Al-amin Abubakar —
The General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Kehinde Osinaike has queried the illegal conversion of residential buildings for other purposes with government approval.
He described this trend as a contradiction and violation of the master plan of the state, originally proposed by all stakeholders and articulated by experts for the achievement of a sustainable Lagos.
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He averred that sticking to the development plan, which dictates the spatial arrangement of the state and the approved permissible uses for different areas, was crucial for the avoidance of slums development in Lagos, stressing that adherence to the Operative Development Plans was non-negotiable for a sustainable Lagos State.
“The housing stock available for Lagosians is usually estimated by planning permits granted for residential purposes and when such buildings are illegally converted for other uses, the official records automatically become unreliable, he said.
“Disequilibrium is created in the projected proportion of land earmarked for different categories of uses for different areas of the state.
“LASPPPA has the mandate to reject any application seeking conversion of a property from the originally approved use that had been specifically designated for that particular location”.
According to him, LASPPPA is legally guided by the extant law and regulations to grant planning permits to qualifying applications in accordance with the provisions of the operative development plans of the state, noting that illegal conversion of buildings that had approval to other uses is illegal and approvals hitherto given were liable to revocation.
Also speaking on the assessment rates for processing planning permits, the general manager of LASPPPA explained that the scheduled fees worked out for planning permits were non-negotiable.
He said, “The assessment for processing a planning permit is determined by the volume, use and location of the building, which cannot be compromised.”
While decrying the increasing clamour by prospective applicants to negotiate government fees, he emphasised that all physical planning-related fees should be paid to Lagos State Government accounts by applicants and not through a third party or touts.
Osinaike, therefore, urged the general public to embrace voluntary compliance with physical planning laws and called on owners/developers of illegally converted buildings and other types of illegal developments to initiate the process of regularising such buildings by visiting LASPPPA District offices nearest to them for guidance.
“Failure to revert to the original approved plan of LASPPPA by owners of converted buildings within the next 30 days will attract the prescribed sanctions under the Law”, he added.
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