The Lagos State Government has issued a 30-day ultimatum to landlords/developers who have converted their buildings to other uses that are not approved to regularize the properties or face penalties.
According to a statement made available to journalists by the Director of Public Affairs of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA), the warning was given by the General Manager of the authority, Mr. Kehinde Osinaike, the Tuesday December 13, 2022.
Osinaike was highly critical of the practice of increasing the illegal conversion of buildings, especially residential ones, to other uses without government approval.
Complying with approved plans prevents the appearance of slums
The LASPPA chief said the illegal conversion of buildings for other purposes contradicts and violates the state’s original Master Plan for the achievement of a sustainable Lagos.
Osinaike revealed that adhering to the Development Plan, which dictates the state’s spatial planning and approved permitted uses for different areas, was important to prevent the rise of slums.
He called on owners/developers of illegally converted buildings and other types of illegal development to start regularizing them by visiting the nearest LASPPPA district office for guidance.
- He said, “The failure of converted building owners to return to the original approved LASPPPA plan within the next thirty days will draw the full wrath of the law.”
He insisted that strict adherence to the Operational Development Plans was “non-negotiable for a sustainable Lagos State”.
Osinaike explained that the housing stock available to Lagos residents was usually estimated by planning permission granted for residential purposes.
He said that when such buildings are illegally converted, official records automatically become unreliable creating an imbalance “in the projected proportion of land allocated to different categories of uses for different locations.”
Approved illegal conversion of properties subject to revocation
He said that LASPPPA was mandated to deny any application for conversion of property from the originally approved use that had been specifically designated for a particular location.
Osinaike pointed out that the authority is legally guided by the Law and Regulations in force to grant planning permits to the applications that qualify in accordance with the provisions of the State Development Operational Plans.
He said that the illegal conversion of buildings that have approval for other uses was subject to revocation.
Regarding the appraisal rates for the processing of Urban Planning Permits, the head of LASPPA explained that the expected rates that are prepared for the process are not negotiable.
He said that the appraisal for a planning license is determined by the volume, use and location of the building, which cannot be compromised, adding that the growing clamor of potential applicants to negotiate government rates should not be encouraged.
The Lagos State government had been at the forefront of the fight against the illegal conversion of residential to commercial properties without the approval of the state government, as this distorts the physical planning of the state.
This has led to the issuance of infringement notices to the various violators and even to the demolition of such structures.
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