Building control agency battles illegal developers, issues new notices
The Lagos authorities have issued 150 fresh notices to private developers in Oyingbo area, urging them to regularise their building approval permits.The notice was given by the State’s Building Control Agency in collaboration with the Physical Planning Permit Authority and the Ministry of Information and Strategy. The exercise was a continuation of the programme started earlier in the year, which aimed to inform owners of converted buildings and those without planning approvals to apply for permits to make them legitimate and legal.
In the last six months about 6,000 building owners have obtained their permits and there are plans to capture seven thousands registered permits by the end of the year.Speaking to residents on the importance of voluntary compliance with the physical planning regulations in the state, the General Manager of LASPPPA, Osifuye Olufunmilayo said, “It is good for building owners to get legitimate building plan on one hand and to also ascertain the structural stability of their buildings.
“Through that, we will be able to advise them on what they need to do in compliance with the provisions of the law that every building in Lagos state must be covered with approved building plan and for government to have confidence that all buildings in the state are structurally fit. We are happy that in the past one year, we have recorded zero building collapse in the state and our plan is to totally eradicate building collapse”.
He explained that after the sensitization, owners of the buildings are expected to visit the agency and effect compliance.“We are sensitising them because we don’t want to jump on any sector or part of Lagos state without prior information/ benefits owners of buildings would derive from getting approvals and improve the values of those lands when they want to transfer the title to another person. Through the exercise also we believed that it would help government to build an updated database for development.
“We will give both new and old building owners certain window but if they failed to show up, the enforcement will begin. Since government is the guidance of the environment, if they failed to comply, the buildings could be sealed. Some of them don’t know that floods could also affect their buildings and so we intend to educate them on this and the need to guide against it”.
On the dynamics of the city, he said areas that are hitherto residential have transformed to commercial adding that in respect of the situation, some of the physical planning laws have be changed to mixed-use corridors.“People with former approvals for residential who have changed to commercial must come and regularize for the mixed-use zoning in respect of residential or residential and commercial to fill in the gap on the zoning for that corridor. There will also be the need for owners to do non destructive test to determine the structural stability of the building and its ability to withstand additional floors if you are adding”.
The Public relations officer for LASBCA, Titi Ajirotutu said the regularisation exercise started from the Opebi/Allen areas of Lagos with stiff opposition from residents. However, she explained that the people have however realized the importance of the exercise as reflected in the level of cooperation given to the regulatory agencies.
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