thefourlens.com

By thefourlens.com

Odumase, March 18, 2024

Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are no more to issue building permit, Ms Gifty Nyarko, the Head of Physical Planning Department at the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly has said. 

She disclosed that Section 33 of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, Act 925 of 2016 mandates the District Assemblies as the Planning Authorities. 

Planner Nyarko was speaking in an interview with thefourlens.com on at Odumase, the Sunyani West Municipal capital of the Bono region.

The interview was on the phenomenon of haphazard developments and way forward to eradicate it menace for a safer environment and settlements in the country. 

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Planner Nyarko explained to thefourlens.com news that Regulation 43 (1&2) of LI 2384 mandates the MMDAs as the sole authorities for issuance of development and planning permits, not building permit, adding that Regulation 43 (2) of the LI required that a person who intends to undertake a development shall require a planning permit or a development permit. 

The physical development planner stated Section 113 of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, Act 925 of 2016 also stipulates that a person shall not undertake any physical development on land in a District unless with a written permission from the district in which the land is situated.

According to her, Section117 also emphasized that a person shall not carry out physical development within this country unless that development is carried out in accordance with a permit issued under the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, Act 925 of 2016.

Planner Nyarko indicated the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority is the authorized body to prescribes levels of permit a District Assembly can issue, as stated in Section 113, Sub-section 2 of the above Act. 

TYPES OF PERMIT 

Pursuant to the Legislative Instrument (LI 2384) of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Regulation 2019, the MMDAs are supposed to issue two types of permits, Planner Nyarko stated. 

The Land Use and Spatial Planning Regulations, Regulation 2019 of Legislative Instrument (LI 2384) 43(1) indicated that the MMDAs are rather required to issue Development and planning permits, but not building permit.

THE OLD (OUTMODED) BUILDING PERMIT 

Planner Nyarko noted until promulgation of the LI 2384 in 2019, District Assemblies were issuing building permit based on defunct LI 1630, thus, National Building Regulation of 1996.

That Building permit issued under LI1630 lays much attention to the building, structures and materials conditions with no or little attention to planning aspects of the land, said. 

THE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT

Development permit is a written permission authorising a person to carry out development in accordance with conditions specified in the permit by the law. 

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this is the new permit form

Planner Nyarko detailed this development permit by LI 2384 shall give due considerations to matters relating to zoning, planning standards and structural conditions of the proposed development.

Regulation 45 (3) of the LI further defines development permit as a written permission that comprises of the planning permission and building permission, she said. 

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In this effect, Planner Nyarko stated the term building permit is clearly “outmoded and has no legal grounds”.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES THAT NEED DEVELOPMENT PERMIT

Planner Nyarko said Regulation 45 of LI 2384 of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Regulation 2019 specified that (structural alteration, transformation or a renovation to a building; erection of any building or structure, execution of works or installation of any fittings in a building; civil and engineering works; regularization of existing structures requires Development Permit.

REQUIREMENT FOR PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT 

Planner Nyarko said Section 8 of Regulation 45 of LI 2384 mentioned that a person shall apply for a development permit in the manner specified in Form 43A of the Schedule. 

She observed the LI demands that application shall be accompanied with four sets each of (a site plan to the scale of 1:2500 and conforming to the local plan of the area, a block plan to the scale of 1:100 or 1:200 depending on the scale of  development, architectural drawing on the scale of 1:20 or 1:40,  structural drawings to the scale of 1:20 or 1:40, evidence of a right or authorization to use the land in accordance with the laws of the country. 

The LI further required a report on stakeholder consultation, where applicable, reports relating to air or aviation safety, radiation protection, environmental protection, fire safety, petroleum operation, standard verification, traffic impact, geo-technical impact, hydrological impact and structural impact.

PLANNING PERMIT 

On the other hand, Planner Nyarko said a Planning Permit is a written permit issued for the purpose of fostering compliance of activities with approved zoning regulations.

Such approved regulations she said are heights, orientation, building line and setbacks, plot coverage and planning standards including geographic accessibility, size and class of development stated in the LI 2384 Ms Nyarko cited.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES THAT NEED PLANNING PERMIT 

According to Regulation 44 (1) of LI2384, Physical developments that require a planning permit include Temporary structure; Temporary activities that require the use of public apace; Demolition; Charge of use; Advertisement; Consolidation; Sub-division; Hoarding; Mining in the nature of sand wining, quarrying and minerals extraction.

Planner Nyarko revealed other activities are Disposal of industrial waste or chemical waste on land; Excavation; Change in colour schemes; and Tree removal.

