‘Why developers suffered delay in getting planning permit’

Inability of  real estate developers and home builders to  summit the  necessary papers/documents required by government before  obtaining planning  permit  has been blamed for delay in the process.

According to the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State , Dr.  Idris Salako,failure of  developers and property owners  to get the necessary sign-off from relevant  ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) where applicable was a major reason  government delayed in issuing   planning permit in the state.

Contrary from rumour making the rounds, Salako said  that often times, the  delay did not come from the government.

Chatting with property correspondents in his office at Alausa, the commissioner called on property owners and developers interested in obtaining planning permit to perfect their applications to avoid delay as the process is clear and  seamless.

The commissioner averred that except for those that would like  to cut corners and make mischief, the requirements for planning permit were not cumbersome but necessary to regulate the built environment and give room to  seamless development of the state.

“ Often times, delay does not come from the government but failure of developers to perfect their documents or get the necessary sign-off from relevant MDAs,  where applicable” the commissioner said.

He buttressed that while the power to grant planning permit rested solely with the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority( LASPPPA), the sign-off of other ministries and agencies such as Ministry of Transportation and Office of Drainage Service  was necessary in some situations as development activities within the  state revolve around many agencies.

“For example, LASPPPA will not issue permit to any development proposed along drainage alignment or road setbacks without clearance from the Office of Drainage Services and Ministry of Transport respectively” he added.

Other MDAs whose clearances may be required before granting planning permit, are  the Lagos State Fire Service, the Police, Lands Bureau, Office of the Surveyor General, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Nigerian Airport Authority, Department of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Lekki Concession Company, New Towns Development Authority and the Lagos State  Development and Property Corporation among others.

According to the commissioner , to further simplify the planning permit process, government had implemented some reforms and set Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 28 days for processing planning permit.

As  part of the reforms, he said the ministry had  increased the number of supervisory directors and district officers and devolve planning permit approvals down to the level of district officers.

According to Salako, efforts at streamlining the process had yielded positive results, among which is the fact that the 28days Service Level Agreement had become more and more feasible with applicants getting planning permits within the stipulated time, adding that as at October, 1,726 Permits had been granted for the year.

He urged applicants to take advantage of the electronic  planning permit platform for ease of application, adding    that applicants could also   take advantage  of the fast track option for  those who wish to quickly deliver on their projects.

Concerning the insinuation of malfeasance in the built environment, he appealed for the cooperation of all in addressing wrong doings in the system.

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