Approval of Building Plans is a process undertaken by a Government to ensure that buildings are constructed safe for human habitation and as per the Government’s planning control.

For example, the approval process checks whether the building is safe and structurally sound and whether the building materials proposed are also safe for human habitation.
The process also checks if the proposed development is within the council long term plans e.g in Karen area, each house is to be within a minimum of 0.5 acre plot, in Syokimau area, each house is to be within a plot of minimum 0.125 acres, in Nairobi CBD, each building must be high density, high-rise, e.t.c.


The authority to check and approve buildings in Kenya and most Countries in the world is given to the Ministry of Local Government. The Ministry then uses the Councils to implement this.

Approval of Building Plans in Kenya differs from Council to council depending on the size. Larger councils such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru usually have all necessary departments in house while smaller councils such as Kajiado have to outsource some services form the neighboring Government Ministries.


Kajiado county council jurisdiction covers areas such as Kitengela, Ongata Rongai, Ngong, Kerarapon, Kiserian, Matasia, Isinya and Kajiado towns.

The process at Kaiado county council is as follows:

1. Architect/land owner presents the drawings to Kajiado council Office assistant planner.

2. Assistant planner checks if all documents are there i.e. copy of title, all drawings, site plans, survey plans. Mutation plans, architect’s registration certificate, e.t.c

3. If all necessary documents are there, assistant planner asks architect/land owner to pay KES 500 to the council cashier to get the application form.

4. At the cashier’s office, it’s a mandatory requirement that for architect/land owner to purchase the forms, he has to have a copy of search or title deed.

5. After purchase of application form and the application is filled appropriately, all the documents are taken to the Planner for checking. If they meet the minimum requirements, the approval application fees can now be paid after the planner gives a Go-ahead. At this stage, the planner will either ask the architect/land owner to change the drawings to fit the council requirements or will give the go-ahead to commence the procedures.

6. After the council fees are paid, the drawing now circulates to the necessary personnel to get the approval stamps. This process takes a minimum of 2 weeks to a maximum of 2 months.

7. In large local authorities such as Nairobi, they have all the departments necessary such as structural engineering, public health and land planners. In smaller local authorities such as Kajiado, they outsource these services to the relevant Ministries situated in Kajiado. For public health, architect/land owner is sent to the Ministry of Health representative. For structural/architectural approvals, the architect/land owner is sent to the Ministry of Public works representative. For land planning, the architect/land owner is sent to the Ministry of Lands representative in Kajiado.

8. After the drawings are stamped by all the above representatives, they are returned by the architect/land owner back to the Planner for the final approval stamp accompanied by an approval letter. The final approval stamp plus the letter is what is termed as a building plan approval and will be later used by the banks e.t.c.

9. All the above process will take between 2 weeks to 2 months to complete depending on the intervention of the architect/land owner in each of the above offices. The architect/land owner must be available to promptly answer to each department’s queries.
10. The council fees are in two stages- [a]the fees payable directly to the Council for services rendered by the council
[b] fees payable directly to the Government Ministries offering other services e.g Pubic Works, Health, Land.
11. Where necessary as deemed by the council Planner, a change of user is done by a registered physical planner as an independent consultant. He then lodges it for approval at the council together with the architectural drawings. The land owner enters into an independent agreement with a registered planner for him to offer this service.

Feel free to inquire for any further clarification.

Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau,

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684



  1. dan mbugua
    September 19, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Thankyou for being the only one who can inform us of constraction and aproval proses Kindly help on how can i get an affordable phycical planner within KAJIADO county. thank you.

  2. Luke
    October 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Thank you very much Bwana Francis for this article. Very informative.

  3. eunice
    October 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I appreciate the courtesy with which you answer the question with regards to building plans and the change of user. I am really grateful Mr. Francis.

  4. George Musili
    December 30, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Good work,will make contact.

  5. Jackie
    January 19, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Hi Francis,

    My brother and I have land in Syokimau, Katani area which we wish to develop soon into homes. Could you advice on where to start? What approvals do we need and which authorities do we approach? Do we need to carryout a feasibility study or is it readily available considering that many developments have already taken place? I have taken note of the requirements for Kajiado county above and was wondering if Mavoko’s have similar. Also could you recommend a competent and reliable contractor/foreman?

