1.   Commencement.

   2.   Interpretation.

   3.   Declaration of planning area.


   4.   Establishment of the National Physical Planning Board.

   5.   Tenure of office of members of the Board

   6.   Functions of the Board.

Secretary to the Board.

   7.   Secretary to the Board.

   8.   Functions of the secretary.


District physical planning committee.

   9.   Establishment of district physical planning committee.

   10.   Functions of a district physical planning committee.

Urban physical planning committees.

   11.   Establishment of urban physical planning committees.

   12.   Functions of an urban physical planning committee.

Local physical planning committee.

   13.   Subcounty council to constitute local physical planning committee.

   14.   Functions of local physical planning committees.


   15.   Co-opting members to the district, urban or local physical planning committee.

   16.   Proceedings of physical planning committees.

   17.   Record of proceedings of the Board and committees.


   18.   Physical development plans.

National and regional physical development plans.

   19.   National and regional physical development plans.

   20.   Public display of physical development plans.

   21.   Approval of national and regional physical development plans.

   22.   Publication of approved national and regional physical development plans.

   23.   Amendment of approved national and regional physical development plans.

   24.   Special planning areas.

District and local physical development plans.

   25.   District, urban and local physical development plans.

   26.   Contents of district, urban and local physical development plans.

   27.   Public display of district, urban and local physical development plans.

   28.   Approval of district, urban and local physical development plans.

   29.   Publication of approved district, urban and local physical development plans.

   30.   Modification of district and urban physical development plans.

   31.   Private local physical development plans.


Development permission.

   32.   Powers of local physical planning committee.

   33.   Development permission.

   34.   Application for development permission.

   35.   Non conformity of land for development

   36.   Subdivision or consolidation of land.

   37.   Environmental impact assessment.

   38.   Approval or refusal of development permission.

   39.   Deferment of application for development permission.

   40.   Application for development permission in areas without approved physical development plans.


   41.   Financial resources of the Board.

   42.   Accounts and financial management.

   43.   Audit.


   44.   Finances of physical planning committees.

   45.   Registration of documents.

   46.   Enforcement notice.

   47.   Supplementary provisions relating to enforcement.


   48.   Appeals.

   49.   Exemption from liability for acts done in good faith.

   50.   Minister's general powers.

   51.   Disposal of land, extension of lease, etc.

   52.   Access to record.

   53.   Secrecy.

   54.   Service of notice.

   55.   Power of entry.

   56.   Preservation of buildings of special architectural value or historic interest.

   57.   Penalty for giving false information.

   58.   Publication of notices.

   59.   Minister's Power to amend Schedules.

   60.   Regulations.

   61.   Repeal and savings.

      First Schedule   Currency Point.

      Second Schedule   Proceedings of the Board.

      Third Schedule   Detailed plans and area action plans.

      Fourth Schedule   Matters to be dealt with in national and regional physical development plans.

      Fifth Schedule   Matters to be dealt with in district, urban and local physical development plans.

      Sixth Schedule   Application for development permission.

      Seventh Schedule   Application for subdivision/consolidation of land and all buildings.

      Eighth Schedule   Notification of approval/refusal/deferment of development permission.

      Ninth Schedule   Enforcement notice.


   An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Physical Planning Board; to provide for the composition, functions and procedure of the Board; to establish district and urban physical planning committees; to provide for the making and approval of physical development plans and for the applications for development permission; and for related matters.

Commencement: 29 April, 2011.


1.   Commencement.

   This Act shall come into force on a date appointed by the Minister, by statutory instrument.

2.   Interpretation.

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "advertisement" means any word, letter, device, model, sign, placard, board, notice or representation, whether illuminated or not, in the nature of and employed wholly or in part for the purpose of public communication and includes any hoarding or similar structure used or adapted for use for the display of the communication but does not include any communication displayed inside a building;

   "area action plan" means a local plan intended to address specific development planning problems of a specific area;

   "Board" means the National Physical Planning Board established by section 4;

   "building" means any structure or erection on, in or under any land and any part of any structure or erection of any kind whatsoever whether permanent, temporary or movable, and whether completed or uncompleted;

   "building operations" include any building or erection operations, rebuilding operations, structural alterations or additions to buildings and other similar operations and the making of access roads, railways, waterworks, sewerage and drainage works, electrical and telephone installations and any road works preliminary to, or incidental to, the erection of buildings;

