The most commonly marketed plots in and around Chennai include Panchayat, CMDA and DTCP approved plots. There are numerous questions on the layouts approved by nodal authorities or town planning authorities.
The commonly marketed layouts which do not have approval are often marketed as Panchayat approved lands. This terminology has been unofficially associated with layouts which are unapproved by town planning authority (e.g. DTCP) or nodal authority (e.g. CMDA). If you had not read about how Panchayat approval is illegal unapproved layout, you can read about it.
The Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) is responsible for carrying out developmental activities on land and buildings in Tamil Nadu with the exception of municipal areas in Chennai. The area within the Chennai Corporation comes under the nodal authority CMDA (formerly MMDA). The approval from DTCP or CMDA carry the benefit of owning a land which can be used for the specific purpose that is designated by the planning authority. The approval process involves time and cost which are often the main reasons due to which many developers prefer to sell unapproved layouts. The state government allows approval of such unapproved plots by floating schemes which offer regularization against a fixed fee. The approval process can also be initiated by contacting the respective planning authorities without the special schemes but is often not an easy process for individuals. The State Government is planning for such a scheme in Tamil Nadu and the details can be found in the article titled “Get approval for unapproved plots in Chennai”.
The application for regularization often includes fees titled as penalization charges which will consider the total plot area. The penalization charges include betterment charges and development charges. Since this approval causes reduction in open spaces within the city, a fee called OSR (Open Space Reservation) charge is levied.
The major benefit of getting approval from DTCP or CMDA is the entitlement to get building approval. This can be an assurance that the building cannot be demolished without proper procedure laid out for approved layouts. The demolition of buildings constructed on approved land is quite uncommon and is often discouraged, without strong justification, by the legal system. These benefits are unavailable for unapproved layouts. The property value will also increase substantially if approval is sought and this will increase the resale value. The scope of transparency in transaction is increased and resale is also easier. Banks will only be able to fund building construction or renovation when the land is approved. Banks might also not allow or provide loans for residential construction on nanjai/punjai land or agricultural land.
The disadvantages of owning unapproved land are numerous. The penalty levied increases with the length of period for which the unapproved plot is owned including the period prior to the execution of sale deed. It is often considered illegal to provide water and sewer connections to such buildings constructed on unapproved land. As building plan approval will not be provided for such unapproved plots, possibility of demolition of such buildings cannot be discounted.