Spatial Planning is the bedrock of national development – Planner

Spatial planning, development standards and compliance with the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) as well as regulations governing human settlements is the bedrock of national growth.

Planner Gifty Nyarko, the head of Physical Planning Department for the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly in the Bono region has observed.

In that regard, she commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for assenting to the enforcement of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) to avert the situation of unplanned and haphazard developments.

President Nana Akufo-Addo assented to enforcement of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Regulations by each of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for orderly physical development.

The President, in his speech during the inauguration of the newly elected and appointed Assembly Members on Monday, February 12, 2024 charged the Assembly Members to help enforce the Act and regulations to curb haphazard development. 

President Nana Akufo-Addo 

President Nana Akufo-Addo said in the year 2020, predecessors’ of the current Assembly members attention was drawn to a major challenge relating to unplanned and haphazard development within the jurisdiction of most District Assemblies. 

Therefore, the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development together with Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) held consultative meetings to apprise the citizenry on guidelines for planning and development permitting in Ghana, the President said.

“As you begin work, it is my ardent hope that you will help enforce planning standards and compliance of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925), as well as other regulations governing human settlements and spatial planning”, the President charged them.

Speaking to news on Tuesday at Odumase, the Sunyani West Municipal capital, Planner Nyarko affirmed that strictly enforcing the Act, (Act 925, Act 2016), development permits acquisition and other regulations is pivotal to orderly structural developments.

She indicated haphazard development is a phenomenon with serious implications for national development and public safety.

Hence, the President’s weight behind enforcing the planning and building regulations would bring about systemic structures for environmental and human safety, she observed.

But, Planner Nyarko noted enforcement of the regulation can not be achieved effectively without monitoring and supervision, therefore, pleaded with the President and for that matter the government to supports the physical planning departments and works department with vehicles and logistics for constant field monitoring.

The Land Use Act

Ms Nyarko (Planner) said adherence to the Sections of the  Spatial Planning Act, Act 925 (2016) was crucial when developing a land for whatever purpose.

Before one disposed of land for development, the person must adhere to the regulation targeted to reduce environmental challenges, she explained.

Planner Nyarko was optimistic compliance with the regulations would drastically reduce most of the social and economic problems that the country had been grappling with over the years.

In further development, the regulations stipulated that “a person shall not dispose of land or property to a prospective buyer unless that person demonstrates to the prospective buyer that the land or property has been zoned or rezoned for the purpose for which it is being let or acquired”.

Mr. Percy Agyei, a planner at the Amansie West District, Manso Nkwanta, in the Ashanti Region told news in a related interview.

He explained it was because of the above that Sections 158 and 159 of the Regulations of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) demands establishment of a Planning and Building Inspectorate Unit at all the MMDAs to check and ensure orderly spatial developments in the country, 

Mr. Agyei reiterated the Unit is vital per the demands of the law to reduce haphazard physical developments, because the Act mandates officers of the Unit to monitor to ensure compliance with the approved permits and the provisions of the Act.

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