Competent authorities in the Chennai Corporation, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the Directorate of Town and Country Planning and municipalities will start accepting applications to condone unauthorised buildings constructed before July 1, 2007, for a fee.

The State government this week issued guidelines under Section 113-C of Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971 for the exemption of unauthorised buildings from regulations.

The guidelines will facilitate assessment of the violations and collection of the amount for exemption.

The guidelines will cover any building or class of buildings developed on or before July 1, 2007 and deviated from three provisions of Floor Space Index, setback requirements and road width of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971. The applications for exemption will be rejected if the extent of violations in respect of minimum required road width exceeds 20 per cent.

Violation in respect of minimum setback spaces around such unauthorised building shall not exceed 50 per cent. Floor Space Index shall not exceed 50 per cent of the allowable limit.

The competent authority such as the Corporation Commissioner will examine the application and forward it to the government for passing orders under Section 113-C of the Act, along with the remarks of the official.

After the government passes orders exempting such unauthorised buildings, the competent authority will assess the amount of exemption and issue a demand notice for the payment of the charges.

Any aggrieved person may prefer an appeal within 30 days of receipt of the order to government in Housing and Urban Development Department in the case of Chennai Metropolitan Area. The appeals pertaining to areas other than the Chennai Metropolitan Area have to be made to Commissioner of Town and Country Planning.

The guidelines have been made based on the recommendation of Justice Mohan Committee set up in 2007 to look into ways to improve the Town and Country Planning Act. The committee gave a series of suggestions, such as enhanced penalties and powers to lock and seal illegal buildings.

In 1998, the government amended the Town and Country Planning Act and regularised illegal constructions completed before 1998. The State also extended regularisation schemes in the 2000, 2001 and 2002.