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December 21, 2023

What is Master Development Plan?

    I. Introduction

Construction and urbanisation of all lands within the land borders of Türkiye are carried out within the framework of zoning plans. Zoning plans are organised in a certain hierarchy, especially according to the purpose they serve. These zoning plans are, in hierarchical order, Spatial Strategy Plan, Environmental Plan, Master Development Plan and Implementation Development Plan. In this article, we have tried to mention the Master Zoning Plan since it is the zoning plan that determines which areas such as housing, industry or recreation areas can remain within the immovable property after the zoning and has the most diverse impact on the value of the immovable property.

    II. What is Master Development Plan?

Zoning plans are plans that determine the most appropriate form of urban development in a certain region and area in a way to provide public and social benefit. The master development plan, which is one of the zoning plans, is defined in Article 5 of the Zoning Law No. 3194 and Article 4 of the Spatial Construction Regulation. 

Accordingly, the master development plan is a plan that determines the future population densities, settlement, urban, social and technical infrastructure areas, residential, working, commercial, tourism, industrial zones, green areas and non-residential areas of the settlement, which are taken as the basis for the preparation of implementation development plans. 

    III. What should be considered when preparing a Master Development Plan?

While preparing the master development plan, the data obtained from the relevant institutions and organizations within the scope of the planning area are accepted as plan provisions by the council. As a result of the data obtained and the research carried out, the plan and plan decisions are formed. After the plan decision is made and the plan is drawn, the approved zoning plans are signed and published.

The master development plan, which is prepared as a whole with plan notes and a detailed report on the existing maps, is not used for direct implementation but is taken as a basis in the preparation of zoning plans. During the preparation of the master development plan, the surrounding factors are reorganized in a way that aims for healthy urban settlement. In this respect, since the master development plan constitutes a whole with plan notes and detailed additional reports, every issue that is not understood from the drawing should be included here. Since these plans are to guide the implementation of zoning plans, public interest should be considered while preparing the plan and it should comply with the provisions of the relevant legislation.

In the preparation of the master development plan, attention should be paid to the characteristic of the region to be planned, climatic conditions, cultural and tourism regions, transport data, and the study of the regions, while at the same time, special attention should be paid to ensure that the parcelling processes do not encroach on the areas. When planning transport systems, this plan should be designed in the shortest distance to ensure the benefit of passengers. The planning of public areas should not be independent of each other, and this situation should be taken into consideration while planning.

During the preparation of the zoning plan, preliminary studies should be carried out, data should be collected and analyzed, and the plan should be prepared in accordance with both the physical and social structure of the relevant region. Particular attention should be paid to situations where superior public interest should be observed.

In practice, it is observed that the stage of preparation of the master development plan is often skipped. Skipping the master development plan, which guides the zoning plan, leads to unhealthy construction. The Council of State underlines that there is a hierarchy between both plans and decides that the implementation of zoning plans should not be contrary to the master zoning plan and that the zoning plans made without a master zoning plan are subject to annulment.

    IV. What are the Characteristics and Grounds for the Annulment of Master Development Plans?

Within the scope of Article 4 of the Spatial Plans Construction Regulation, the issues to be considered in the preparation of the master development plan are specified and according to the aforementioned regulation, the scale of the master development plan should be between 1/5000 – 1/25000. In addition, within the scope of subparagraph b. of Article 7 of the Metropolitan Municipality Law No. 5216, Metropolitan Municipalities are responsible and authorized to make, have made, approve and put into practice master development plans at any scale between 1/5000 and 1/25000 within the borders of metropolitan municipalities, provided that they are also in accordance with the environmental layout plan.  

The master development plan is of a general nature and the plan is put forward with justifications. For this reason, since the master development plan is the first and general work that is the basis for the implementation plan, it is also the first stage of reaching an ideal development plan.

Since master development plans are administrative acts, administrative courts are in charge of disputes regarding master development plans, and the competent court is the court where the immovable subject to the master development plan is located. In an annulment lawsuit to be filed in the administrative court, a stay of execution should be requested to prevent the implementation of the master development plan until the end of the lawsuit. In the lawsuit to be filed, the periods are determined according to the Administrative Procedure Law No. 2577. Accordingly, the duration of the lawsuit to be filed in case of no objection to the master development plan is 60 days from the end of the 30-day publishing period, and anyone with a legal interest can file a lawsuit within this period.

In a lawsuit filed for the annulment of a master development plan, plans that do not comply with the basic principles, for example, plans created by unauthorized bodies in violation of their authority, shall be subject to annulment. In addition, the failure to announce the master development plan following its adoption shall also be subject to annulment as it constitutes a violation of the law in terms of form.

Another common situation for the master development plan to be subject to litigation is the expropriation of an immovable subject to private property through legal confiscation without following the expropriation procedures. In such a case, the ones who have legal interest may file an action for annulment against the master development plan within the above-mentioned legal periods.


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