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Lagos demolishes, seals Banana Island buildings over infractions

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The demolished site

Some structures within Banana Island Estate were demolished and sealed by the Lagos State government yesterday over non-compliance to the building laws and regulations.

All the affected buildings had earlier been served a ‘Stop Work’ notice by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA). When the enforcement team arrived the spots, construction works were still ongoing on two buildings, while the others were just fenced land.

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At 102 Close, K Zone, a section of the lagoon has been reclaimed with just the provision of narrow drainage for water to flow. As a result, the concrete and perimeter fence erected facing the lagoon were pulled down, while the building was sealed and the gate locked.

At 306 Close, a three two-storey building under construction was pulled down for not getting an approval to build as the development encroached on the state shoreline.

The enforcement team, led by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, warned that the state government would not condone flagrant abuse of the state building laws and shoreline because it had noticed many residents were building a property without due recourse to state agencies for approval.

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The commissioner said: “The gradual takeover of the waterways is a problem. In our master plan, the regional highway ought to pass through this route, but there is gradual encroachment on the way.

“In terms of climate change, gradual reduction in the capacity of the lagoon to flow freely and the consequence the state would be made to grapple with in the future. If there is heavy downpour today, residents in Parkview Estate, on the other side of the lagoon, would be in crisis because their community would be flooded. This is because people built beyond what was approved.”

Salako said the enforcement became necessary because the state government felt there was a need to do something to halt the illegality.

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“The governor was here yesterday with the strong instruction that land reclaimed beyond what was approved should be demolished. We would continue to monitor to ensure that building laws and regulations are complied with, and it should even be voluntary compliance.”

Speaking on why the two-storey building was pulled down, Salako said: “The buildings that were pulled down was a peculiar case because the owner and developer could not provide an approval and clearance to reclaim land before the metres he got from the state Land Bureau and Ministry of Waterfront.

“They blew up their survey, this means more land metres were taken than what was given approval for. And the 30-metre setback the development was to observed was not adhered to. Also, the property is under a high tension wire. In all, the development has flaunted all building laws in the state.”

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