The Town and Country Planning Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly(AMA), has put in place stringent measures to improve the quality of service regarding the issuance of building permitting.
The improvement would be done through simplified processes, clarified rules and set time frames for prompt service delivery.
Mr Lawrence Dakurah, National Director of the Town and Country Planning, who made this known at a meeting with the Accra City Planning Committee of the AMA in Accra, said the measures had become necessary to educate the public on the ongoing reforms on development and building permitting processes.
He said any person who intends to start any physical development in the Metropolis such as residential and commercial must provide evidence of land ownership, building permit application form and four copies of building drawings.
He said: “Additional requirements for multi-purpose usage or some complex projects, a prior application for planning permission-in-principle is required to provide information on the concept as well as the project’s perspective drawings for consideration”
“Others were land ownership information, preliminary assessment on soil structure, traffic impact assessment, structural design and evidence of neighbourhood consultations are required before the issuance of permits.
He said a building becomes illegal if it does not conform to what is on the approved plan and warned applicants not to make false declaration.
He said:” It is important to note that the validity of a building permit issued in accordance with the approved plan expires at five years.
Mr Dakurah advised developers to seek renewal of building permits if development is not completed within five years to avoid embarrassment.
Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the reforms is to ensure orderliness , safety, good health, convenience and beauty within the communities.
He said the AMA had successfully been able to reduce the processing time to an average of 30 days instead of 90 days as stipulated by the National Building Regulation.
“It is important to note that if we are to take measures that will make Accra a safe place to live, and to the future generation, then we need a sound and solid knowledge and information,” he said.
He said the educational campaign that the AMA had started with support of the International Finance Cooperation(IFC) of the World Bank was such a great steps to inform and educate the prospective applicants about the permitting processes.
“This will go a long way to correct the negative perception that many people have regarding delays that are inherent in the process and the frustrations applicants go through to have their projects approved,” he said.
Dr Vanderpuije expressed gratitude to the IFC and the Swiss Economic Cooperation Secretariat for their support towards the AMA”s effort at educating and sensitising the public on the development and building permitting processes.
Mr Joseph Akwasi Kumah, Programme Officer of the IFC in Ghana, said his organisation strategy was improvements of the business and investment environment, hence the need to support the construction permit reform.
”This will be achieved through targeted legal and institutional framework reform to improve issuance of construction permit.”