Sanctions and Approvals required for Different Types of Properties

Real estate is widely recognized as a booming sector that helps economic growth. The sector offers good opportunities for investment and possibilities for earning profits. The demand is good both in commercial as well as residential sectors.  In order to meet this demand and attract customers, builders often come up with different types of lucrative offers.

Before blindly going by these offers, it is good to be vigilant and evaluate a property based on various aspects. In this article we have covered the sanctions and approvals required for three types of properties, i.e. Apartments, Villas and Independent Houses in their pre construction and post construction phases.


Approvals and sanctions for apartments vary depending upon the building size.  For a high rise apartment building, permissions and statutory compliances are more as compared to a regular apartment building. The National Building Code of India, 2005, categorize buildings under two types. This categorization is being followed in most of the states in India and they are:

  • High Rise Buildings [Above Ground Floor plus Three Floors or (15 meters height)]
  • Not High Rise Buildings or Regular Buildings [Less Than or equal to Ground Floor plus Three Floors or (15 meters height)]

Now let us take a look at the various sanctions and approvals.

Sanctioned Building Plan

One of the fundamental documents required for either category of apartments, whether in the pre or post construction phase, is the Sanctioned Building Plan issued by the jurisdictional planning authority. The Sanctioned Building Plan denotes the number of floors approved for construction. The check point here would be to ensure that the particular Apartment you plan to buy has the sanction or not.

Recently, Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has asked one of the prominent builders, M/s Supertech Limited to seal more than 1000 flats and Villas in Sector Omicron-1, Greater Noida for large scale violation of the sanctioned building plan.

The Mumbai’s Campa Cola Compound has also remained in lime light in the past years as the builder while having permission to construct 6 floors, constructed 35 floors. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation did not issue any Occupancy Certificate for the Building and instead issued notice for its demolition. The matter went to Bombay High Court where eviction and demolition of the Building was confirmed. The Apartment Association appealed to the Supreme Court for relief, wherein relief was granted to residents allowing representation to the State Government for regularisation, which is still pending for consideration.

Any violation of the sanctioned plan, largely affects the residents who have invested in the Apartment. The builder (who violated) would have sold most of the apartments and hence is not affected to that extent. The burden of fighting the legal battle would fall on the residents who make all possible efforts to save their hard earned money.

No Objection Certificate (NOC):

  • For any building to be constructed, it is obligatory for the builder to obtain the approvals from the local authorities and departments such as:
    • NOC from State Pollution Control Board
    • NOC from Electricity Board/Distribution Company such as BESCOM in Karnataka, DPCL, BRPL in Delhi etc.
    • NOC from Water Supply and Sewage Board – For high rises apartments, builders will have to meet around 24 conditions, including sewage treatment plants for apartments with over 100 units and rainwater harvesting facilities.
  • For high rise buildings, the builder needs to apply for other NOC’s for the height clearance, such as:
    • NOC from Airports Authority of India (AAI)
    • NOC from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) or MTNL in Mumbai
    • NOC from Fire and Emergency Department
    • NOC from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA)
  • There are a few NOC’s which are restricted to certain states and cities. For instance in Delhi and Mumbai where there are several heritage buildings and monuments:
    • NOC from National Monument Authority
    • NOC from Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee
  • In Cities where metros are running or proposed to be developed:
    • NOC from Metro Rail Corporation
  • In Cities near costal regions:
    • NOC from Coastal Zone Management Authority

The Supreme Court has time and again directed concerned authorities to take necessary actions against builders, and also impose penalty on them, for violation of construction norms and not obtaining necessary NOC’s from concerned departments. Such violations has not only damaged the ecology and environment but also impacted the planned development of cities. The regularisation of such buildings have worsened the situation. Refer to the Supreme Court judgement in Esha Ekta Apartment Co-operative House Society Limited and others versus Muncipal Corporation of Mumbai and others.

Recently in Forward Foundation and others versus State of Karnataka and others, the National Green Tribunal has delivered a land mark judgement wherein proper environment clerances were not taken before commencement of a project causing hazard to the environment.  The Tribunal vide its order has put a halt to the construction and also levied fine from the builder. It has also set strict guidelines for the State Environmental Impact Assessment Agency (SEIAA) to impose a new buffer zone of 75 meters from lakebeds or wetlands and to amend legal clearances accordingly. [Please also read, “Points To Remember Before and After Buying A Property“].

Commencement Certificate (CC):

Commencement Certificate is a document which is issued by the concerned authority who has sanctioned the building plan. The Builder is required to obtain this document at the beginning of the construction by submitting an application and the required consents from the local authorities subject to the local laws of each state. The procurement of the CC at the initial stage of construction is in itself a proof that the construction is in compliance with the building bye laws and norms.

Occupancy Certificate (OC):

Occupancy Certificate is a document issued by the plan approving authority on completion of the construction in conformity to the sanctioned building plan and laid down norms.  [Please read more details in our blog article, “6 documents you “must check” before buying a property” ]

Villas and Independent Houses:

For Villas and Independent Houses, the sanctions and approvals will be same as listed for the Regular building type discussed under Apartment. In addition, Villas will require some more approvals:

Sanctioned Layout Plan:

Any piece of land which is sub-divided by metes and bounds (multiple boundaries) into independent sites, needs to take requisite permission from the relevant authority by way of an approved layout plan. The approved layout plan identifies the exact location and dimensions of the Site. Absence of this document will bring your property into the category of illegal/unauthorized Villa.

 Release Order:

In the State of Karnataka, when a layout is formed within the limits of jurisdictional planning authorities such as BIAAPA, BMRDA, BDA, etc., it is mandatory for the developer to surrender 60% of the “to be developed land” to the respective authority and is only authorized to sell 40% of the land. Once the layout plan is developed in consonance with the norms laid down for the development, then the respective authority shall issue a “Release Order” (post development) granting permission to sell the remaining 60% of the developed land.

RealDocs Team

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