Planning permission refers to permission to carry out development granted by the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) through the Minister of Planning and Development.

Why is Planning Permission required? 

It is required by law. The Minister with responsibility for Town and Country Planning Division, according to the Town and Country Planning Act, is empowered to regulate all forms of development within Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore almost anything you do on your property requires the Town and Country Planning Division’s approval.


Spatial Planning Guideline No 3 – Planning Permission and Subdivision Layout (Click and Download)

Director at the Town and Country Planning Division, Ms Marie Hinds, makes an address at a Stakeholder Validation Workshop in December 2019. The Division is currently in the process of drafting new Spatial Planning Guidelines (SPGs).


The following guidelines outline the requirements for planning permission for the creation of subdivision layouts, with individual residential lots.

  1. Requirement for Planning Permission

    • The subdivision of any land is considered “development” under the Town and Country Planning Act Chap. 35:01, of 1960. Hence, the subdivision of land to create lots for residential, agricultural, or other uses requires planning permission.


    • Plots which existed before August 1969 (i.e. date of proclamation of the Town and Country Planning Act Chap. 35:01) are considered to be “established” plots and do not require planning permission. They are therefore treated as bonafide plots.


    • Plots which existed between 1969 and 1972 (i.e. the period historically used at the Town and Country Planning Division, as the grace period following the proclamation of the Act), will also be deemed to be established (hence bonafide), and would be treated similar to plots which existed prior to the proclamation of the Town and Country Planning Act. In these cases a deed, survey plan, and/or assessment roll history must be provided as evidence to support the status or age of the plot.


    • Notwithstanding, the possession of a Certificate of Title, deed, or survey plan related to a parcel of land, planning permission is required by law for the creation of a plot, unless the plot can be determined to be bonafide consistent with the criteria detailed above.


  2. De-Facto Subdivisions
    • A plot that is the result of a de-facto physical subdivision, such as by the cutting of the plot by a roadway or major drainage channel, will normally be accepted. However, the creation of the plot still requires planning permission.


These Spatial Planning Guidelines are intended to guide applicants for planning permission. They do not constitute legal advice. Persons are cautioned to seek professional advice and refer to the relevant planning legislation, where necessary, before taking any action in relation to any of the issues addressed above.


What you need to know about TCPD’s Spatial Planning Guideline No. 3; Planning Permission and Subdivision Layouts