Guide to Submitting Planning Applications

The Department of Planning aims to process applications as expeditiously as possible, however the submission of incomplete applications or inaccurate information can result in significant delays or result in applications being rejected or refused. It is therefore imperative that this guidance be closely followed by applicants and agents when submitting planning applications.

The Development and Planning (Application Procedure) Rules 1997 specify criteria which must be met when submitting planning applications and allow the Development Applications Board to require specific additional information to be included in planning applications.

This Guidance Note sets out submission requirements for DAP1 (Development) and DAP2 (Subdivision) applications. Once submitted, all planning applications are vetted by officers of the Department against the relevant DAP1 or DAP2 Vetting Checklist.

All planning applications must be submitted via the Department of Planning’s Customer Self Service portal by clicking here.

Minimum Requirements for All Planning Applications

All DAP1 and DAP2 planning applications must include all of the items listed below upon submission, in PDF format.

(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

DAP1 Application Requirements

All DAP1 planning applications for development, whether seeking final or in-principle approval, must include the following:

(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

(a) Existing drawings excluding any details of the proposed development, including site plan, floor plans and all elevations which would be affected by the proposal

(b) Label and schedule of any proposed demolition or removal of existing features of the building or site, which must align with the areas proposed for demolition as indicated on the site plan

(c) Label and schedule of any existing doors and windows to be removed or replaced

(d) Label and schedule of any proposed doors and windows, including size, design and materials

(e) Where significant additions or a new building is proposed, a ‘street scene’ elevation/section to illustrate the proposal within the context of the listed building and the surrounding area

DAP2 Application Requirements

DAP2 subdivision applications may be submitted as either a draft or final plan of subdivision. The criteria for draft plans of subdivision is set out below; final plans of subdivision must also include this criteria but must be drawn by a registered surveyor.

(a) The existing legal lot boundaries represented in GREY, the proposed lot boundaries represented in RED all minimum setback lines which are applicable to the application site demarked with an ORANGE dashed line and labelled

(b) The length of all proposed lot boundaries, in feet, and the area of the proposed lot(s), in square feet

(c) The existing grade of the lot(s) to be subdivided illustrating contours at no greater than one metre intervals

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

(e) The location, area or areas and boundaries of any land to be dedicated for community purposes

(f) 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

(g) The location of all existing structures (including walls, fences, water tanks, wells and any cess pits known to exist) and existing uses on or under the land to be subdivided

(h) The location of any sewers, pipelines, cables or other apparatus known to exist, including those of statutory undertakers

Additional Information

In addition to the above, a DAP1 or DAP2 application may also be required to include the following:

If the form is signed by anyone other than the owner of the land, the application must include either:
 

• a letter signed by the owner(s) of the land confirming that they are aware of the application; or

• evidence from the applicant that they have taken all reasonable steps to obtain such a letter.

In the case of any application affecting Government-owned land or any application proposing development affecting any part of the seabed beyond the high water mark (i.e. “the Queen’s bottom”), the application must include written acknowledgement from the Estates section of the Ministry of Public Works confirming that they are aware of the application.

Required where development is proposed within a setback to a boundary shared with an adjoining landowner. A template form can be downloaded here.

Required where the discretion of the Development Applications Board is sought on any matter; see Policy APC.10 of the Bermuda Plan 2018 for the criteria of what must be included in this document.

Typically required where development is proposed within, or within a setback to, a Conservation Base Zone or Conservation Area. In such cases, pre-consultation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is encouraged. See the Guide to Conservation Management Plans for further information.

Required for applications proposing to develop a vacant parcel of land, unless the applicant can provide evidence of a valid registered plan of subdivision. The proof of separate title must be submitted in the form of a letter from a lawyer confirming that, in the opinion of the lawyer, the land is a bona fide lot. The following, or similar, wording will be accepted for the letter:

I, (insert name), barrister and attorney, have examined the title deeds and other relevant documents pertaining to (description of land – can be attached as a schedule). I am of the opinion that this parcel of land was, immediately before 27 June 1974, held by a single title and constitutes an existing lot for the purposes of section 41 of the Development and Planning Act 1974.

Required for all applications proposing development which does not fall within the Bermuda Residential Building Code 2014, including commercial buildings, residential applications that exceed 5,000 square feet in gross floor area per floor level and/or any building that exceeds 2 storeys or a grade to eave height of 24 feet. 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 planning application. For submissions to Department of Planning, such planning applications must include one of the following:

• drawings stamped by the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service;

• confirmation from Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service that an application for a Fire Certificate has been made, such as a copy of a stamped Fire Certificate Application Form; or

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

Retroactive Planning Applications

If retroactive planning permission is being sought for development which has already commenced and the applicant is of the view that he was not responsible for the breach of planning control or that, at the time of the development was being so carried out, he did not know and could not be reasonably be expected to have, known that the development was in breach of planning control, an affidavit or letter signed by the applicant to this effect must be included with the planning application. An additional fee will also be incurred for all retroactive planning applications.

Please refer to the Guide to Retroactive Applications for further details.

Vetting of Applications and Fees

Once an application has been received by the Department, it will be given a reference number with a prefix of “P” for DAP1 applications and “S” for DAP2 applications and vetted against the relevant Vetting Checklist. An application will typically be vetted within three (3) business days from receipt.

If an application does not pass vetting, the Department will normally reject the application, in which case a new application will be required. In exceptional cases, the Department will request additional information from the applicant or agent, in which case a deadline of no more than fourteen (14) days for the receipt of all outstanding information will be set. The application will be rejected if this deadline is not met unless a valid reason is provided as to why the deadline cannot be achieved.

Once an application passes vetting, the Department will typically issue an invoice for the application fee within twenty four (24) hours from the completion of vetting. It is appreciated if payment can be made as soon as possible to allow the application to be processed more quickly and, at a maximum, within ten (10) business days of the invoice being issued; if payment is not received within this timescale, the application will be rejected.

The applicant will also be asked to display a site notice on or adjacent to the application site and provide photographic evidence of the displayed site notice within five (5) business days. If adequate evidence is not provided within this timeframe and/or the site notice has not been displayed in an appropriately publicly visible location, the application will normally be rejected.

N.B. Please also note that, if payment is made and the application is then rejected for any reason or an overpayment is made, the fee will not be refunded.

Following receipt of the fee and evidence that the site notice has been appropriately displayed, the application will be advertised in the online Official Gazette; further details on the publicity of applications can be found here.

Once the application has been advertised, it will be assigned to a planner for assessment and, ultimately, referred to either the Director of Planning or the Development Applications Board for determination. You can track the progress of an application via the Citizen Self Service portal which includes details such as the current status of the application and the officer to whom the application has been assigned. Further details on how planning applications are decided 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

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