Anyone seeking to build in Ghana requires a building permit, whether they are seeking to build a residential or commercial property. Obtaining a building permit is important to ensure that the property you are constructing conforms to regulations.
The first step in building property is to apply to the government body in charge of issuing building permits-the Metropolitan Assembly in the region you find yourself in. If you are looking to build a new home in Ghana, these are the steps you will need to follow.
Traditional way to Obtain a Building Permit in Ghana(still applicable in other metropolitan assemblies except Tema and Accra)
The basic requirements for a building permit include an application form; a town and country planning application with two sets of site plans; certificate and an official letter showing the status of the land; or a land title registration, which can be obtained from the Lands Commission.If you are seeking to construct a multi-storey building, you will also need to include a structural analysis report. Other important requirements which you might be required to provide including an Environmental Impact Assessment Report as well as fire and hydro reports.
Complete and submit the building permit form with the required documents to the Town and Country Planning Unit. Submission can be done on any day of the week except on Fridays. After submitting the form, one will be required to pay a processing fee and a receipt issued. A date is then arranged for a site inspection to be conducted.
A Joint Technical Sub-committee will then undertake a site inspection on the agreed date with the applicant. Other departments from the AMA will also assess the application before a report is submitted to the Joint Technical Sub-Committee within ten days.
Within nine days the metropolitan assembly planning committee will meet to discuss final approval of a developer’s application. This is normally decided after an evaluation meeting with the Joint Technical Sub-Committee. The decision taken during the evaluation meeting is communicated to the applicant within ten days of the meeting.
It is important to note that applicants are required to pay a permit fee at the Metro Works Department of the metropolitan assembly you find yourself in. Refusing to pay this fee within 28 days means the applicant will forfeit the permit.
After paying for the building permit in full, the applicant can collect the Permit Certificate from the Metro Works Department. This should be made available within ten working days after the Secretary of the Planning Committee has approved the list.
Recent introduction of the (Permit Process System (PPS)
Further and recent news indicate that developers or prospective home owners can now obtain their building permits within 30 days instead of the usual 90 days. The virtual or digital platform is operational in the Accra and Tema Metropolitan Assemblies for now. The payment process is to additionally provide electronic database for all buildings in the cities.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with the Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom, on Tuesday 19th May 2020, launched the online platform for the acquisition of building permits to simplify and facilitate the processes for efficiency.
What this means for developers, contractors and home builders in Accra and Tema is that the time and cost of doing business would be reduced at the local level since it can help reduce bureaucracy. Builders can access the registration portal through this link buildingpermitsgh
The System hosts citizens’ portal through which users such as building developers and contractors can log onto and apply for building permits online in the comfort of their offices and homes, track the status of their applications, receive responses to their inquiries, obtain appointments for building inspections and access the list of qualified building agents, such as Engineers, Architects, and Surveyors.
Mr Ben Hagan, a developer at the Tema Metro, who applied for a building permit for his uncle, testified that the system was convenient after scanning and uploading all the necessary documents onto the platform.