You buy the land, assembly determines what to build on it – Architect

There has been an increase in recent times of building collapses in some parts of Ghana, particularly Accra.

Some people have lost their lives to this situation, which is becoming alarming as people sleep at night with the fear that a building might collapse on them.

However, according to the President of the Ghana Institute of Architects, Foster Osae-Akonnor, the majority of such occurrences are due to ignorance and improper planning of building structures.

He said that landowners need permits from the assemblies in various parts of the country to put up a building on their lands. According to him, the assembly has been authorised, per their expertise, to make such decisions.

Addressing the issue on Joy Prime’s morning show on Tuesday, the Architect noted that although the land may be their property, they have no control over it to build until the assembly provides a permit.

“It is yours, but what you have to understand is that we have something called planning; you buy the land, and the assembly determines what has to be built on the land,” he elaborated.


He emphasised that every building construction project needs to undergo certain procedures and effective supervision before and during construction.

Mr. Osae-Akonnor said that the government controls the development of the country, giving it absolute control over the land.

Thus, if the assembly has planned the area for educational purposes, you cannot use it for residential purposes unless there is an application for change of use.

The Architect encouraged the citizenry to follow proper procedures, including obtaining a planning permit, before constructing a building.

Even if the assembly gives the go-ahead, the developer is still required to involve them at every stage of the construction. This, he said, is known as quality assurance or quality control.

Foster Osae-Akonnor also assured that the private sector is ready to collaborate with the assembly to help with development control and other issues.

“The private sector is ready to step in to support the assembly to collaborate with them so that whatever they cannot do in terms of development control, we will support them to do it,” the president assured.

In the meantime, here are some human activities that are contributing to the collapse of buildings: poor planning, inadequate investigation of soil bearing capacity, using inferior building materials, engaging unqualified personnel, poor supervision, and non-adherence to building regulations.

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