It should be noted that, the planning approval process is a consultative one.

Secure Planning Clarendon overview

Understand more about the process…

The Clarendon Municipal Corporation (CMC) is the local planning authority for the parish of Clarendon and responsible of overseeing all developments within this area.  As such, all applications for Planning Approvals must be submitted to the Clarendon MC. 

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. 

Some of the main Planning issues that need to be considered when contemplating development in Jamaica are listed below: 

  • Zoning 
  • Existing Land use 
  • Proposed Land use 
  • Urban Limit 
  • Access (Ingress & Egress) 
  • Traffic Flow 
  • Lot Size 
  • Lot sizes vary based on location (urban/rural), terrain, type of sewage solution 
  • Density (# habitable room/hectare) 
  • Height of Building 
  • Setback from roadways, gullies, canals, coastal zone, rivers etc. 
  • Open Space (1 hectare: 100 lots) 
  • Parking 
  • Level of infrastructure  
  • Change in use of Agricultural Lands 

Continue to the next steps in this guideline for more information on the Clarendon MC Planning Approval Process. 

Complete the relevant form(s) and provide any supporting information/documents…

You may visit the Municipal Corporation to collect the application form for your Planning Application or download it from their website.  For each of the categories of planning applications, there may be specific documents to be submitted and a procedure to be followed.  In order to ensure your application is processed expeditiously and within the relevant timeframe, please ensure all the required supporting documents and information are completed and submitted along with your application.   

Application Requirements: 

The requirements for this process are the same as those for your Building 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  Building Approvals”. 

For Detailed Planning: 

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 Outline Planning: 

As an Applicant, you may choose to submit illustrative drawings representing your proposal and apply for Outline Planning Approval.  This saves you the expense of having detailed and expensive plans prepared, in advance of your even being aware as to whether or not it is even possible to build on the parcel of land.  

  • Application Form to be completed - See form “Application". 
  • Other Supporting Documents to be prepared and submitted. 
    • A Project Brief/concept document. 
    • Illustrative Sketch Drawings. 

It should be noted that when granted, Outline Planning Approval is planning permission only. You will still need to submit a subsequent full application for Planning/Building Permissions, as you must still satisfy all the other statutory reserved matters before proceeding with any construction work. 

For Change of Use: 

Zoning is the process by which the municipal laws or regulations are used to manage and control the type, as well as, the size of buildings that can be erected, and the activities undertaken in specific areas/locations.  A Change of Use Approval is required when your intended development is contrary to the existing zoning in the area and/or development order if the area is covered by a development order. 

  • Application Form to be completed - See form “Application". 
  • Other Supporting Documents to be prepared and submitted. 
    • Same as for Detailed Planning Approval. 

For Retention/Use of Structure: 

This is required if a building was constructed without the requisite building approvals.  You are therefore now required to apply for the retention of use of the existing structure(s) (a retroactive approval of sorts).  This is required in order to retain that building/structure on the property.  Lodging a retention application is no different from lodging a planning application except in name and involves the same process. 

  • Application Form to be completed - See form “Application". 
  • Other Supporting Documents to be prepared and submitted. 
    • Same as for Detailed Planning Approval.  

For Continuance of Use: 

If an activity is already in operation within an area contrary to the existing zoning and/or the development order for the area and has not received prior permission for a change of use, then you must submit an application for continuance of use. 

  • Application Form to be completed - See form “Application". 
  • Other Supporting Documents to be prepared and submitted. 
    • Same as for Detailed Planning Approval.  

For Determination: 

This is applicable if you are unsure on whether planning approval is required for any proposed activity, operation, development or change of use. 

  • Application Form to be completed - See form “Application". 
  • Other Supporting Documents to be prepared and submitted. 
    • A Development Brief.  
    • A Copy of Registered Title. 
    • Certificate of Property Tax Payment. 
    • Description of the proposed operations or change of use. 
    • Description of the land on which the operations/development will be carried out. 
    • The Address for the property. 
    • Location Plan of the property - drawn to a scale of 1:2,500 for urban areas or to any other available scale which is sufficient to clearly identify the land or 1:12,500 in rural areas.  
    • A Site Plan/Layout - showing access to site, ingress/egress; location of buildings, parking layout (For illustrative purposes only).  

Depending on the type of development/investment, you may also be asked to submit additional documents.  For more information on the various forms, requirements, and checklists, email the Clarendon MC.

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 Detailed Planning Approval:   

  • 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 - (4) sets of drawings plus (1) electronic copy. 
    • For Residential multifamily projects – (10) sets of drawings plus (1) electronic copy. 
    • 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.  See JFB application form and review guidelines. 

For Outline Approval/Determination Approval:  

  • Application Form - (4) copies. 
  • Other Supporting Documents - (4) copies. 

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: 

Clarendon Municipal Corporation 
Planning Department 

Sevens Road 
May Pen 

Jamaica W.I. 
Tel: 1 (876) 986-2234 
Fax: 1 (876) 986-9583 


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:

For residential buildings (single-family): 

0.2% x (size m2 x JMD$90000) 

For residential buildings (multifamily): 

0.2% x (size m2 x JMD$90000) 
For commercial buildings:  0.3% x (size m2 x JMD$90000) 
For institutional buildings:  0.2% x (size m2 x JMD$90000) 
For resort buildings:  0.2% x (size m2 x JMD$90000) 
Site inspection (First 4# site visits included):  JMD$5000 per site visit thereafter 


Other reviewing agency fees: 

National Works Agency review: 
Detailed Application: JMD$150/m2
Petrol Station: JMD$ 30000 plus (JMD$150/m2) 

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 - Thursday: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm 
Fridays: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Please note:  Fees are subject to updates.

Processing Time:

  • Planning Approvals - maximum of ninety (90) working days. 
    • Processing time for approvals may vary depending on the number of reviewing agencies that need to provide feedback. 
    • 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.  
    • 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) 986-2234.

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.
    • 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 including 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 a hill slope)   
    • Jamaica Fire Brigade
    • Agricultural Land Management Division (ALMD), MICAF 
    • Office of Disaster Preparedness & 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 Clarendon MC's website or NEPA's eCentre.

Collect your approved document(s)…

You are required to pick up and sign for your final approval documents at the Clarendon 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 Planning Approval(s)