APPROVAL OF BUILDING PLANS IN KENYA- KAJIADO COUNTY COUNCIL.
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
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,