Function Of The Local Authority (LUMS)

The local authority is responsible for ensuring the required level of compliance has been achieved before it can approve a building application.


The local authority processes are governed by the time frames contained within the provincial Planning Development Act and the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act No. 103 of 1977. eThekwini Municipality has a two phased process to be followed in order to obtain an approval:

Step 1) Make an application for consideration in respect of the relevant Town Planning Scheme to Land Use Management Branch;

After planning authorization is obtained –

Step 2) Make an application in respect of section 4 of Act 103 of 1977 to Development Applications

Such applications cannot be submitted simultaneously or made to run concurrently due to conflicting legislative timeframes.

Land Use Management (LUMS) Consideration.

Land Use Management Branch considers a proposal for adherence with the relevant Town Planning Scheme provisions and associated requirements, ie:
– zoning controls;
– space about buildings;
– appearance;
– impact on amenities, etc..
Where the town planning scheme controls are adhered to an authorisation from LUM will be granted. Such authorisation does not constitute an authority to undertake building work (by the owner/contractor or any other person) or that an application made in terms of sec. 4 of Act 103 of 1977 will be successful.

The purpose of town planning scheme controls are generally to:

Building lines:

– develop and maintain an attractive streetscape;
– provide privacy to rooms facing the street;
– insulate against traffic generated noise;
– enhance traffic safety by maintaining sight lines;
– provide for natural light and air movement (ventilation) around buildings;

Side Spaces:

– maximize privacy;
– limit overshadowing of neighboring sites;
– allow for natural lighting and air movement (ventilation) around buildings;
– allow vehicular access to rear of building;
– provide separation for aesthetic purposes;
– protect the foundations of neighboring buildings;
– provide for existing and future services;

Rear Space:

– create space for relaxation purposes;
– preserve privacy;
– provide for existing and future services;


– maintain an equilibrium in the provision of services and amenities


– through varying height controls within the urban context ensure access to natural light and air movement (ventilation) around buildings;
– preserve an acceptable character and aesthetic within the different zonings;
– control the intensity of development;


– to limit the bulk of buildings;
– create an area around building for recreational purposes;
– maintain aesthetics of the area

Floor Space and Bulk Controls:

– control the intensity of development and building bulk:
– ensure and maintain a balance between the population of an area and the provision of facilities;
– control the intensity of commercial use;
– ensure aesthetic quality;
– maintain the correct intensity of use from a traffic generation aspect;

Environmental controls:

– provide a mechanism to protect environmentally sensitive areas, fauna & flora, water courses, etc.

Read more about LUMS at:

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