She said an application for a planning permit shall be as set out Form 42 of the Schedule and shall be addressed to the District Spatial Planning Committee and also be accompanied with a set of four  each of the Evidence of right or authorization to use the land in accordance with the laws of the country.

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Site plan to the scale of 1:2500 conforming to the local plan of the area; Block plan to the scale of 1:100 or 1:200 depending on the scale of development; Zoning Assessment and Justification Report if the application involves changes of use or re-zoning and Relevant drawings where applicable.

Where applicable, Planner Nyarko stated reports relating to Air or aviation safety; Radiation protection; Environmental protection; fire safety: petroleum operation; traffic impact; standard verification; geo-technical impact; hydrological impact and structural impact are other requirements.

SIGNATORIES TO DEVELOPMENT PERMIT AND CERTIFICATES 

Planner Nyarko noted that the previous (outmoded) building permit jacket form has physical planner, District Chief Executive/Co-ordinating Director, Engineer, Environmental Health Officer and the Building Inspector as signatories. 

She recounted that getting all these signatories mostly delay the permit process. 

Planner Nyarko said with the LI 2384, the applicant would be issued with development permit certificate (Form 43C) of the schedule approved by the Spatial Planning Committee and jointly signed by the Physical planner and Works Engineer.

With regards to the planning permit when approved by the Spatial Planning Committee, only the Physical Planner will endorsed the planning permit certificate (Form 42B). 

This she said makes the permit process simple and less bureaucratic.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON PERMITTING PROCEDURES 

With regard to Regulation 43 (3&4) of the LI 2384, Planner Nyarko was of the view that one of the key issue of haphazard development is inadequate access to reliable information on permitting procedures.

To curb this menace, the  Regulation 43 (3&4) states that the District Planning Authority shall through the appropriate medium make available the procedure requirement and general informations for securing a planning and development permits.

The media she indicated shall include Physical Planning Department; Public Data Room of the Assembly; Notice board at the Assembly and Community; Leaflets and posters in designated offices; Websites; Communities durbars; Radio and television programmes; and Newspapers. 

To Planner Nyarko, this will ensure participation and transparency in the planning process. 

She further stated that even though the LI 2384 has specified the form of the development permit application Form 43A and Form 42 for planning permit of the schedule, MMDAs have to use to grant permits but most Assemblies are still using the obsolete LI1630 forms (jacket) of building permit to grant permit for developers which of course have no effect and no legal basis.

She stated all MMDAs who are still using the old jacket and other documents in granting permit which is in contravention with the provision of the Act 925 and LI 2384 are advised to desist from this practice since it is illegal and have no effect. 

Planner Nyarko cautioned any developer who applies to the Assembly for physical development permit and the Assembly issues building permit should not accept “because it is illegal”. 

She advised the MMDAs to adhere to the provisions of the Act by stopping issuing building permit and issue development permit or planning permit depending of the type of development to foster orderly development.

BENEFITS OF PERMIT TO SDGs

Planner Gifty was optimistic that adhering to land use and spatial planning act would accelerate Ghana’s effort in achieving the goal 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development goal (SDGs) which talks about making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. 

Thefourlens.com 

thefourlensofficial@gmail.com

Writer’s email: ttchrietoph1@gmail.com

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  5. ISSUANCE OF DEVELOPMENT PERMIT AS BUILDING PERMIT IS RATHER “OUT OF LAW”
    ==========================================
    1. The Land Use and Spatial Planning (LUSP) 2019 (L I 2384) does NOT supersede its own LUSP Act 2016 (Act 925).
    Section 198 of LUSP Act 2016, (Act 925) recommends a District Spatial Planning Committee in accordance with section 37 of same Act to perform the functions of preparation of District and Local Plans and Approve Development and Building Permits and other functions spelt out under this Act and in Regulations. Same section of same Act, also interprets Building Permit as a written permission granted by a District Assembly under this Act and the applicable Building Regulations which sets out conditions for the construction of a building or a structure or the execution of works on a proposed building. In this regard, A Development Permit CANNOT be issued as BUILDING PERMIT.
    2. The New Building Regulations 2022, (L I 2465), which is very current and hence, by Law it overrides the LUSP Regulations 2019, (L I 2384), prescribed the following Permit for use by all MMDAS:
    1. Building Permit ( For Construction of the Structure on the Land)
    2. Planning Permit (For the Land Use and spatial Planning) and
    3. Regularization Permit (For existing buildings)

    Thank you.

    Engr. Vincent B. QUARSHIE
    GAR – President
    Local Government Service Engineers Association
    LoGSEA
    Contact: 0244649821

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