The Federal Land Use, Design and Transaction Approval Process

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Make your plans with the process in mind

To build Canada’s Capital Region, the NCC seeks projects of quality and excellence. The federal land use, transaction and design approval process ensures that projects on federal lands and by federal organizations (including the NCC) contribute to a capital that Canadians can be proud of.

The Four Phases of the Federal Land Use, Design and Transaction Approval Process

Phase 1: Preparation and Submission of Project Proposal

Phase 2: Analysis of the Proposal

The proposal is reviewed and evaluated by NCC staff to assess the project’s quality and its contribution to the Capital’s objectives. Options and feedback are discussed with the client, and the proposal is finalized. The length of the analysis phase can vary considerably, according to the complexity of the project (see The Three Project Levels).

Some projects may also require:

Phase 3: Approval of Project (if all NCC requirements are met)

The approval document generally includes conditions that need to be agreed to and signed by the applicant.

Phase 4: Project monitoring and feedback

NCC staff will monitor the completion of approved works to ensure that they meet NCC quality standards and conditions. During this phase, the NCC also seeks applicant feedback on the federal approval process.

For more information, see the Illustration of the Four Phases of the Federal Use, Design and Transaction Approval Process.

The Three Project Levels

The NCC categorizes federal land use, transaction and design approval requests according to three levels. The levels are based on a project’s importance from a Capital perspective and its degree of complexity.

Factors that contribute to a project’s importance from a Capital perspective include

  • location (the core area of Canada’s Capital Region is the most important from a Capital perspective)
  • symbolic importance (new national institutions and projects located along Confederation Boulevard are the most important from a Capital perspective).

The degree of complexity is defined by

  • the nature of the work,
  • expected issues and concerns,
  • the number of stakeholders involved, and
  • compliance with NCC plans.

Timelines

The time needed to review your application and make a decision depends on the level of your project (determined by the NCC). The review period begins once the NCC has received your completed application, along with all studies necessary to meet NCC requirements. To avoid delays, it is important to communicate with the NCC early in the project planning process.

Level 1: Simple projects with little impact from a Capital perspective

  • Review and Decision Time: Generally three to five weeks

Level 2: Moderately complex projects with issues or concerns for the Capital

  • Review and Decision Time: Generally two to four months

Level 3: Major projects with high symbolic value for the Capital

  • Review and Decision Time: Generally requires at least eight months

Level 3 projects must be:

Note: During the approval process, projects may be reclassified at a higher level in light of additional information.

For more information, see the table describing the three levels of federal land use, design and transaction projects.