Law Updates

MHUP Issues New Land Planning Controls

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MHUP) published in this week’s issue of the Official Gazette a new Governance Regulation of Land Planning Controls that replaces the Governance Regulation of Land Planning Controls of 2013. This was done to comply with the requirements of the new Oman National Spatial Strategy.

The Regulation of Land Planning Controls of 2023 sets the rules for building residential and commercial buildings as well as the rules for the creation, subdivision, partitioning, reconfiguration, and consolidation of land plots.

The new regulation makes a large number of subtle changes to planning controls. For example, in regard to the controls for changing land use, a new ground of changing the use has been introduced to allow land use changes required to establish a value-added project within an urban zone. However, new prohibitions have also been introduced for land use changes, such as the prohibition of the change of the use of an agricultural land to a non-agricultural use, unless the land is situated within an urban zone. The regulation also grants MHUP the power to reserve parts of land plots—whose use has been reconfigured—for the purpose of public services without compensating the owner of the land.

The 2013 regulation previously had a concept of land extension that allowed individuals to request to extend the size of a land plot in certain circumstances. This process has now been abolished and the closest equivalent for it is the new land reconfiguration process, which is only permitted in very narrow circumstances.

The new regulation also introduces a new chapter on construction planning controls, which sets rules for both residential and commercial construction projects, including rules on buffer zones and harmonious visual alignment with adjacent buildings.

The new regulation entered into force on Monday. You can read it in English in full on the link below: