Frequently Asked Questions
What is CMDA?
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority is a statutory organization of the Tamil
Nadu Government. Its responsibility is among other, to regulate all physical developments
within Chennai Metropolitan Area on planned lines. For this purpose CMDA has prepared
a Master Plan which designates the land use permissible in every part of the Chennai
What is Development?
Development, as per the Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, means carrying out
of any building, engineering, or other such operations on, over or under land and
includes making any change in the use of Control Rules forming part of the Master
Plan. (Booklet available on sale at CMDA)
What is Planning Permission?
Before you undertake any development you have to obtain Planning Permission from
the CMDA, which is must under the Town & Country Planning Act. The permission is
valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Planning Permission once issued can be
renewed for another period of 3 years by an application within the validity period
of issued Planning Permission.
How do you obtain Planning Permission?
Two categories of applications have been prescribed –Form-‘A’ for laying out of
lands for building purposes and Form-‘B’ for all other development. You can get
an application form paying the appropriate amount from the offices of Chennai City
Municipal Corporation, or the Municipality Township or Panchayat Union. These forms
are not on sale in the CMDA office since applications are to be filed directly with
the Corporation or local body.
What are the documents to be attached to the application?
- Five copies of plans showing:
- A detailed site plan with the site distinguished clearly and the proposed structure
located within the site, indicating specifically the dimensions by which it is set
back from the property boundaries.
- Plan, elevation and sectional details of the structure proposed to be constructed
or developed, distinguishing clearly the existing developments if any, as also full
relevant details if the development comprised of institution of new use or change
- Key plan showing location of the site. These plans and the application are to be
signed by the applicant and an Architect or a Surveyor, licensed by the local body
for the purpose.
- Clearance from the competent authority (if necessary)
- Sale deed / Lease deed and Patta to establish your title to the land
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With whom should you file the application?
Chennai City Municipal Corporation / Municipality / Town Panchayat / Panchayat Union,
as the case may be.
On what basis is Planning Permission issued?
Your application will be scrutinized with reference to the land use for which site
has been designed under the Master Plan or the Detailed Development Plan read with
the Development Control Rule corresponding to that particular use. If the application
satisfies the Development Control Rules, Planning Permission will be issued, and
if not, Planning Permission will be refused by the Local Authority. Only in major
cases the applications may have to be referred to the CMDA by the local Authority,
for its scrutiny.
Will the site be inspected?
Your site will invariably be inspected by either the Building plan Surveyor / Town
Planning Officer or Engineer concerned or an official of the Local Authority / official
of CMDA as the case may be.
How long does it take to get a decision?
A decision on your application will be communicated to you, barring exceptional
circumstances, within 45 days from the date on which you file your application.
What are your rights if you are aggrieved by the decision?
If Permission is refused by the Local Authority or the CMDA you may appeal to the
Government at Housing and Urban Development Department.
What happens if you do not apply for Planning Permission at all?
If you carry out any developments without proper permission it will be treated as
unauthorized development. Construction made without permission can be demolished
under the Act. In the case of deviation from the approved plan also, permission
is to be obtained. A revised plan showing the deviations should be submitted and
the procedure for the approval of the original plan will apply to all such deviation
Should you pay a License fee / Development Charge?
If your application is fit to be approved, a demand will be sent to you by the local
authority / CMDA for payment of development charges and other fees applicable. The
rate will depend on the proposed uses and the floor area.
What is your obligation as a Developer within the CMDA?
Obtain permission for any development / construction you decide to carry out. Complete
development within the prescribed time or otherwise the permit lapses.