By Dennis Orenge
It is the dream of most people to own a home. In Kenya, this dream begins with the acquisition of knowledge on how to own a home.
The market has a variety of options for the keen observer on how to become a homeowner. As much as there are many models of home ownership that are much more recent, we still have a large group of people who prefer the “traditional” model of home ownership.
In this “traditional” method of home ownership, one buys the land first and then builds his or her home. With the recent demolitions by the County Government of Nairobi, most developers are not at ease.
Not long ago, before the devolved system of government, most developers would erect their buildings without any checks and balances from the authorities.
Since the devolved system of government started being operational, any building in construction requires to be approved by the relevant authorities under whose jurisdiction they fall.
The approval bodies are;
It should be noted that not all these approving bodies will necessarily approve your project. On average, the approving bodies whose permission you will need to seek for your construction are the County Government, the NEMA, and the NCA.
Depending on the nature of your project, the location of your site and other parameters you might need to seek approval from more than the standard three approving bodies.
The County Governments are quickly collecting revenue from this process since they are the first approval authority through which construction permits are issued.
As the city of Nairobi becomes too expensive to buy a piece of land and build for a majority of Kenyans, the surrounding Counties are quickly becoming a much more affordable option.
To the North of Nairobi is Kiambu county, to the South West is Kajiado county and Machakos county is on the South East of Nairobi County. We shall discuss the County approval process for Kajiado and Kiambu in later articles.
For the County Government of Machakos, under which Mavoko as a sub-county falls, we have the following requirements for
BUILDING PLANS APPROVAL
After submission, the Maximum approval period should be 14 days to allow for the Town Planners deliberations and meeting, which is done fortnightly. The Town Planners also carry out site visits to ascertain the veracity of the submission and they also confirm the land particulars with the NLC.*
When a landowner decides to develop a project
they are required to apply for a change of user. A Physical Planner prepares this.
CHANGE OF USER/ EXTENSION OF USER *
Submission time taken for this should be in 3-10 minutes.
After submission, the Maximum approval period should be 14 days to allow for the Town Planners deliberations and meeting which is done fortnightly. The Town Planners also carry out site visits to ascertain the veracity of the submission and they also confirm the land particulars with the NLC.*
The County approvals are necessary for development control and adequate planning of any given town. It, however, does not mean that since the building was approved, it was built as per the design. In a real sense, the developer needs to have a competent team of building professionals to ensure that their project is done well, to the right specifications and is safe to use.
Dennis Orenge is a Nairobi based practicing Architect with a passion for architecture and art. His outlook on matters relating to the built environment is both witty and informative. Dennis can be reached at +254725105410.