   "building works" include waste materials, refuse and other matters deposited on land and reference to the erection or construction of building or works shall be construed accordingly;

   "court" means the High court;

   "currency point" has the value assigned to it in the First Schedule;

   "density of development" means the maximum amount of development permitted or the maximum number of persons permitted to reside, as the case may be, on any area of land;

   "detailed plan" means a local physical development plan that operationalises the provisions of a structure plan;

   "development" means—

   (a)   the making of any material change in the use or density of any buildings or land or the subdivision of any land; and

   (b)   the erection of such buildings or works and the carrying out of such building operations;

but does not include—

      (i)   the carrying out of works for the maintenance of, improvement or other alteration of, or addition to, any building where such alteration or addition does not exceed 10 percent of the floor area of the building measured on the date this Act becomes applicable to the area in which that building or land is situated;

      (ii)   the carrying out by a competent authority of any works required for the construction, maintenance or improvement of a road, if the works are carried out on land within the road reserves;

      (iii)   the carrying out by any local government or statutory body of any works for the purpose of inspecting, repairing or renewing any sewers, mains, pipes, cables or other apparatus, including breaking open of any street for that purpose and the installation of services by such local government or statutory body, where the local government or statutory body, within seven days, after completion of works carried out, restores the site to conditions that would not be injurious to users and the environment;

   development application" means an application made under section 34 for permission to develop land;

   development permission" means a development permission granted under section 33 by a local government to an applicant to develop land;

   district physical planning committee" means a committee established under section 9;

   district physical planner" means an officer responsible for physical planning in a district;

   dwelling" means a building or any part or portion of a building, used or constructed, adapted or designed to be used for human habitation, as a separate tenancy or by one family only, whether detached, semi-detached, or separated by party walls or floors from adjoining buildings or part or portion of the same building together with such outbuildings as are reasonably required to be used or enjoyed;

   enforcement notice" means a notice served by a local government under section 46 on an owner, occupier or developer of land, requiring that owner, occupier or developer to comply with provisions of that section;

   existing building" or "existing works" means, respectively, a building or works erected, constructed or carried out before the date this Act becomes applicable to the area in which the building or works is situated, and includes a building or works, as the case may be, commenced before, but completed after that date;

   "head of the national physical planning department" means the head of the national department responsible for physical planning;

   "land" includes any land covered with water, and any buildings or other things permanently attached to land, and any interest or right of easement in, to or over land;

   "local government" includes—

   (a)   a district council;

   (b)   a city council;

   (c)   a city division council;

   (d)   a municipal council;

   (e)   a municipal division council;

   (f)   a town council;

   (g)   a subcounty council;

   "local council" includes a local government council and an administrative unit council;

   "local physical development plan" means a plan for an area or part of an area of a city, municipal, town or urban council and includes a plan with reference to any trading centre, marketing centre or rural area;

   "long-term plan" includes national, regional or district land use plans and urban structure plans, national, regional or district network plans for settlements, services, infrastructure and transportation;

   "lower local government" includes a municipality, town, division and subcounty council;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for physical planning;

   "national physical development plan" includes a land use plan, general or subject specific, developed to cover Uganda as a whole;

   "owner" means a person holding land under leasehold, mailo, freehold or customary tenure system and includes a lessee, tenant, spouse and agent;

   "physical planning committee" includes a district physical planning committee, urban physical planning committee and a division or local physical planning committee;

   "regional physical development plan" means a physical development plan which covers more than one district;

   "road" means any way open to the public for the circulation of vehicles which is maintained by the government or an administration and includes any street, square, court, alley, bridge, footway, path, passage or highway whether a thoroughfare or not;

   "safeguarding area" means any area adjoining any land owned or occupied by the armed forces of Uganda which is declared by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be a safeguarding area for the purposes of this Act;

   "special planning area" means an area that has spatial, socioeconomic, physical and development problems and potential and which is declared as such under section 24;

   "structure plan" means a broad development framework of a given area showing the proposed use of the various parts of an area and translating national and regional planning principles and guidelines into land use proposals;

   "subdivision" in relation to land means the dividing of land into two or more parts whether by conveyance, transfer or partition or for the purpose of sale, gift, lease or any other purpose;

   "urban authority" includes a city, municipal, division and town council, declared as such under the Local Governments Act;

   "urban physical planner" means an officer responsible for physical planning in an urban authority.