    • November 15, 2015 at 4:01 am

      Hi ,
      I am a contractor by profession.
      Incase u need a contractor pls contact.

    January 21, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Hello sir, Thank you for the information. I would like to know where the physical planning offices and development control offices are exactly located in Kajiado county please. THANK YOU.

    • Joshua Apale
      September 6, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      I would like to reply to the comments above. I’m the Development Control Officer at Kajiado County Government, when plans are submitted they first come to my office for assessment before payment and approval.
      The approval fees are now higher than what was stated in this article and our offices are in Kajiado town opposite Kajiado Law Courts.
      Charges are now KSH 1,500 for application form, KSH 60 per sqm for architectural and the same for structural plans.
      All land transactions were stopped towards the end of 2014 and the ban is still in place until further communication

      • Victor
        September 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm

        Hello Joshua
        Thank you for this informative response and update on what Francis had posted.
        My query is, is there any other cost to council apart from 1500 for form and 60sh x2 for structural and architectural plans?

        Kindly advise , my Hse plan is 15.4 x 16.2 does this have an expiry after approval.

  7. Senior
    March 11, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Hi Francis,

    Would you have the current requirements for Approval of Building Plans in Kikuyu Sub-county?


  8. Onesmus Mwangi
    June 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Hae Francis, what legal action should be taken to an Archtect who has fully being paid but don’t complete the work as agreed?

  9. Franko
    July 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Hi. What is the rate for council Fees? I hear they charge by square meter so what is the rate per square meter?

  10. July 31, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Would love to know the building plans approval process in Kisumu County and the respective fees

  11. Nereah
    August 25, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Hello Francis, I was wondering if you could help me with some information. I bought a plot of land in Rongai last year 2014 in September but until now I am being told by the lawyer that the Rongai county is still changing the details from analog to digital and the waiting continues. Is there anyone I can contact to actually tells me what’s happening or is there any other document I can be given to apply for building while I wait for the title deed? I would really appreciate your help.

    Kind regards

  12. Juddy
    September 2, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Thanks for this piece of advice. Al contact you.

    • Harriet kinoti
      February 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      A very resourceful website. Congratulations Kajiado County. Actually my concerns have been addressed here. Thanking for your efficiency_keep on and better

      • February 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

        Hi Harriet, this is a private website, it has no relation with any County. For official inquiries, contact the County Govt offices.

    • Harriet kinoti
      February 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Congratulations Kajiado County. Building approvals department for your efficiency. Your website is rich. My concerns were addressed here. Pls keep us updated.

  13. February 10, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Thank you Francis for the information

  14. Eric
    February 23, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Francis
    I am a draftman (architects),I prepared architectural drawing for client,took them for entire process of approval at mavoko.the client collaborated with official,he was was given the approved drawing.could you advice on where to start to get the consultancy fees.0710981063

  15. Kariuki Collins
    February 26, 2016 at 9:23 am

    The consultancy fee usually depend on the scale and type of the project. It may also depend on the type of individual you worked for initially an architect is paid about 6% of the entire cost of the project until its completion. Since you are a draughtsman you may decide to charge him a certain amount of money over the work done either per square meter of the total area covered by the structure in the following format:
    (1). Design shs.80 per square meter.
    (2). Labor employed/ drawing made shs. 60 per square meter.
    (3). Consultation shs. 5000

  16. peter
    February 3, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for the above comments and remarks
    i respect the professional advice and input but since the approval is to meet the development control and more to the soundness of the structure for safety of life and other resources, Eng.structural and architects roles should more powerful than a town planner

  17. Gideon Gichana
    May 25, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Does one need approval plan for a septic tank.

  18. jerry luballo
    July 13, 2017 at 9:14 am

    am an architectural draughtsman i normally prepare drawings and are signed by a registered Architect the only concern i had was NCA do not have a platform where by draughtsmen or women can be listed with them.

  19. Roy
    October 4, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Morning I did my approvals in kitengela in 2015 whereby I built my home put a slab but did not continue upstairs due to financial constraints. Now I’m willing to continue building is there a kind of approval I need to get again or can I continue with my original approvals?

  20. Roy
    October 4, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Morning I did my approvals in kitengela in 2015 whereby I built my home put a slab but did not continue upstairs due to financial constraints. Now I’m willing to continue building is there a kind of approval I need to get again or can I continue with my original approvals?

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