DELHI: Earlier this year, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) notified its new policy on Country homes (farmhouses). The new policy has reduced the minimum land required to build a farmhouse from 2.5 acres to 1 acre. The FAR (Floor Area Ratio) norms have also been relaxed by allowing an increased limit of 200. This can be further enhanced by purchasing additional FAR from the authorities with a maximum height of 12 meters, i.e. 3 floors. Additionally, FAR of 60 sq mtrs is permitted for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) housing.
Given the new norms, up to three large dwelling units aggregating 8500 sq ft to 13,000 sq ft can now be constructed per acre of land in the Green Belt of notified villages in and around Delhi. Each home spread over 1600 sq yds (14,500 sq ft) of land can have a built up area of approximately 4500 sq ft. This does not include areas constructed for the use of recreational purpose, home office, storage, parking, services, and utilities installation. Consequently, an average dwelling unit could be about 7000 sq ft.
The policy aims to regularise existing farmhouses, which have been built as symbols of status and power over the last two to three decades. It is expected, that about 5,000 – 7,000 existing farmhouses will be regularised under the new policy on payment of penalty. At the outset it may appear to send a wrong signal by regularising past constructions which were not in conformity with the law. However, this is not the case. The notified villages and semi-urban areas most affected by this will now have the potential to be developed as low density residential areas thereby enabling development and urbanisation in these pockets that were until now left out of the city’s growth story.
Further, the government has made its intentions clear with this policy by identifying these pockets as having the potential for development and urbanisation. However, the future development would need to be backed with sufficient infrastructure to ensure planned urbanisation of notified villages and their seamless integration into Delhi without adding too much burden on the already stressed and meagre civic infrastructure.