By Yinka Kolawole
AFTER ownership of land, one of the most intricate aspects of erecting a structure is processing a building plan approval. Having buildings erected on a large expanse of land without building plan approval is like running a government without laws guiding it.
Building plans are the first tangible thing that depicts the picture of the buildings we have imagined. Building plans are the graphical representation of what a building will look like after construction and also helps in the process of evaluating the cost of erecting such a structure.
In most countries, it is customary to obtain a permit or approval from appropriate authorities and Nigeria is not an exception. A building plan approval is necessary before construction can commence. A building plan approval ensures that the building complies with building laws and codes and to prevent people from just constructing as they deem fit.
Hence, the very first thing to do when you want to commence construction in Lagos, for instance, is to obtain a Development Permit from the Lagos State Government and the office in charge is the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LASPPDA), a parastatal under the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning In get building plan approval in Lagos, the land in question, where the building is to be erected must first have a certificate of occupancy before your building plan can even be assessed by the appropriate bodies.
Also, your land title determines the height and the density you can go, depending on the area the building will be or the kind of building you intend to put up. Hence, the following documents must be submitted at the point of registration of all applications for building plan approval in line with the State policy on Operation 30 – 30; an acronym for speedy processing/approval of building plan applications:
Five (5) sets each of : Architectural Drawings; Structural Drawings, with detailing/calculations and letter of structural stability from COREN certified Engineer; Survey; Title Document; Tax clearance and Government fee (in case of individuals). The Government fee only comes to play after your building plan must have been assessed and marked for approval.