filled using existing contours and proposed spot heights, based on a topographical survey

(q) If an increase in the number of dwelling units is proposed, the location, extent and size in square feet of the private outdoor space for each existing and proposed unit identified

(r) If the proposal would result in the provision of 5 or more dwellings units on the application site, details of the location, extent and size in square feet of communal outdoor space and the location, size, height and design of a communal garbage storage area

(s) If coastal development is proposed, the location of the high water mark and depth measurements taken at mean low tide in the vicinity of the proposed works, based on marine survey data

(a) The roof, foundation and each floor of the building, with the use and size of each unit, in square feet, and each room identified (i.e. ‘bedroom’, ‘living room’, ‘kitchen’), all existing walls coloured GREY, all walls proposed for demolition denoted by a RED dashed line and all proposed walls coloured BLACK (for proposed attic spaces, the floor plan must include a dashed line denoting the useable habitable space with a floor to ceiling height of 7’6” of greater)

(b) Elevations of all sides, in the case of a proposed new building, or all elevations which would be altered by the proposed development in all other cases, with existing walls coloured GREY, all walls proposed for demolition denoted by a RED dashed line and all proposed coloured BLACK. All existing windows and doors must be coloured GREY and any proposed windows and doors must be coloured BLACK and clearly labelled. No existing or proposed planting should be included on elevations

(c) At least two cross sections taken at right angles to one another of any affected building and its relationship to the site, showing the levels of all floors, including water tanks and basement levels, and of the existing and proposed finished grades of the site in relation to all adjoining roads, lot lines, conservation zone or area and all setback lines, including at least one section where the greatest extent of re-grading is proposed

(d) The external materials to be used for all proposed buildings, additions and boundary structures, including the finish and colour to be used, where appropriate

Required for all applications proposing development which does not fall within the scope of the Bermuda Residential Building Code 2014. Drawings pertaining to all such applications must be forwarded to the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) by emailing fireprotection@gov.bm prior to the submission of the PDP application. The PDP application must include one of the following:

• drawings stamped by the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service; or

• written confirmation from Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service that neither of the above are required for that particular planning application.

A survey may also be required in addition to the above, particularly if the site is topographically challenging or it is necessary to confirm the position of boundaries. If required, surveys must be included as a separate PDF document and satisfy all criteria set out by the Department’s Guide to Surveys.

Other information may also be requested at the discretion of technical officers.

Next Steps

Once an application has been received by the Department, it will be given a reference number with a prefix of “B”. The progress of the application can then be tracked via the Department’s Customer Self-Service (CSS) portal.

Once submitted, the PDP application will be assessed by a planning officer in conjunction with the Plans Examiner of the Building Control Section and an Environmental Health officer of the Department of Health for planning, building and health code compliance respectively. The application will be rejected if the proposal falls outside of the scope of the GDO or insufficient information has been provided. If deemed acceptable, the Building Control section will issue the permit on behalf of the Director of Planning. PDP approval lasts for 5 years from their date of issuance.

Please note that, if an application is rejected for any reason or an overpayment is made, the fee will not be refunded.

Once the permitted development permit is issued, it is time to build. Confirmation of the approval will be provided via email together with a guidance note on the inspections process and a copy of the request for a Certificate of Completion and Occupancy.

Permit Documents, which include a minimum of the Approval letter, Stamped Approved drawings, Conditions of Issuance of the Permit and Inspection Card, may be downloaded from the Department’s Customer Self-Service (CSS) portal. A paper copy of ALL of these documents must remain at the permit site at all times. You must have a CSS account and be associated with the application to be able to access this information.

Details on how to arrange and prepare for inspections can be found here.

Letters of objection and/or representation should be emailed to planningfrontdesk@gov.bm referencing the PLAN or SUB number in the subject line.

Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 5th Floor, 58 Court Street Hamilton, HM12, Bermuda

Subscribe for updates: