Building and Construction


The Developers of Arlington Estate have set out to create a mixed use development which will set the standard for the building of new suburbs. 

Commencing Building

Purchaser may commence building prior to receipt of Title Deed, subject to the below:

  1. The minimum US$10,000 deposit must have been received in full to the designated Trust Account of the Developer’s Conveyancer and the Purchaser must have received the fully executed and signed sale agreement from the Developer’s Office;
  2. The Purchaser to be fully up to date with monthly installments and rates payments;
  3. Endowment payments to the City of Harare, must have been paid by the Purchaser.
  4. The City of Harare must have issued a Certificate of Compliance in respect of the individual Stand;
  5. Stage 1 Certification to have been received from the Arlington Architectural Committee;
  6. Building plan approval to have been received from the City of Harare.

Delivery of Building Materials to Site

Building materials can only be delivered and stored onsite if the following conditions are met

  1. The minimum $10,000 deposit must have been received in full to the designated Trust Account of the Developer’s Conveyancer and the Purchaser must have received the fully executed and signed sale agreement from the Developer’s Office;
  2. The Purchaser to be fully up to date with monthly installments and rates payments;
  3. The City of Harare must have issued a Certificate of Compliance in respect of the individual Stand;
  4. Stage 1 Certification to have been received from the Arlington Architectural Committee;

Building materials are stored onsite at the Purchasers own risk and discretion. It is advisable to wait until the build is ready to commence before moving materials to site

Building Restrictions

The Arlington Estate design, building and maintenance guidelines and controls are managed through The Arlington Estate Management Committee and the Architectural Committee. The Estate has stipulated per the Arlington Home Owners Constitution, Architectural Guidelines which are envisioned to to promote individualism in the architecture, landscaping and other areas but will not be so unrestricted as to sacrifice a sense of orderliness or cause a loss of theme.

Certificate of Compliance

The Certificate of Compliance is issued by the City of Harare in accordance with the Developers Permit to subdivide a property. The subdivision permit is issued by the City of Harare Department of Works and includes specific provisions relating to the development of roads water and drainage, fees and levies payable to the City of Harare and to the local authorities and the submission and approval by the specified authorities with regard to water reticulation and electrification utility plans and designs.

The Certificate of Compliance is issued per Stand as per the Surveyor Generals Dispensation Certificate and is a necessary requirement for the City of Harare to approve all building plans. Additionally, Title Deeds cannot be issued to new Purchasers by the Registrar of Deeds without the Certificate of Compliance being received for the specified Stand. See Transfer to Title information here.

Before submitting building plans to the City of Harare Hatfield District Office, Purchasers should contact the Arlington Office for their Compliance Certificate Reference number.

Compliance per Stand

As at November 2014, all Residential Stands in Phase 1 have the necessary Compliance Certificate from the City of Harare. The Developer has completed the servicing of Phase 2, phase 2A and Phase 4 and is currently requesting Engineering Inspection and Approval of such works from the City of Harare. See Transfer to Title information here.

Purchasers will be notified as soon as the Engineering Inspection and Approval is obtained and will be advised to settle their respective Endowment and Public Lighting fees, such that the Certificate of Compliance may be sought from the City of Harare. See Sub-Division Permit Conditions here.

Clearing of Stands

Please note, due to the proximity of the Estate to Harare International Airport, fire cannot be used either to clear Stands or to dispose of refuse.

Minimum Time Period in which to Build

Construction of buildings must commence within five (5) years of the date of registration of transfer of the Stand into the name of the Purchaser.

Transfer of Title can only commence once the full purchase price is paid.

See Transfer to Title information here

Special Foundations and Saturated Soils

Special foundations are steel reinforced concrete structures designed to carry and transmit the load of a building to suitable founding materials. The special foundation is typically a system comprising bases and supporting columns which carry ring beams that follow the floor plan to ensure that all load–bearing walls sit on a beam. The floor slab will also be made of steel reinforced concrete, and it is usually suspended above ground with a void of 100 mm or more, to accommodate the swelling and heaving of the soils when wet. The bases are normally founded at depth on residual soils excavated through the unsuitable material.

The special foundation system is usually required where the founding materials are unsuitable to provide the required bearing capacity to support the load of the building. But more often, the special foundation system is deployed where the founding material has a high volumetric change when wet or dry such that the change in volume may induce stresses and strains that may cause cracks in the brickwork and other structural members of the building.

This type of material with high volumetric changes is typical of high clay content soils such as black cotton soil, identifiable by the massive cracking prevalent when the material dries up in the winter. In Harare black cotton soils are usually found along streams and water courses, which areas are associated with wetlands. Most of the golf courses in Harare are around wetlands, such as Chapman, Highlands Country Club, Borrowdale Brooke, etc., which land was initially considered unsuitable for other development.

Black cotton soils may be residual, that is formed from insitu rocks suck as basalts and dolerites, which rocks erode to yield soils with a high content of fine clayey material. But most often, black cotton soils may have been transported as alluvial materials by water or other agents, to be deposited along water courses and low lying areas.

By virtue of the granitic nature of the residual soils prevalent at Arlington Estate, it is determined that the existence of black cotton soils, if any will be limited to isolated pockets of transported materials along water courses and low lying areas. Granitic sands typically provide good founding conditions.

In areas on Arlington Estate where the water table is high, purchasers may consider the likelihood of special foundations being required in conjunction with an assessment of the localized soil type.

Septic Tanks and Saturated Soils

Stands with high water tables may render ineffective due to saturation, soak-aways to the insitu sewage system utilising septic tanks.

The Developer is aware of these areas and in consultation with its Engineers and the Department of Works is considering a system of French drains to cut off the underground water and transmit it away from Stands. To the extent that this might not be successfully achieved, the areas will be earmarked as “open spaces” for communal recreation, or for other purposes.

Individual Stand Co-ordinates

The Developer has invested resources and has taken the time to make Stands visible and accessible by doing the following:

  • Stand numbers are painted on the culvert at the entrance of Stands.
  • The Arlington Sales Brochure includes maps indicating the location of specific Stands. The documents are available from the Site Office
  • Specific Stand perimeter dimensions are available at the Site Office.
  • Purchasers should be able to identify individual Stand demarcations via concrete Pegs at each corner of the Stand
  • The Site Office can assist any Purchasers failing to locate their Pegs.
  • If for any reason the pegs on a Stand are damaged, please contact the Site Office, who will arrange for the consultant surveyor to attend and replace the pegs at a flat fee of US$100

Access Culverts

Made from reinforced concrete, the culvert pipe essentially forms a small bridge that is positioned at the front of a Stand and is built across the storm water drainage system. Only certain Stands are specified to require culverts according to the drainage pattern designed by the Developer’s Engineers, in consultation with the City of Harare Department of Works.

Building a Cottage

Owners are permitted to construct a single residence upon their Stand, including approved domestic quarters and outbuildings and a single guest cottage meeting all the requirements of any Applicable Law of the local planning authority and as approved by the Architectural Committee in accordance with the Architectural Guidelines.

The guest cottage should be within the main composition of the residence and should be not more than 85sqm.

Sewage disposal

Low Density Residential zoning is prescribed for areas where waste disposal is per septic tanks and soak-aways.

Each individual Stand is required to have a septic tank which has a minimum length of 18 metres. Prior to installation, a detailed soil investigation must be undertaken to ensure that subsoil drainage is provided for in areas where percolation is poor.

Due regard should be taken when siting and chemically treating septic tanks and soak-aways so as not to pollute or contaminate water resources, whether located on the surface or underground. Additional planning considerations:

  • Required to be situated within boundary lines and located on the lowest side of the property
  • recommended distance from any building is 9 metres
  • future planning applications cannot afford encroachment on a septic tank

Proximity to the Airport

Harare International Airport is located on the Southern Border of the Greater Arlington Estate

This results in certain additional regulatory considerations as stipulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (“CAAZ”), for Home Owners and builders. These considerations are detailed in the Home Owners Association Documents and include interalia the following provisions :

Home Owners are not permitted to

  • start or burn open fires and cannot use fire to clear stands in preparation for building
  • have reflective roofing materials
  • shine any forms of light directly skyward

The provisions or permissions for multi storey buildings are restricted such that residential dwellings may be no more that 2 storey’s above ground level, the apex for the roof not exceeding 12 metres in height.

CAAZ itself have no direct day to day influence in the development save for Purchasers being required to comply with the regulations as detailed above and as incorporated into the Architectural Guidelines. Many Purchasers have received the necessary building plan approvals from the City of Harare Hatfield District Office and have commenced building.

Standardised Floor Plans

Over and above the Architectural Guidelines, the Developer has not prescribed standardized floor plans. The Developer is currently building a Show House, modularised plans for which will be available from the architect for purchase. Please contact Arlington Head Office or site Office for more details.


As prescribed by the Local Authority, Arlington Estate shall be serviced by boreholes and other water-related infrastructure developed by the Developer in order to feed into the communal water-reticulation system.

The Harare Well and Boreholes By-laws governing Notice No 914 of November 1951, Item 8 and 11 should be adhered to and a permit on each borehole obtained from the City of Harare Department of Works Water Section.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (“ZINWA”) is a wholly Government owned entity tasked with managing the country’s water resources. The Authority was created through the ZINWA Act as part of the Government’s efforts to reform the country’s water sector. Please refer to their website for further information with regard to legislation pertaining to ground water and drilling activities

The Home Owners Constitution notes (Clause 4.7) that the day-to-day management of water and boreholes located at Arlington Estate shall be the responsibility of the Management Committee, which may set up its own permanent sub-committee to manage the same

Members may not install water storage facilities with capacities greater than ten thousand litres without the Management Committee’s prior approval in writing.


The Developer has submitted Plans to the newly centralized ZESA planning department and such plans are awaiting scrutiny. Upon approval and receipt of the final electrification diagrams a detailed costing analysis and project proposal will be formulated for adoption by the Management Committee of the AHoA.