After ownership of land, one of the most intricate aspect 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.
Before an idea comes alive there is usually a period of imagination. The capture and establishment of an imagination leads to the development of an idea otherwise it becomes a thing of the past.
Owning a land is the beginning of bigger things for a landlord, the next step is to erect a structure on the land in question. Albeit, just like an idea cannot generate without the gift of imagination so can a building not come to live without a building plan.
Building plans are the first tangible thing that depicts the picture of the buildings we have imagined. Without them, we cannot fully capture or see the reality of that beautiful four bedroom duplex with a swimming pool and a lovely garden or the 100,000 square metres of parking space with tons of convenience stores meeting the needs of various individuals.
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.
Why do you need a building plan approval?
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 as it’s obtainable in some places in Lagos.
Hence, the very first thing to do when you want to commence construction 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
However, getting a building plan approval is not a walk in the park, that is why some landlords forgo this very essential and delicate aspect of building construction and home ownership which would later spell doom.
How to get your building approval
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 certfied Engineer.
- Title Document
- Tax clearance and Government fee (In the case of individuals); the Government fee only comes to play after your building plan must have been assessed and marked for approval
That notwithstanding, there are processes your building plan approval undergoes in the Ministry of Lands and Physically Planning before the final approval.