‘DP rule on open spaces may cut property prices’

The new Development Plan contains good news for home buyers. The minimum requirement for compulsory open spaces for new constructions is slashed, and builders will no longer need to pay hefty premiums to get the requirement condoned. This means their project development cost goes down and they can pass on the benefit to buyers.
The State government has published a gazette notification of Mumbai’s DP 2034 along with its Development Control and Promotion Regulations (DCPR), which consists of construction rules. One of the things the DCPR deals with is compulsory open space. This is the space required to be set aside in every plot during development for light and ventilation.
In a chapter titled, ‘General Building Requirements in the DCPR’, the requirement for side and rear open space in relation to the height of a building has been changed. For plots smaller than 1,000 sq metres, the open space will now be calculated as H/5 where H stands for height. This means, if the height of a building is 100 feet, only 20 feet open space is required. The old formula was H/3.
Similarly, for plots bigger than 1,000 sq meters, the formula has been revised to H/4 instead of H/3. So in this case, for buildings between 32m and 70m, their compulsory open space will be calculated as H/4 subject to a maximum of 12m. Similar caps have been set in every category. These provisions apply to projects only in residential and commercial areas. The premium is calculated based on a percentage of Annual Schedule of Rates.
Architects have welcomed the move. “The old requirements for compulsory open space were very stringent. For example, if a building is 100 feet tall, it would require one-third of the formula as open space. Since most builders would not be able to give so much space, they would end up paying hefty premium to the BMC, thus increasing project cost. I believe this provision will cut costs by at least 10%. Now it’s up to the builder to pass on the benefit to home buyers,” said Manoj Daisaria, architect and former president of Practising Engineers Architects and Town Planners Association (India).
A senior official from the DP Department who is aware of the new regulation said, “Since the old requirement was stringent, most developers would not be able to maintain it and would end up applying for permission to condone it. This process was time-consuming as the permission could only be issued by the municipal commissioner. The new regulation will save time.” Asked if the provision will eventually benefit home buyers, the official said that would depend on the developers.

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