How to Obtain a Building Permit in Ghana

building permit in Ghana

In order to build any structure in Ghana, you shall, first, have to obtain a building permit before you can embark on your project. There are many building plans and designs in Ghana but none of them can become a reality without a permit. A building permit in Ghana will enable you to build your structure on the land that you purchased without any issue.

READ ALSO: Land for Sale in Ghana

To obtain a building permit, all your designs must conform to the Ghana building code. The building permit is required because it ensures that the structure being put up is safe to live in and good to the environment.

What is a Building/Development Permit?

A building or development permit is a written authorised document from the Metropolitan Assembly to carry out development based on the conditions specified within the permit.

Each permit issued gives consideration to matters relating to zoning, planning standards and the structural conditions of the proposed building.

Building Permit Requirements Checklist

Here are a few items you will need when applying for a building permit in Ghana. Depending on the scale of your building project and the area, you might require a combination of the documents listed below:

  1. Building Permit Application Form – one (1) copy
  2. Title Search – one (1) copy
  3. Indenture or Deed of Assignment or Land Title Certificate – one (1) copy
  4. Architectural Drawing – four (4) copies
  5. Structural Drawings – four (4) copies
  6. Structural Calculation Report – four (4) copies
  7. Fire Report – three (3) copies
  8. Mechanical or Services Drawing – four (4) copies
  9. Geotechnical Report Structural Integrity Report – three (3) copies
  10. Environmental Permit – one (1) copy
  11. Traffic Impact Assessment (T.I.A) (three (3) bound copies)
  12. Hydrological Services Report (if requested) (three (3) bound copies)
  13. Property Rate
  14. Site Plan to the scale of 1:2500 or 1:1250 and conforming to the local plan of the area.
  15. Block Plan to the scale of 1:50.
  16. Architectural drawings to the scale of 1:20 or 1:40.
  17. Structural drawings to the scale of 1:20 or 1:40.
  18. Evidence of ownership of the land.
  19. Report on stakeholder consultation (where applicable).
  20. Previous permit if any.
  21. Business Registration Certificate (for organisations).
  22. Business Operating Permit (for organisations).
  23. Up to date Property Rate payment (Existing Buildings)

At times, depending on the complexity and scope of your development, such as an estate or an industrial park, you might require more documentation such as aviation safety, radiation protection, environmental protection, fire safety, petroleum operations, verification certificate, traffic impact, geotechnical report, hydrological report, structural integrity, highway clearance, stakeholder consultation report, etc. These will all aid in the application for building permit in Ghana.

Steps to Gaining a Building Permit in Accra

When you meet the required checklist for your project, you can now apply for a building permit. The following are steps outlined by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in obtaining a building permit from the Assembly.

STEP 1: Submission of Application to Secretariat of Statutory Planning Committee (SPC)

The SPC will check your submission for compliance and provide you with technical guidance for your application. They will go through your documents and recommend changes or amendments if necessary. They will also receive fees from you and a record will be created for you within the database.

The following documents are required when applying for a building permit in Ghana:

  1. Attach completed land ownership document from Lands Commission.
  2. Attach three/four copies of architectural drawings signed by a certified Architect.
  3. Attach four copies of structural drawings signed by an Engineer.
  4. The proposed development must conform to zoning status.
  5. A certified soil test report.
  6. Fire certified report including drawings from the Ghana National Fire Service.
  7. Environmental Protection Agency Permit.
  8. Structural integrity report in case construction development has already commenced or is completed.

STEP 2: Vetting

Vetting for a building permit is done on three different levels. Vetting will be done by the Works Department, Physical Planning Department and other relevant agencies based on the type of structure you desire to put up.

Vetting by Works Department

The Works Department will, at this point, assess the structural and architectural properties of the building in question.

Vetting by Physical Planning Department

The Physical Planning Department will run zoning checks, planning assessments and any other consultation that will be required.

Vetting by other Relevant Agencies

Based on the type of building you will be putting up, government agencies which are responsible for specific areas will also run their technical assessments before giving you the green light.

STEP 3: Collation of Technical Findings

Once the results from the vetting process are ready, the secretariat will collate all technical findings and arrange for a site inspection.

STEP 4: Site Inspection

The site inspection is carried out by the Physical Planning Department. An officer from the planning department as well as a works engineer will inspect the site with the applicant to ensure that everything on paper corresponds with the physical nature of the site.

STEP 5: Technical Consideration of Application by Technical Sub-Committee

After the inspection, an assessment is made with recommendations where necessary to the SPC.

STEP 6: Statutory Consideration of Application by the Statutory Planning Committee

The entire application is, then, assessed and considered by the SPC. If all requirements are met or not a decision will be made either to approve, refuse or defer the application for further querying.

Step 7: Processing of SPC Decisions

The applicant is then informed of the decision by the SPC. If approved, the building permit certificate is prepared and signed by the SPC and the works engineer for the applicant. All fees are to be paid at this point.

STEP 8: Issuance of Development Permit

The applicant is then issued a Ghanaian building permit.

Rejected Building Permits

After going through the entire process, there are some applications which are rejected for certain reasons. A rejected permit is not the end of the world. You will receive feedback from the SPC about why your application has been rejected. You can still appeal and correct the issues highlighted by the SPC.

An appeal to the Regional Coordinating Council will have to be made in the case your permit is rejected and you still want to proceed with construction. You will receive their feedback and then you can reapply through an amended application.

Building Permit Application Fees

During each step of the building permit application process, there are fees that need to be paid. These fees vary based on the municipality. Below is a breakdown of some of the costs to get a building permit in Accra:

Submission and processing of documents – GHS 50

Building permit form – GHS 100

Site inspection – GHS 100

Building permit – The building permit fee in Ghana is calculated based on the type of building you want to put up.

Kindly check with your assembly to verify the fees for each step so you have an idea of how much it costs to get a building permit within your area in Ghana. The building permit fees are normally updated each year. Prices are placed on the metropolitan assembly’s website.

Apply for a Building Permit Online

You can also apply for a building permit online through the new portal that has been created by the Assembly to speed up the process as well as reduce any delay in obtaining a building permit in Ghana. The online method will require you to upload and submit all relevant documents online, removing the need to physically meet with officials at the office. If all the documents are approved you can then move on to the inspection stage. The online building permit application process is, however, only available in the Accra and Tema metropolitan assemblies. The video below should explain it even further.

READ ALSO: How To Write A Tenancy Agreement

It is great to see innovation within the process of obtaining a building permit in Ghana. When you purchase land in Ghana, remember that you will need a building permit in order to, legally, erect your structure on your acquired piece of land.

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