Development & Building Permit

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 neighboring 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..

WHO CAN APPLY?

Any individual or group that intends to construct a building(s) whether for residential, commercial or other purpose within the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality’s jurisdiction must obtain a development and building permit.

This is to ensure, among other things, that the proposed project conforms to the building regulations and development control guidelines.

TYPES OF DEVELOPMENT

Schools, Hotels/Restaurants, Places of Worship Buildings, Factories, Hospitals, Offices, Residential Buildings, Filling Stations & LPG Gas Stations, Communication Masts, Shops/Supermarkets, Car Parks, Amusement Parks and others.

ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE DEVELOPMENT & BUILDING PERMIT

SEGMENT ONE (1)
  • All physical development involving the erection of any structure,
  • making of structural alteration or transformation of any structure,
  • execution of any works or installation of any fittings in connection with any structure,
  • engineering, mining or other operations on, in, under or
  • over land or the material change in the existing use of land or building comprising among others the sub-division of land,
  • disposal of waste on land including the discharge of effluent into a body of still or running water and
  • the erection of an advertisement or other hoarding among others shall require a development permit.

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)

  1. Perspective Drawings
  2. Floor Plans
  3. Land Document (Indenture or Certificate)
  4. Project Brief
  5. Evidence of Neighborhood Consultation
  6. Preliminary Traffic Impact Assessment Report (T.I.A.)
  7. Waste Management Plan
  8. Soft copies of the plans on CD
SEGMENT TWO (2)

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:

  1. An official application backed by a Planning Justification Report endorsed by a certified Planner shall be submitted to the Physical Planning Department.
  2. The Report must provide relevant information such as a publication of the Application, evidence of Land ownership and the planning merit of the application.

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:

  1. An official application backed by a Planning Justification Report endorsed by a certified Planner shall be submitted to the Physical Planning Department.
  2. The Report must provide relevant information such as a publication of the Application, evidence of Land ownership and the planning merit of the application.

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 unable 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.

SEGMENT THREE (3)

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.

  • Permits for Temporary structures shall be issued to developments that are not permanent in nature.
  • Permits for Temporary structures shall be renewed every 6 months.

Temporary Structure Permit applications shall be presented on form.

The basic requirements for a temporary structure permit are:

  1. Application form
  2. Evidence of good title to the land or permission from relevant stakeholders
  3. Site Plan to the scale of 1:2500 or 1:1250 and conforming to the local plan of the area
  4. Block Plan to the scale of 1:50
  5. Designs of proposed temporary structures

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:

  1. Site plan
  2. Block plan
  3. Demolition plan and precautions outlined
  4. Current Pictures of the structures to be demolished
  5. Acknowledgment of utility services disconnection (electricity, water, sewer, etc)

PERMIT PROCEDURE & REQUIREMENT

STAGE ONE

Statutory requirements for Development/Building permit

  • Submit your full set of application to the Physical Planning Department
  • Attach completed land ownership document from Lands Commission
  • Attach four copies of architectural drawings signed by a certified Architect
  • Attach four copies of structural drawings signed by an Engineer
  • Proposed development must conform to zoning status
  • A certified soil test report
  • Fire certified report including drawings from the Ghana National Fire Service
  • Environmental Protection Agency Permit
  • Structural integrity report in case construction development has already commenced or is completed
In addition to the above, the following requirements also do apply;
  • Business Registration Certificate (for organizations).
  • Business Operating Permit (for organizations).
  • Up to date Property Rate payment (Existing Buildings)
Please Note:

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.


Requirements Checklist

DRAWINGS

  • Architectural Drawing four(4) copies
  • Structural Drawings four(4) copies
  • Mechanical or Services Drawing four(4) copies

REPORTS

  • Structural Calculation Report four(4) copies.
  • Fire Report three(3) copies.
  • Geo technical Report three (3) copies.
  • Structural Integrity Report three (3) copies.
  • Hydro logical Services Report (if requested) three (3) bound copies.

OTHER DOCUMENTS

  • Building Permit Application Form –one(1) copy
  • Title Search one(1) copy
  • Indenture or Deed of assignment or Land Title Certificate one(1) Copy
  • Environmental Permit one(1) copy
  • Traffic Impact Assessment (T.I.A) three(3) bound copies
  • Property Rate


APPLICANTS REQUIRING PERMISSION IN PRINCIPLE (AIP)

  • Three (3) sets of sketch drawings.
  • Three (3) copies of brief outline of project covering the location, design, activities and operational characteristics.
  • Evidence of Neighborhood consultation and comments.

