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SUBMISSION PROCEDURES

There are certain fundamentals you need to be aware of which will determine whether the request for Permits can even accepted for processing or not. These are:

1. You need to have proper title over the piece of land that you want to process plans for approval. The body charged with the responsibility for grant of title over land in the FCT as at today is Abuja Geographic Information System otherwise known as AGIS. Therefore any title over a piece of land for which plans have been prepared and submitted for piece of land for which plans have been prepared and submitted for approval and are not from AGIS will not be accepted for processing in Development Control Department. So, persons that obtain titles either from Local Chiefs or other sources will normally be rejected for processing in Development Control.

2. You need to be certain of the specific use for which the title is granted. It is important to let you know that there is a Master Plan which guide the orderly development of the territory and it set out broad land uses for the entire FCT Space. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning is its custodian. These land uses are categorized as Residential, Commercial, Religious, Recreational, Institutional, Educational, Health, Industrial and Green trees. So you need to be sure of the specific use of a space before embarking on building plan preparation, otherwise the Department of Development Control will reject proposals that are not consistent with the land use as expressed in the detailed land use plan of the area.

3. The Department of Development Control accepts plans that are prepared by Registered Professionals only for processing. This implies that persons wishing to embark on development in the FCT must engage the services of registered professionals in the production of their proposals because such submissions will normally bear the seal and stamps of the designers before it is accepted for processing. Such professionals include Towns Planners, Architects, and Engineers etc.

4. Every construction site must have in its team a Registered Structural Engineer or Builder or Architect who must be available on site during construction work. Otherwise such sites will be sealed or prevented from carrying on with its works. Therefore persons wishing to carry out development within the FCT must engage the services of registered professionals that will be liable for any default in the construction

5. Throughout the duration construction works, both the approved building plan and development permit must be kept on site for purposes of guiding the work and for sighing by officer carrying out routine inspection.

PROCESSES FOR OBTAINING BUILDING PLAN DEVELOPMENT APPROVALS IN FCT

As earlier stated the current edition of the FCT Development Control Manual is divided in to three parts and the third deal with investor Guide. This part of the manual provides a guide to the issuance of permit development in the FCT. It provides guidance on when planning permission is required, how to make planning application and what happen thereafter. All prospective developers are strongly advised to obtain a copy of the manual as more detail than this paper can offer an contained in it.

STEPS TO BE TAKEN TO OBTAIN BUILDING PLAN DEVELOPMENT PERMITS

STEP 1: Contact the Development Control Department and tell it what you want to do

I. Possible things/works you could do which will require planning and Development Permits are categorized as follow:

  1. 1. Erection of new building
  2. 2. Major improvement works such as erection of car port (b) Pergola. (c) major mechanical, electrical and civil maintenance work (d)underpinning of a building (e) structural alterations (f)Balustrade/balconies (g) Alterations of building façade (h) construction of swimming pool, gazebo, bar etc (i) Extension/additional structure, (j) kiosk (k) fence (l) gate house (m) total redevelopment works.
  3. 3.Total Redevelopment Works

II. Other things or works that you could do which do not require permit but Notice is categorized as follow:

  1. 1. Painting
  2. 2. Replacement of Damaged roofs
  3. 3. Replacement of defaced/broken down fences
  4. 4. Minor plumbing repair (including provision of additional ducts)
  5. 5. Removal of a tree near a wall for safety of life and property
  6. 6. Repair of damaged /faulty sewer system
  7. 7. Provision of access into a property
  8. 8. Major landscape works.

Step 2: If relevant, ask to be furnished with Development Control Guidelines and discuss any potential problems.

This can be done through an application to the Director stating the nature of problem and level of assistance required. You will need to state the Plot No. and its location.

Step 3: Obtain an application form. Find out how many copies you will be required to submit.

In the case of building Plan Permit it is stated in DC.REG.2 of the Manual that “Submitted plans must include one (1) soft and three (3) Hard copies of complete sets of A3, firmly bound and legible prints containing general notes, technical specifications, details and drawn to prescribed scale without prejudice to copy right laws”. DC.REG.3 requires that “the original seal, stamp and signatories of relevant registered professional(s) as appropriate must be on all drawings”. In the case of implementation/Development Permit it is stated in development control Regulation 19 that “Before any prospective developer or contractor performs any work or any given site, a notice of commencement stating the construction methodologies to be adopted in execution of the entire work shall be prepared and authenticated by relevant government licensed/Charted Engineer(Architect, Builders, Civil, Structural, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers ) who will bear liability for any construction and (or) installation defect on the structure.

Step 4: Decide on the type of permission you want to apply for.

The development control department offer different types of permits depending on area of need of developer. They are as follows:

  1. 1. Building plan permit.
  2. 2. Implementation/Development permit.
  3. 3. Habitation permit.
  4. 4. Improvement permit.
  5. 5. Redecoration permit.
  6. 6. Advertisement permit.
  7. 7. Telecommunication permit.
  8. 8. Improvement permit.

Step 5: If necessary consult neighbors that will be affected by your proposals.

This is particularly relevant when seeking for improvement permit, Redecoration permit and Development permit. Typical example is those living in Government sold houses and wishing to improve them needs to inform their neighbors.

Step 6: submit application with certificate of ownership/notification and the fee.

In the case of building plan permit, it is stated in DC. 4 of Manual that “completed application forms should be accompanied with copies of the following documents.

  1. I. Evidence of rights over the land (Right of occupancy, Certificate of occupancy, which a plot is to be put, Title Deed Plan and fulfillment of financial obligations).
  2. II.A site plan and a detailed site analysis report certificate by a registered town planner.
  3. III. Environmental impact Analysis Report for commercial, industrial, public building, recreational, large scale residential development, change of use of plot or on existing buildings and any other land use as may be deemed necessary, prepared and authenticated by a registered town planner.
  4. IV. All application in respect of special Development such as Petrol Filling Station, Water Supply, drilling/Outlets, private health and educational facilities, child welfare related developments and any other land use that may be considered special by the department of development control shall be accompanied by letters/license of the relevant regulatory body

With regards to notification and fee, it is stated in DC REG. 7 that “on assessment/verification of content of application, appropriate acknowledgment letter shall be issued to the applicant by the department’s receiving officer, alongside bills for processing application. Applicants must pay full processing fee within two(2) weeks of receipt of acknowledgment and bill before processing commences. In the case of Development Permit, it is stated in DC. REG. 18 that “Before the implementation of an approved development plan, the Department of Development Control shall require prospective developers to obtain an implementation permit (IP) upon payment of prescribed fee”.

DC. REG. 23 collaborates it further stating that an implementation permit shall be required in order to construct, add on to, move, erect or structurally alter a building or other structures on properties located within the limits of FCT. While DC.REG 24 requires that “prior to submission of application of implementation permit, plots should be properly demarcated using survey beacons, the safety of which shall be the responsibility of the allotted”. DC.REG 25 provides the level of the construction works where staged approvals are required namely.