Legal Framework

The Minister is the highest physical planning authority with powers and responsibilities provided under section 1 of the Town and Country Planning Act (CAP 23:01) of the laws of Malawi. Most of the Minister’s duties and responsibilities are delegated to the Commissioner for Physical Planning appointed under section 3 of the same Act. The Town and Country Planning Board is a semi-judicial planning authority established under section 7 with powers to hear planning appeal cases, make planning decisions and advice the Minister on physical planning matters.

Local planning committees are established under section 9 in all declared planning areas as local planning authorities. Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu City Councils were designated planning committees in 1994 under section 10 as read with the Local Government Act. Subject to its eventual enactment, the Physical Planning Bill (2010) provides that the whole country will be a planning area.