A building plan is your first real step in the construction stage of your dream building. It is the graphical representation of your building on paper with so many symbols outlining the dimensions, techniques, installation method, and layout of the building. It is usually drawn by an architect.
In order to avoid demolition or fine, it is advisable to seek for building plan approval from the relevant authority before one can begin the construction process. The body in charge of building plan approval in Abuja is the Department of Development Control (DDC).
The documents to be submitted to the Department of Development Control (DDC) are as follows:
1. Offer Letter
2. Right of Occupancy (R of O)
3. Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) For Transfer of Ownership
4. Power of Attorney
5. Registered Deed Assignment
6. Architectural Design
7. Electrical Design
Other Documents (where necessary):
9. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
10. Soil Test
To be on a safer side, the above should be acquired with the help of a real estate firm in Abuja like Rural Homes Ltd that has done this process several times.
After acquiring the above, you can proceed to the main steps below which are a summary of the Department of Development Control (DDC) manual:
1. Contact the Department of Development Control: You should state clearly your intentions for contacting them as building approvals are given for erection of new buildings, major improvement works and total redevelopment works.
2. Obtain an application form: According to the registration body’s manual you must provide “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”.
According to regulation 19 of the DDC, it is stated clearly that “Before any prospective developer or contractor performs any work on 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.” Therefore, any drawing not containing the original seal, stamp and signatories of relevant registered professional(s) as appropriate shall not be entertained by the DDC.
3. Submit the application with certificate of ownership and the fee: According to the DDC manual, completed application form should be accompanied with copies of the following documents:
– (Right of occupancy, Certificate of occupancy, which a plot is to be put, Title Deed Plan and fulfilment of financial obligations).
– A site plan and a detailed site analysis report certificate by a registered town planner.
– 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.
– 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.
4. Payment of Bill: After the verification of the application submitted, you will be issued the appropriate acknowledgment letter alongside bills for processing the application. You will be required to pay the fee within two weeks starting from the day you receive acknowledgment letter before your application can be processed.
5. Anticipate the result: In the case of Regular building plan approval, the DDC manual states that “processing of submittals for Regular Planning Permits shall normally not exceed ninety (90) days from the date of submission as stipulated by the Urban & Regional Planning Act, except with firm notification by the department or on request by the developer. However, you can get a faster approval with the help of an experienced real estate agency how knows how to fast-track building plan permit in Abuja.
Note that you can find the processing of a building plan in Abuja is a little stressful if you are not conversant with the process. You might be confronted with so many back and front movement all in a bid to secure this permit. It is advisable for you to seek the services of a real estate firm in the acquisition of this permit and the development of the property. Also, the steps listed here are not exhaustive. To get an exhaustive one, you will need to lay your hand on the investor’s guide published by the Department of Development Control in Abuja.