A building plan is a graphical representation of what a building will look like after construction, used by builders and contractors to construct buildings of all kinds. Building plans are also useful when it comes to estimating how much a project will cost, and preparing project budgets. In most countries, including Nigeria, it is customary to obtain a permit or approval from appropriate authorities. A building plan approval is necessary before construction can commence.
This is to ensure that building complies with building laws and codes and to prevent people from just constructing as they deem fit. According to a report by Nigeria Real Estate Hub (NREH), the first thing to do when you want to commence construction in Lagos is to obtain a development permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LASPPDA), a parastatal under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
The first step is to submit architectural design for inspection to confirm if design is in conformity with the approval standards and order for the area which the land is located. If documents are found satisfactory, assessment will be given. The assessment is based on the volume of your building multiplied by the rate applicable to your land location.
Usually, bank drafts are made payable to the Lagos State Government, the relevant local planning authority of the land location and Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority. You might also need to pay some additional fees to Lagos State Government depending on your proposal.
Before submission of your application, the site will be inspected. This is the first of various inspections that your site will be subjected to. The reason is to know if the site in question is the same as the one being proposed for development and also, that you have not commenced construction before building plan approval.
The site will also be checked with the immediate environment to see if proposal is in conformity with the existing land use, and if the size of the plot is as presented in the survey plan and design proposal. If the inspection report is satisfactory, the application will then be registered, provided all documents have been submitted.
Processing registered file
The following are the processes a registered file undergoes within the planning office: The file is authorised for registration by the District Officer (DO) or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and registered by the clerical officer who assigns the file number and receives all sheets of the drawing submitted.
Provided all relevant documents are submitted, the file is sent to the table of the DO/CEO, who sends it to the field officer to include his site sketch and report while another file is opened with all relevant payment receipts and sent to the accountant's office at LASPPDA headquarters for payment confirmation
Thereafter, the file is sent back to the DO/CEO who acts on the report of the field officer. If satisfied, it is forwarded to the charting officer to determine the conformity of the land with the land use of the area and the actual status of the land. The charting report is then sent back to the DO/CEO who determines the next line of action.
f the report is satisfactory, it is sent to the table of the engineer for inspection of the structural drawings. The engineer will treat the application and revert back to the DO/CEO who acts on the report. If satisfactory, the file is sent to the recommendation officer to examine and recommend as appropriate. The recommendation officer's job is crucial as he/she will go through the entire file to ensure that all requirements in terms of documents and fees have been included in the file.
Finally, the site will be re-visited to confirm that construction has not commenced before recommending to the DO/CEO if application should be granted approval or not. All of these can be done for you by your architect, surveyor or any other knowledgeable member of your building team. (NREH)