By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government has ordered an outright enforcement of the state’s original master plan, operative development plan as well as its model city plan in line with its town planning laws.
Likewise, the state government has frowned at the growing trend of converting residential buildings to commercial use.
It also emphasised the need to enforce its planning regulations to avert traffic congestion in all government schemes and other areas.
The state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, gave the new directives in an Executive Order No. EO/AA01/2017 he issued on January 23, 2017, warning that his administration would no longer accept distortion to the state’s master plan and model city plans.
As indicated in the executive order, the governor noted that every conversion of residential buildings contravened the state’s town planning laws and regulations, and flouted stipulated norms of parking, open spaces and public safety for building construction.
Ambode, therefore, warned against the ugly trend and physical planning aberrations, which he said had become prominent within the Government Residential Areas (GRAs) and other schemes.
He explained that the conversions, as confirmed, were done largely without approval from planning and building control authorities, which he said could undermine the megacity status of Lagos.
Consequently, the governor explained that the ugly trends “have resulted in the sub-division of plots, increase in density and floor area ratio, stress on existing infrastructure, traffic congestion, environmental pollution and invasion of privacy, among others.
“Other contraventions noted include developments without planning/renovation permits, non-compliance with setbacks and airspaces, utilisation of setbacks and incompatible uses, all which result in public complaints and disaffection.”
Ambode said the growing trends of non-conforming actions “are observed in, but are not limited to such government schemes as Ikeja GRA, Ogudu Scheme, Ogudu Scheme Phase II, Magodo Scheme I, Magodo Scheme II, Amuwo-Odofin Scheme, Lekki Scheme I, Lekki II, Abijo Scheme, Victoria Island and Ikoyi Scheme.”
Consequent upon physical planning aberration, the governor said he had received complaints on the incidents causing undue embarrassment to the government and apprehension to affected law-abiding residents in the affected areas.
He, therefore, restated the commitment of his administration “to a sustainable, business and tourism-friendly environment. It is now necessary to effectively enforce appropriate control and regulatory measures to stem the rate of illegal conversion of residential buildings to commercial use without jeopardising the economic growth of the state while bringing contraveners to compliance.”
The governor noted that the enforcement was to restore the operative development plans, master and model city plans, approval orders and guarantee the sanctity and sanity of the government schemes and residential areas as well as other locations in the state.
Ambode ordered that streets in Ikeja GRAs, which are to be reviewed from residential to mixed use in Isaac John and Joel Ogunnaike Streets should be formalised.