The Minister of Finance, Renganaden Padayachy, intends to introduce amendments concerning the fragmentation projects which have multiplied in recent years. In the annex to the 2024-25 budget, he proposes a series of new measures. These are part of “the promotion of environmental sustainability and in response to the challenges posed by climate change and flooding”.

Any subdivision or Property Development Scheme (PDS) project greater than 10 acres, as well as any “smart city”, must be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEE). An EES assesses the environmental impacts of projects and plans before their implementation. It helps prevent environmental risks and promote sustainable development. The Environment Act, adopted on May 24, provides that an EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) permit is necessary for any land subdivision project of more than 5 hectares, i.e. 14 acres.

Another measure: no subdivision permit will be granted if two contiguous residential plots do not respect a minimum set back of 30 meters in relation to new or existing settlements. Once the law is amended, developers will have to allocate at least 4% of the total land area to the creation of a green forest. This must be mainly composed of endemic trees and “offer a landscape framework complementary to the development”.

This requirement applies to any new project of more than 5 acres submitted to the Division Board, any project for which no letter of intent has yet been issued and to projects falling under the Smart City Scheme and the Property Development Scheme. In the annex to the Budget, however, it is explained that these measures do not apply to autonomous industrial projects, agricultural subdivisions, subdivisions for charitable or religious purposes, divisions in kind between co-heirs, ascendants and descendants, and subdivisions of large plots without associated development.

The upkeep and maintenance of these “green forests” will be entrusted to the land association in charge of the project or to the Forest Conservator of the Ministry of Agro-industry for subdivisions not managed by a Land Association.

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