Monday, February 11, 2013

Why A Residential Building Permit In Ghana Is Necessary

The recent collapse of a shopping mall in Accra has brought a lot of attention to building permits in Ghana. It was determined that the building collapsed because the foundation was not strong enough and the deadly disaster could have been averted if the developer had obtained the necessary permits. Yet, many landowners are still circumventing the law. According to a survey conducted by the Physical Planning Department of the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis approximately 36 percent of the buildings in the area were built without obtaining the necessary permits. Ebenezer Dadzie Pantsi, head of the PPD has been cautioning developers to heed building codes and urged local authorities across the country to better educate landowners on the importance of permits.

Purpose Of Permits

Building permits are not designed to make it harder or more expensive to build a home in Ghana. The purpose is simply to strengthen the buildings and prevent disasters such as the mall collapse. Once a building permit is obtained, various governmental agencies see to it that the building is structurally safe. Some of the key elements in the process are:
  • Architectural and engineering design for approval from the Accra Metropolitan Authority
  • Fire protection opinion from the Fire Department
  • Inspections at the end of each phase of construction (foundation, floor level, rafters, roof, etc.) by the Building Inspectorate

Consequences of Building Without A Permit

The consequences of building without a permit can be quite costly. They may range from a monetary fine to the complete demolition of the home by local authorities and loss of investment. Modern Ghana reported that in 2011 more than 500 homes without building permits were demolished around the Weija Dam to prevent it from collapsing from unauthorized building encroachments. The financial loss of having your home demolished pales in comparison to other consequences of building without a permit—the loss of human lives.

Help With The Permit Process

The permit process can be difficult those who are unfamiliar with the local laws and regulations—especially foreign investors. Working with professionals such as the Ghana Homes Group can make the entire building process easier. They can help you choose a house plan that will be approved by the Accra Metropolitan Authority, prove that you legally own the land you intend to build on and submit an application to the Land commission.

1 comment:

  1. What about demolition permits, are these a requirement before a building is demolished?


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