‘Issue Building Permits Within 90 Days’

The Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP) has said that metropolitan and district assemblies must issue building permits within 90 days after the receipt of applications, provided there are no problems with the land for the building.

This is to stem the excuses often given by illegal developers that the processes for acquiring permits took too long, leaving them with no option than to build without permits.

The President of GIP, Dr Stephen Saforo Yirenkyi, said initially, there was no time frame for acquiring a building permit, which contributed to the delay in the issuance of building permits.

He was addressing the opening session of the West African Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Association of Planners in Accra yesterday.

The conference, which was hosted by the Ghana Institute of Planners, had the theme: “Trans-Border Planning Dynamics in West Africa”.

Obtain Permit

Dr Yirenkyi expressed the institute’s displeasure with the recent demolition of structures in some parts of the country. He advised the building public to avoid cutting corners and rather patiently obtain the required permits to avoid confrontations with the city authorities “Once the permit is obtained and construction starts, trained inspectors of the assemblies will visit the site to give advice and ensure that the construction is done according to specification,” he added.

Dr Yirenkyi also expressed the GIP’s concern over the absence of a long-term development plan or perspective, as exists in other countries, to accelerate the growth of the economy even though Ghana was considered as belonging to the middle-class income bracket.

According to him, attempts by various governments to achieve that objective had been done in piecemeal fashion and on demand.

Be People-oriented

The Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey, urged the planners to be people-oriented in their planning. She advised them to incorporate the concept of good health into the planning process.

“Human health depends on absolute good planning of housing, sanitation, roads, security and social services,” she added.

The National President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Chief Steve I. Onu, who also addressed the participants, asked the Commonwealth Association of Planners in West Africa to come up with solutions that would help the current generation and also serve as an enduring and endearing legacy to posterity.