Madam Gifty Nyarko, the Director of Physical Planning Department Sunyani West Municipality, has reminded prospective land buyers and developers that they could be punished for building without a development permit and a certificate.
She said it is an offence punishable by law to build without the documents and that offenders could be sentenced to a fine of GhC12,000.00 or a specified term of imprisonment.
Mad. Nyarko was addressing a town hall meeting organised by SMAid International, a health, relief and development non-governmental organisation (NGO) at Odumase in the Sunyani West Municipality of the Bono Region.
The meeting was sponsored by Oxfam, Care International and the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC).
The programme on the theme “Promoting Health, Reaching the Unreached and Serving the Under-served,” was designed to educate Assembly Members, Community Development Monitors (CDMs) and the public from selected communities in the Municipality on funding and implementation of development projects.
Mad. Nyarko said the public's acquisition and renewal of building permit from the Physical Planning Department was one of the sources of internally generated funds (IGF) by the Assembly to finance development projects.
Provision of Building Permits and certificates ensures convenience in human movement, serve as collateral for loans, and reduces encroachment on public's right of space, roads, school and dumping sites, she said
Mad. Nyarko said permit could be acquired within 30 working days on the provision of necessary documents at a cost of GhC420.00 or GhC1, 200.00, depending on types and purpose of the structure.
She said since planning is reviewed every five years, old permits needed to be revised to prevent wrong citing of structures and future demolitions.
She advised prospective land buyers to do a diligent search at a Planning Department of any Assembly to check if the area was planned and demarcated before buying land.
She said doing the check would save the individual from buying a land allocated for a school, roads and dumping sites to avoid the loss of the land and money.
This, she explained, was because structures on roads and government lands would be demolished without any compensation since the welfare of a community is above an individual's interest.
Miss Dorothy Akosuah Diabe, a project officer of SMAid International, urged the CDMs to use the knowledge and skills acquired through the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanism training programme to demand accountability from duty-bearers to justify funding from donor partners and to benefit assigned communities.
Miss Diabe urged the participants to persevere in the monitoring of uncompleted projects and to visit projects implementation sites from the onset to completion and handing over to the community to ensure quality projects delivery.