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Obtaining a Preliminary Clearance

The organization that is concerned with this is the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). Please refer website or

To obtain the Preliminary Planning Clearance/ Development Permit/ Certificate of Conformity, the owner/ developer must complete the followings.


A. To obtain Preliminary Planning Clearance (PPC)

1. Obtain an application along with the instructions from the Customer Care Centre of the CMC at the Town Hall or from CMC website,

2. Submit two copies of proposed development in sketch form and a Survey Plan in scale of 1:1,000 or 1 chain : 1 inch along with the application to City Planning Division of CMC. Submit a letter confirming the correct Assessment Number with site extent including boundaries and ownership from Municipal Assessor’s Department – CMC obtained within six months of the date of application. or Clearance from Urban Development Authority (UDA) as relevant.


B. To obtain a Development Permit and Approval of Building Plans

1. Obtain an application along with the instructions from the Customer Care Centre of the CMC at the Town Hall or from CMC website,

2. Submit the completed Building Application with minimum number of 09 copies of building plans (please refer to item (V)

of the section B given below to identify the required number of copies), along with the clearances/documents mentioned below (if applicable).

(I) (a) A letter confirming the correct Assessment Number with site extent including boundaries and ownership from Municipal Assessor’s Department – CMC and the validity of the said letter is 06 months.

(b) Drainage Division of CMC regarding the storm water drains & foul sewer lines.

(c) National Water Supply & Drainage Board regarding underground water supply lines.

(d) Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation (for low lands & canals).

(e) Street Line & Building Line Certificates from the City Planning Division of the CMC, obtained after the year 2009.

(f ) Coast Conservation Department (If within 300m from costal permanent vegetation line).

(g) Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka (For Hospitals, Industrial development etc.)

(h) Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (If the number of floors of the proposed building exceeds 7 or the height is more than 60.0 ft.).

(i) Condominium Management Authority (For condominium properties).

(j) Urban Development Authority (For Special Projects/ Areas, Such as Beira Lake Reservation and Independence Square & surroundings under development guide plan – area 1).

(k) Public Health Department of CMC (For Hospitals, Industrial Developments, etc.).

(l) Railway Department/Irrigation Department (If affected by the railways, river/canal reservations etc.)

(m) Department of Archeology (For the buildings listed in volume 1 of City of Colombo Development plan (CCDP) 1999 Gazetted by Urban Development Authority, under the historic & architecturally valuable buildings).

(n) Ceylon Electricity Board where the proposed building is in close proximity to high-tension electrical lines or floor area is more than 30,000.0 sq. ft.

[All (a) to (n) to be obtained from the relevant institutions]

(II) Following clearances to be obtained by submitting draft plans prior to submission of building application.

(a) Chief Officer of Fire & Rescue Department of the CMC – [for all non-residential buildings / usages and for the residential buildings exceeding 3,000 sq.ft. of floor area or consisting 4 (G+3) floors or above] by submitting 02 copies of building plan.

(b) Solid Waste Management Division of CMC [buildings with five (G+4) floors and more than 08 residental units] by submitting 02 copies of building plan.

III) Following clearances to be obtained by submitting building plans along with the Building Application. 

Presidential Security Range (PSR) (2 building plan copies). (If within the High Security Zones described by the Senior Deputy Inspector General – PSR

(IV) You may happen to provide Other Documents to be submitted as required. 


C. To obtain Certificate of Conformity (COC)

1. Obtain an application along with the instructions from Customer Care Centre of the CMC at the Town Hall or from CMC website,

2. Complete application and hand over it to the City Planning Division of CMC along with the following documents.

i. Drainage Certificate obtained from the Drainage Division of the CMC at Maligakanda, Colombo 10

ii. Fire certificate obtained from Fire & Rescue Department of the CMC at T. B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10 (if applicable)

iii. Solid Waste Management certificate from Solid Waste Management Division of the CMC at Town Hall (if applicable)

iv. Certificate from Presidential Security Range (if applicable)

v. Any other certificates (if applicable).

All the applications should be certified by both the Chartered Architect and Chartered Civil Engineer (who has obtained professional qualifications in Sri Lanka), if the total floor area exceeds or equal to 280 sq.m. and/or the walls/columns are situated on the boundary of the property.

All the applications of the projects relevant to Tourism Industry to be referred to the Urban Development Authority for approvals.