Development and Building permitting is the main instrument for controlling or managing physical development. Development permit in this context refers to permits issued in relation to planning and building applications Effective development management promotes orderliness, convenience of movement, public safety and enhanced economic development.
Development Permitting deals with the correct use the land, the appearance of the proposed building and the effect that the development will have on the general environment and neighbouring properties.
A development permit is a written permission authorizing a person to carry out development in accordance with conditions specified in the permit. Such development permit shall give due considerations to matters relating to zoning, planning standards and structural conditions of the proposed development.
A Building Permit allows construction of buildings or structure to proceed on condition of compliance to building code.
A Building Permit deals with the manner in which a building is constructed, eg. its structural stability, fire resistance, weather resistance, etc.
Act 480, Section 48; Act 936, Sections 91 (1) & 106 (1) and Act 925 Sections 113 & 117 (1&2);
Any transformation to a building or structure to restore it to its original state in terms façade, fixtures or sewage system shall require a renovation permit from the Assembly.
Also a transformation or alteration of any permitted structure or building which results in structural changes (remodeling) shall require a permit from the Assembly
Any temporary structure or fence erected round a building or construction site shall require a planning permit
Public safety shall be ensured and pollution in relation to air, water, noise and soils shall be avoided or properly mitigated.
A hoarding permit shall be incorporated into all Development applications (except for already fenced structures of property) and treated as one application.
In the event that, a developer proposes to carry out any development that may be at variance with the allowable planning consideration for an area, the person may apply for planning permission- in- principle by submitting the Perspective (not details) of the proposal for planning approval before actual development application.
For instance, an applicant who may want to put up a high rise apartment in a typical low rise residential area.
Check List/Guidelines for Application in Principle (AIP)
In the event that, a development proposal does not conform to the approved planning scheme in terms of Land use, the applicant would be advised to apply for a change of use if it is a plot of land. However, if the development proposal affects a larger parcel of land, then the applicant would be required to apply for rezoning.
The requirement for a change of use or rezoning shall be in accordance with the following:
In the event that a property owner intends to assign an interest on a portion of plot to another person or entity, there is the need for planning permission to be granted by the Assembly.
On the other hand, in the event that a property owner intends to merge tow or more plots under one interest, or for a particular project, planning permission is required from the Assembly.
In these instances, the following requirements shall apply:
A development/building permit issued is valid for 5years as per Instrument 7 of L.I.1630, 1996 (5 years). Consequently, a developer who is an enable to complete development shall apply for planning permission for an extension of time.
A developer is required to apply for a completion certificate for habitation before occupying a building after completion as per Regulation 10-7 L. I. 1630, Act 925, Section 161
A temporary structure is any physical structure constructed, installed or placed on spaces zoned for permanent uses and meant to facilitate the construction of a permanent structure, serve short term emergency needs or facilitate small scale business operations.
The temporary permit shall be renewable every six months for a period not exceeding five years.
Temporary Structure Permit applications shall be presented on form.
The basic requirements for a temporary structure permit are:
An applicant shall be required to obtain all necessary approvals, permits and licenses from relevant central and local government authorities.
Regularization of permit shall be undertaken for all structures that have been developed without permits. Only structures that meet minimum condition for the grant for regular development permit shall qualify for the grant of regularization permit
All applications to regularize permits for existing structures shall be required to submit all requirements listed for the category of such structures in addition to Structure Integrity Report
The addition of a usable area or utility space to an existing structure shall constitute an extension.
Applications for permit to extend existing structures which do not have prior permit shall be treated solely as applications for regularization of permit.
All demolition works shall require permit from the Assembly. Sufficient precaution shall be taken to safeguard public safety, health, adjoining properties and properties with heritage significance. Pollution in relation to air, water, noise and soils shall be avoided or properly mitigated.
Application for Demolition Permit
Persons seeking to apply for demolition permit shall complete an application form designed for the purpose including information that ensures that the following basic requirements have been fully fulfilled:
In addition to the statutory requirements above, in AMA the following requirements also apply;
For Organisations: A developer may be asked to provide additional information depending on usage, size, etc.
For Existing Buildings: Some Development Projects require a prior application for “Planning Permission –in- Principle” before application for a substantive Development /Building permit.
Apart from the cost of the Permit Application Form and Processing Fees, all other costs are arrived after going through each process based on the fee fixing resolution of the Assembly for that year.
The Fee fixing Resolution for each year is published on the Assembly’s Website and copies can also be purchased as the Ghana Publishing Company (Assembly Press).