APPLICATIONS SEEKING CHANGE OF USE OF AN EXISTING PERMIT

  • Previous permit on existing building
  • Proposed amendments to drawings if relevant
  • Evidence of Neighborhood consultation and comments for the new use of premises

VALIDATION OF DEVELOPMENT AND BUILDING PERMIT

  • Development and Building permits are valid for five years.
  • Applicants who are unable to complete developments within permit validity period are required to seek permit for Extension of Time.

APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION TO EXISTING BUILDING SHOULD COMPRISE

  • Previous permit on existing building.
  • Four (4) new copies of block and site plan to scale of 1/20 or 1/40 showing the position of the building(s) and other works on site.

STAGE TWO

Purchasing / Completion & Submission of Forms

  • Obtain or Purchase a Building Permit Application Form
  • Purchase the Town & Country Planning Development Planning Application Form 1
Completion of Form

Complete in full, both the Building Permit Application Form and the Town & Country Planning Development Planning Application Form 1. (Where there is difficulty in completing the forms, Please contact the Works and the Town & Country Planning Departments of the ESMA for further advice and assistance.)

Submission of Forms
  • Submit completed forms with all necessary attachments as specified in both Permits to the Desk Officer at the Town & Country Planning Department (TCPD) of the Assembly. (Contact the officer in charge to be informed of corrections to be made or additions if any, the processing fee, date for site inspection, etc)
  • Pay the processing fee and obtain an official receipt.
SITE INSPECTION
  • By a team from Town & Country Planning Department
  • and Works Department
  • Technical sub-committee

STAGE THREE

Processing

  • Thereafter the Statutory Planning Committee undertakes site inspection with the applicant(s) / prospective developer(s) on the agreed date.
  • The Technical Sub Committee undertake preliminary assessment and vetting of applications and submit report to the Statutory Planning Committee.
  • The Statutory Planning Committee meets for final approval of application within stipulated time
  • Applicants notified of decision by the Municipal Statutory Planning Committee within ten (10) working days of the meeting

STAGE FOUR

Payment of Building / Development Permit Fees

Applicant / developer pays building permit fees at the Municipal Head office. Please note that payment receipt is not a building permit certificate.

Note: refusal to make payment within twenty eight (28) working days indicates loss of interest. The process is re-activated when the applicant settles the appropriate bill. Applicants will bear the cost for re – inspection.


STAGE FIVE

Issuing of Building Permit & Collection

Applicant collects building permit certificate from the Municipal T&CP office duly signed by the Municipal Engineer within ten (10) working days of receipt of approval list from the Secretary of the Statutory Planning Committee provided the applicant has paid the full building permit fee and no anomaly is discovered.


TEMPORARY STRUCTURE (KIOSK, CONTAINER, AND BILLBOARD) PERMIT

Please follow the Instruction below:

KIOSK/CONTAINER
  • Write an application letter (copy of indenture and site plan attached) to the Municipal Chief Executive.
  • If the land for the siting of the proposed kiosk or container is not your property, then you must produce a letter of consent from the Land Owner.
  • The application letter will be forwarded to the head, Works Department where technical investigations will be conducted.
  • If the investigations prove positive, the Head of Works Department will grant you the permit.
BILLBOARDS
  • Write an application letter for the erection of the proposed billboard to the Municipal Chief Executive
  • attach the following document;
      1. company registration
      2. business operating permit
      3. certificate of incorporation
      4. vat/ssnit certificate
      5. photography of the location/site
      6. Structural design of the billboard
  • The application letter would be forwarded to the municipal signage and advertisement unit for inspection and vetting
  • If the site is approved a bill would be prepared for you for payment at the accounts office or the signage unit.
  • Permit would subsequently be issued to erect billboard.
SIGNAGE
  • Write an application letter for the erection of this proposed signage to the municipal chief executive add a certificate of registration if it is a company
  • Fill a form at the signage and advertisement unit
  • Conducting of Vetting and inspection.
  • If site is approved you would subsequently be granted the permit to erect signage

CAUTION

Act 462 provides that any unauthorized structure or structures attached to premises shall be demolished or removed on notice by ESMA.
  • Any such development shall be considered unauthorized and liable to demolition by ESMA
  • The receipts issued for the processing fess are not building permits
  • Building becomes illegal if it does not conform to what is on the approved plan
  • Any applicant who makes a false declaration does so at his/her own risk.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • It is important to note that the validity of a building permit issued in accordance with the above process is five (5) years after which a new permit must be sought
  • Developers are therefore required to seek renewal of Building Permit if development is not completed within five (5) years.
  • 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 may be published on the Assembly’s Website.

Please Contact the Assembly’s Works or Town & Country Planning Departments for more information, if needed.