Construction Permission

Conduct title search at the Land Commission

Agency: Land Commission

Before the approval process commences at the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), the department must confirm that the land where the warehouse will be built belongs to the applicant. In order to do so, the TCPD will provide the applicant with a letter to be submitted to the Land Title Registry/Land Commission along with the applicant’s site plan. The TCPD requires stamps from the Land Commission on its documents to prevent applicants from bringing in forged or outdated documents.

Time and cost: 45 days, GHS 125

Obtain fire protection opinion report

Agency: Fire Department

The fire safety drawings are presented to the Fire Service Authority. The cost of the permit depends on the drawing and the project.

Time and cost: 14 days, GHS 100

Obtain geo-technical study / soil test

Agency: Private firms

BuildCo will request a soil test for the structural calculations for the foundation.

For the warehouse, as described in the case study, the standard penetration test is what would most likely be done, which is a simplified procedure for this type of study, since the warehouse is not a very complex project. Soil testing helps to determine the properties of the soil, which can vary from place to place. The soil investigation helps to determine the bearing capacity of the land, which in turn helps to determine the load capability, the type and depth of foundation, in order to make sure to select a suitable construction technique.

Time and cost: 14 days, GHS 6,100

Obtain a topographical / geodetic survey of the land

Agency: Private firms

Topographic Surveys are used to identify and map the contours of the land plot. Its purpose is to serve as a base map for the design of a building. It also shows the boundary lines and is used by designers to accurately show the required setbacks. It is used for the site plan, which is a mandatory requirement for all construction.

Time and cost: 7 days, GHS 2,000

Obtain an environmental impact approval certificate

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency

Depending how complex the building is, an environmental impact assessment report, a hydro report and a traffic management report may be required.

In the Doing Business case study, an environmental impact assessment report and the traffic management report would be required.

Time and cost: 7 days, GHS 2,634

Apply for building permit with the Town and Country Planning Department

Agency: Town and Country Planning Department/ Works Department

Once the preliminary approval has been obtained, the architect will submit the following to the Town and Country Planning Department:

  • 4 sets of drawings, including the septic tank drawings
  • Fire permit
  • Soil report – not applicable for Doing Business case study
  • Structural Assessment for buildings that are 3 storeys or higher – not applicable for Doing Business case study
  • Copy of the title certificate and the form from the Land Commission showing correct ownership
  • EPA clearance certificate – for all developments
  • Traffic management report – when applicable (mainly for big developments in downtown Accra).
  • Approval of architectural and engineering design

The TCPD has been decentralized and so the local level in Accra is part of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). To start the approval process for the building permit, a technical committee is set up by the TCPD, including other officials within the AMA. After the technical examination, a recommendation is made to the Statutory Planning Committee (SPC). The SPC is an intergovernmental committee made up of officials from the TCPD, Works Department, Land Commission Survey Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Survey Department, the Fire Service, and utility companies who meet periodically to approve building permits. They are required by law to have reviewed the application within 3 months after it is submitted and to inform the applicant of their decision.

The applicant will be informed of the amount of the processing fees and the time limit of 3 months starts as soon as the processing fees have been paid both for the development permit and the construction permit.

There will be a joint inspection by TCPD and the Works Department and each department will issue their own recommendations. BuildCo does not need to be present at the inspection.

The fee schedule for the building permit is as follows: 0.625% of construction cost processing fee of GHS 50 for the development permit GHS 84 30% of GHS 66 per gross floor area of 5000 square ft for the construction permit.

Time and cost: 45 days, GHS 4,195

Receive inspection after foundation has been laid

Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Receive inspection after floor level has been finished

Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Receive inspection after lintel has been finished

Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Receive inspection after roofing has been finished

Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Request and receive final inspection from Fire Services and obtain certificate

Agency: Ghana Fire Services

Ghana Fire Services carries out a detailed inspection of the building. If the building is in compliance with approved fire safety drawings/plans, a certificate is issued within 2 weeks. This certificate is needed in order to request a final inspection from the municipal authorities.

Time and cost: 14 days, no charge

Receive final inspection from Accra Metropolitan Assembly

Agency: Accra Metropolitan Assembly

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly carries out a final inspection.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Obtain certificate of habitation/occupancy

Agency: Building Inspectorate

This request is not mandatory and most owners do not request this inspection. BuildCo will inform the Building Inspectorate upon completion of construction and a joint committee will inspect the building to determine if it was constructed according to the approved plans. If this is not the case, then the architect will have to re-file the plans of the building as it has been constructed.

Time and cost: 30 days, GHS 1,049

Request water connection

Agency: Ghana Water Company Ltd.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Obtain inspection from Ghana Water Company

Agency: Ghana Water Company Ltd.

An inspection of the construction site to determine the cost is conducted and an estimate is providing to the applicant. Water will be connected only after payment has been made.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Obtain water connection

Agency: Ghana Water Company Ltd.

Time and cost: 30 days, GHS 1,000