3.   Declaration of planning area.

   The entire country is declared a planning area and this Act shall apply to the entire country in all respects.


4.   Establishment of the National Physical Planning Board.

   (1) There is established a Board to be known as the National Physical Planning Board.

   (2) The Board shall consist of nine members appointed by the Minister of whom five shall be persons not employed in the public service.

   (3) The Board shall be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and the seal shall be authenticated by the signature of the chairperson and the secretary.

   (4) The Minister shall appoint the chairperson of the Board from among the members.

   (5) The Minister shall appoint the members of the Board, on such terms and conditions as shall be specified in the instruments of appointment.

   (6) In making appointments to the Board, the Minister shall take into consideration gender equity and appropriate technical qualifications of the appointees.

   (7) The members of the Board shall elect one person from among their number to be the vice chairperson of the Board.

   (8) The proceedings of the Board shall be in accordance with the Second Schedule.

5.   Tenure of office of members of the Board.

   (1) The members of the Board shall hold office for three years and are eligible for reappointment for one further term.

   (2) A member appointed to the Board may at anytime before the expiry of his or her term, resign his or her office in writing signed by him or her, addressed to the Minister.

   (3) A member may be removed from office by the Minister—

   (a)   for inability to perform his or her functions;

   (b)   if he or she is convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude;

   (c)   if he or she is adjudged or otherwise declared to be an insolvent or bankrupt under any law in force in Uganda or elsewhere and has not been discharged;

   (d)   for misbehaviour or misconduct; or

   (e)   if he or she does not attend three or more consecutive meetings of the Board without showing in writing to the Minister, good cause for his or her absence.

   (4) Where a member of the Board dies, resigns, or is removed from office, or for any other reason ceases to hold office before the expiration of his or her term of office, the Minister may appoint another person qualified to be appointed, to take his or her place and the person so appointed shall hold office until the expiration of the term of office of the member he or she is replacing.

6.   Functions of the Board.

   (1) The functions of the Board are—

   (a)   to advise government on all matters relating to physical planning;

   (b)   to hear and determine appeals lodged by persons or local governments aggrieved by the decision of any physical planning committees;

   (c)   to determine and resolve physical planning matters referred to it by physical planning committees;

   (d)   to advise the government on broad physical planning policies, planning standards and the viability of any proposed subdivision of urban or agricultural land;

   (e)   to study and give guidance and recommendations on issues relating to physical planning which transcend more than one local government for purposes of coordination and integration of physical development;

   (f)   to approve regional, urban or district physical development plans and recommend to the Minister national plans for approval;

   (g)   to advise the Minister responsible for local governments on the declaration of town councils, town boards or upgrading of urban authorities;

   (h)   to advise the Minister on the declaration of special planning areas;

   (i)   to cause physical development plans to be prepared at national, regional, district, urban and subcounty levels;

   (j)   to monitor and evaluate the implementation of physical development plans;

   (k)   to formulate draft planning policies, standards, guidelines and manuals for consideration by the Minister;

   (l)   to ensure the integration of physical planning with social and economic planning at the national and local levels;

   (m)   to exercise general supervisory powers over all lower planning committees such that they can seek guidance, set standards and take control; and

   (n)   to foster coordination of physical planning related or interdisciplinary activities in the country in order to promote orderly and sustainable development of human settlements in rural and urban areas.

   (2) In the absence of the Board, the Minister may perform the duties of the Board on the advice of the head of the national physical planning department.

Secretary to the Board.

7.   Secretary to the Board.

   The head of the national physical planning department shall be the secretary to the Board.

8.   Functions of the secretary.

   (1) In addition to any other function conferred upon him or her by the Board, the secretary shall—

   (a)   initiate draft national and regional physical development policies, guidelines and strategies for consideration by the Board;

   (b)   be responsible for the preparation of all national, district and local physical development plans;

   (c)   from time to time, initiate, undertake or direct studies and research into matters concerning physical planning;

   (d)   advise the Uganda Land Commission on matters concerning alienation of land;

   (e)   advise local governments on the most appropriate use of land, including land management such as change of user, extension of user, extension of leases, subdivision of land and amalgamation of land;

   (f)   require local authorities to ensure

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