St. Mary 

All applications for Building Permits within this parish must be submitted to the St. Mary MC.

Secure Planning St. Mary overview

Understand more about the process…

The St. Mary Municipal Corporation (SMMC) is the local planning authority for the parish of St. Mary and responsible of overseeing all development within this area.  As such, all applications for Building Permits within this parish must be submitted to the St. Mary MC.


The safety and security of buildings is ensured by the process of building permit approvals. The overall structure is assessed based on the plans/drawings presented and their conformance with the building code and best practices. One of the key goals of the Building Department of the Municipal Corporations (MCs) is to ensure public safety.


As an Investor, it is important that you first consult with the Local Planning Authority/Municipal Corporation before starting on any detailed design work.  Prior to submitting your application make sure that you have prepared and obtained all the necessary information required for the application. Contact the MC about the Development Application Help Desk (DAHD) and their walk-in “Pre-Check” Service or the Development Assistance Centre (DAC) at NEPA for a consultation.

See below for more information on the St. Mary MC Building Permit Process.

Complete the relevant Form(s) and provide any Supporting Information/Documents…

You may visit the Municipal Corporation (MC) to collect the application form for all Building Permit Applications or download it from their website.  In general, the process is straightforward and simple once you are aware of the steps to follow.  However, based on the type and location of your development, there may be specific additional documents to be submitted and the processing time may increase. In order to ensure your application is processed expeditiously and within the relevant timeframe, please ensure all the required supporting documents are completed and submitted along with your application. 


Application Requirements:

The requirements for this process are the same as those for your detailed Planning Approval and it is recommended that the application for the two (2) approvals be submitted at the same time.  For further information on that process, see “Securing your Planning Approvals”.


For Building Permits:

• Application Form to be completed - (you should indicate on the form all of the different approvals for which you are applying). See form “Application for Building/Planning Permission”.

• Other Supporting Documents to be prepared and submitted.

- Final detailed planning/architectural/engineering drawings for proposal - prepared, stamped and signed by a locally Registered Architect/Engineer. 

- Surveyor’s ID Report (sketch plan) - prepared by a locally Commissioned Land Surveyor.

- Proof of ownership of the land - (see checklist for acceptable forms of proof of ownership).

- Certificate of Property Tax Payment – most current.

- A Project Brief - (where applicable e.g. large/complex proposals).

- Fire approval letter and stamped drawings - from the Jamaica Fire Brigade. (You may choose to do this yourself prior to your submission to the MC, otherwise the MC will circulate the drawings to the JFB).

For more information on the various forms, requirements, and checklists, email the St. Mary MC at

Submit your completed Application…

Once your form(s) and all supporting information/documents have been completed, signed, stamped and certified where required, you will need to visit the Municipal Corporation to submit your Application and pay the relevant application fees.


Submission Requirements:

All plans/drawings must be signed by a registered architect/engineer.  The correct number of copies of the plans/drawings to be submitted depends on the type and location of your development.  However, as a general guide see below:


For Building Permits: 

• Application Form and supporting documents listed above - (2) copies.

• The architectural/engineering/construction plans/drawings are to be printed, stamped, signed and submitted. 

For Residential single-family projects - (3) sets of drawings plus (1) electronic copy.

For Residential multifamily projects – (6) sets of drawings plus (1) electronic copy. (number of sets depends on number of reviewing agencies)

For Commercial and other projects – (10) sets of drawings plus (1) electronic copy.


Please note that of the total number of sets required above, at least two (2) sets should be stamped and approved by the Jamaica Fire Brigade (Fire Approval). If you so choose, this may be done prior to your submission to the MC.  JFB Application Form.


For additional guidance, consult your MC through their Development Application Help Desk (DAHD) to verify the required number of sets of plans/drawings to be submitted for your specific project type, size and complexity.


The address and contact information for the Municipal Corporation is indicated below:
St. Mary Municipal Corporation
Planning Department
2 Hodgson Street
Port Maria
St. Mary
Jamaica W.I.
Tel: 1 (876) 994-2648/2212/9410/725-0302
Fax: 1 (876) 994-2372

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm 
Friday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Pay the relevant Processing Fees…

Planning/Building application fees are calculated based on the area calculated in square meters (m2) and type of the structure to be erected.  In addition, there is also a separate site inspection fee.


General application fees:
•    Fees: Cost/m2:
•    For residential buildings (single-family): JMD$150/m2
•    For residential buildings (multifamily): JMD$150/m2
•    For commercial buildings: JMD$250/m2 
•    Telecommunications towers: JMD$18000 per tower to be erected.
•    Site inspection: JMD$X000 (per visit)

Other reviewing agency fees:
•    National Works Agency review: NWA will assess and advise.
•    Jamaica Fire Brigade: JMD$3000 – $5000 

Fees related to reviewing agencies should be paid over directly to those agencies.

Other planning approval fees:
•    Outline Approval/Determination application fee: JMD$7500
The cashier at the Council Administrative Building is open from:
Monday - Friday: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm 
Please note: Fees are subject to updates.

Processing Time:
•    Building Permits - maximum of ninety (90) working days. 
o    Processing time for permits may vary depending on the number of reviewing agencies that need to provide feedback. 
o    Once discrepancies are found with the application, the time is stopped and is restarted only once the necessary changes have been made and presented to the Corporation.  
o    Your application’s progress can be tracked online, and you are able to view its status by going to the MCs’ websites or using the AMANDA System.

To learn more about tracking your application, visit the AMANDA System… or contact your MC at 1 (876) 994-2648/2212/9410/725-0302

Additional steps required for approval…

Once your application has been submitted, there are several additional steps that the Municipal Corporation will need to undertake as a part of their own due diligence and in keeping with the participatory nature of the planning process.  This includes the following:


• Due Diligence Investigation - is carried out on the development project.

    • Application entered into the AMANDA System.
    • Corporation to conduct a site visit and prepare a report (separate fee required)
    • This will be done within ten (10) working days of receiving the application.

• Application Circulation - to Reviewing Agencies of your application documents and the Corporation’s site report, which are shared with the relevant reviewing agencies for comments/recommendations, including but not limited to:

    • National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)
    • National Works Agency (NWA) (additional costs related to this review)     
    • Natural Resources Conservation Authority     
    • Environmental Health Unit, Ministry of Health 
    • Water Resources Authority      
    • Mines & Geology Division (if on hillside or slope)
    • Jamaica Fire Brigade
    • Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)
    • Other Agencies as may be deemed necessary

• Technical Reviews - conducted by the various Reviewing Agencies, who will provide their written comments/recommendations.

• Agencies’ Comments/Recommendations – returned to the Corporation for review and compilation by their Planning Department.

• Report Compiled - on the agencies’ comments/recommendations for presentation to the MC’s Planning Committee.

• Monthly Planning Committee Meeting – held by MC to review the report and make a final decision regarding approval.

To learn more about this process you may also visit the St. Mary MC's website or NEPA's eCentre.

Collect your Approved Document(s)…

You are required to collect and sign for your final approval documents at the St. Mary MC. If an Agent is submitting the application on your behalf, you will need to provide them with a letter of authorization, stamped and signed by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public. 


At the end of the process you would have received the following:

  • Your Building Permit(s)