Building permit reform may cut building time by up to 4 years


This morning, the “plan plus permit” reform was implemented, allowing for the simultaneous approval of urban renewal plans, as part of the alternative to TMA 38, and the corresponding building permits. This significant change is predicted to shorten the construction process by 1-4 years.

In November, Minister of the Interior Moshe Arbel signed the regulations governing the preparation of renewal plans under the quick-amendment licensing 139 framework of the Planning and Construction Law, as an alternative to TMA 38.

These regulations, developed in collaboration with the Planning Administration and the National Planning Headquarters, streamline and expedite the planning and licensing processes by allowing for their simultaneous management, deviating from the traditional sequential approach.

This new approach is possible as the rapid licensing program pertains to specific limited lots. According to the regulations, the plan and permit application progress in parallel, and plan approval automatically implies permit approval. Additionally, the regulations introduce a specific information file for the rapid licensing program to provide planning certainty at early stages. Certain steps in the licensing process have been eliminated, while others in the planning and licensing processes have been combined, resulting in a more efficient and swift procedure.

Minister of the Interior, Moshe Arbel, expresses his optimism about the reform, stating, “Today, we are removing another bureaucratic obstacle in the planning and construction domain, leading to significant reductions in building permit issuance time and increased housing supply in Israel.

The entire Ministry of the Interior is devoted to shortening licensing procedures and reducing bureaucracy.” Rabbi Natan Alantan, chairman of the National Planning Headquarters, emphasizes the significance of this step, saying, “The licensing revolution that commenced today marks a crucial milestone in the comprehensive efforts by the National Planning Headquarters to empower local committees and expedite building permit approvals.”

Notable industry organizations, including the Ministry of the Interior, local government, Union of Local Committee Engineers, architects’ organizations, contractors’ associations, and others, were involved in the development of these regulations.

However, Yigal Chodner, CEO and founder of Netiv HaKama, holds a contrasting viewpoint, criticizing the reform. He believes that “combining two procedures, one for establishing rights and the other for program implementation, will not only fail to shorten timelines and increase supply but will also prove ineffective. It is impossible to advance a permit while changing a plan. Moreover, the current challenge lies in obtaining permits due to the backlog of claims. In conclusion, this is another unprofessional procedure that yields no positive results.”