The development plan regulates the construction rights for owners of land that are within the scope of the development plan.1
The municipality resolves the development plan as a statute. Given the legally binding stipulations, a development plan has the quality of a legal norm for town planning. The development plan usually relates to a particular municipality.
It is generally developed from the valid zoning plan. This principle can be deviated from in exceptional cases.2
The development plan consists of a drawing together with textual information. The drawing spatially defines the development plan. The textual information states the stipulations of the legal norm. These include in particular the nature and degree of structural use, deriving from the German Land Use Ordinance. The municipality can determine the type of area as the type of structural use. This could be, for example, general residential or central area. Stipulations regarding floor area and space are usually made as a dimension for structural use. The floor space index and the site occupancy index are the relevant parameters for the structural usability of properties.3
All the stipulation options open to the municipality are presented in a catalogue in section 9(1) nos. 1 to 26 of the Baugesetzbuch (BauGB – German Building Code) in conjunction with (2) to (4). In addition, in accordance with section 9(7) BauGB, the physical scope must also be stipulated.
A distinction is made between a qualified and a simple development plan. A qualified development plan is when the stipulations on the type and extent of building use have been made and includes buildable plots of land and the local circulation areas.4 Simple development plans have a limited regulatory content and are used when the municipality wishes to influence the conservation and development of central service areas. This is especially suitable for exclusions of or restrictions on use. The establishment of retail operations can be controlled, for example.5
Furthermore, there is the project-based development plan in accordance with section 12 BauGB. While this is largely identical to a conventional development plan, it is tailored to a particular construction project in accordance with a project and development plan that would not be permitted under the given construction law. Here, the party implementing the project makes a commitment to the municipality to carry out the project within a certain time period and to bear at least some of the planning and development costs.
All development plans are supplemented by a statement that sets out the objectives, purpose and impact of the development plan. The statement is accompanied by an environmental report that compiles the results of the environmental impact assessment.6