The division is located at Cleveland House. The Town Planning Services offers development permits and protection to our clients from bad neighbours through enforcement and development control procedures. These range from complaints on noise, illegal land uses, squatters and change of use advice.

Key Result Areas or Functions of the Division

Manages the City’s physical environment as dictated by the provisions of the RTCP Act and supportive statutory enactments.

Responsible for the preparation of statutory planning and development control documents and implementing the provisions of the same by facilitating, guiding, controlling, monitoring and enforcing developments and activities on land as envisioned in the provisions of the operative Master Plan, Local Plans Town Planning Schemes and policy prescriptions.

What is town planning?

It is the art and science of ordering the use of land to achieve the maximum practicable degree of economic; convenience, safety and health for a particular environment so as to safe guard the well being of the people.  In simple terms it is the wise use of land for the benefit of the community.

What are Town Planning Statutes?

Town Planning is governed by the Regional, Town and Country and Planning Act Chapter 29:12 Revised Edition of 1996, (RTCP).  This is an act of Parliament of Zimbabwe.  The Harare Combination Master Plan, Local Plans, Town Planning Schemes and Regulations are other statutory documents that guide planning.

The City Town Planning and Development division comprises of two sections which are interlinked and interrelated. These are:

Research and Development Section

The section is the policy formulation arm of the Department and is responsible for crafting and formulating statutory and non-statutory policy proposals that guide and direct development on the land under Harare City’s area of jurisdiction. These include Harare Combination Master Plan, Local Plans and policy prescriptions.  The statutes guide and direct development on the land under Harare’s area of jurisdiction.

Regional Planning Section

This is the key operating/implementing arm for all Town Planning regulations.  Its operations relate to building plan approvals, processing subdivision and consolidation applications, change of use, change of reservations, special consent, shop licenses and issuing of permits. The Section’s activities are undertaken through three (3) spatial regions namely:

  • Eastern Region
  • Central Region
  • Western Region

Procedure for Special Consent Applications

These are applications that under normal circumstances are not freely permitted but require a special consent/consideration of Council.  The applications go through a definite processing procedure that require acknowledgment, advertising and neighbour notification before a report is prospered for consideration by the relevant Committee of Council.  The elements of publicity and neighbour notification are to protect public and private interest through public participation.

The application consists of:

  • Completed TPD1 form signed by the owner
  • Certified copy of title deeds
  • Town Planning report justifying the need for the proposal
  • Floor plans of the house
  • Site plan of the stand
  • Application fees

Subdivision of private land Requirements

An application is made in terms of Section 40 of the RTCP Act.  The Application consists of:

  • Completed TPSCI form signed by the owner
  • Certified copies of the title deeds
  • One (1) sepia copy and 18 copies of the drawing depicting the subdivision.
  • Letter of representation
  • Application fees

Procedure for Application for Municipal Land

  • An application is done through City Valuer and Estates Manager (CVEM) with a sketch diagram depicting abutting roads and stands attached.
  • CVEM forwards the application to Town Planning (Regional Planning Section) if it is vacant Council land.
  • Town Planning prepares plans for circulation purposes if agreeable to the proposal.
  • Town Planning approves plans if circulation results are positive and proposal is temporary.
  • Town Planning rejects plans if circulation results are negative.
  • Decision in 4 and 5 above is communicated back to CVEM who then processes lease if positive and refuses if negative.
  • If proposal is of a permanent nature, Section 49(3) of the Act is required and the following procedure commences.
  • Report to Council
  • If report is approved by Council, report is prospered to the Minister in terms of Section 205 of the Urban Council’s Act.
  • If approved or refused, communicate decisions back to CVEM who then process purchase or refusal.


The City Planning and Development Division was in 2018 focusing on the review of the Harare Combination Master Plan (HCMP) which was long overdue. In terms of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act [Chapter 29:12], a Master Plan is required to be reviewed after every 15 years. A review of the Master Plan presents opportunities to unlock and attract new foreign and local investment into the City of Harare and its surrounding sister local authorities.

Progress made
A Council resolution for the preparation of the masterplan was obtained in May 2018 and thereafter an inception Conference was held on 16 July 2018.The following thematic committees were established:
• Infrastructure
• Environment, Tourism
• Traffic and Transportation
• Housing, community services, social and recreational
• Industry, Commerce and Employment
• Statutory plans
• Administration and Finance
• Population
• Health
• Security and Miscellaneous (ZRP, Prisons, Army, Municipal Police) GIS/Maps
• An inception workshop for the thematic areas was successfully undertaken
• Questionnaires have been successfully designed and completed

30/04/19: Draft Report of Study
30/06/19 : Draft Proposals and Written Statement
30/09/19.: Draft Harare Master Plan

Borrowdale LDP 32
Southern Areas LDP 31
Showgrounds LDP 42
Tynwald LDP 24
City Centre LDP 22
Borrowdale Racecourse LDP 44
Newlands LDP 27

University of Zimbabwe