How do you obtain a construction permit for your new project in Ghana? A common sight in Ghana is wooden kiosks loaded with provisions, or industriously recycled shipping containers turned stores clustered together with no apparent planning for their distribution or infrastructure. The Authorities' infamous way of dealing with unauthorized structures, such as some of these is inscribing messages, "PRODUCE PERMIT BY ..." or "STOP WORK AND PRODUCE PERMIT" on them. Failure to evidence their legitimacy is often met with demolishment by authorities. Many buildings in Ghana face the same fate and are vacated after work and money are expended. This article will highlight the process of obtaining construction permits before building, making structural alterations to a building or executing any works or installation of any fittings in connection with any building.

Requirements for obtaining a construction permit

The steps to obtaining a building permit are to:

  • Have a land title certificate if the area is in Tema, Accra, Kumasi or Winneba, proving ownership and right to build on said land. In any other area, the deed the person has to the land should be duly registered.
  • Submit building and site plans detailing proposed work to the Town and Country Planning Department.
  • For a proposed building in a metropolitan or urban area (e.g. downtown Accra), the building must be designed by an architect, acting in consultation with a civil engineer, a structural engineer, and a professional builder.

The building plans to be submitted to the Town and Country Planning Department are part of an application which requires other documentation. The documents required for the application are:

Four copies of structural drawings (which includes details of sections, elevations, calculations, drawings and specification of materials proposed)

Soil test report

Ghana National Fire Service report

Environmental Protection Agency report

Structural integrity report in case development has already commenced or is completed.

Up to date business registration and operating permit (For organizations)

Property rate payment receipt (For existing buildings)

Endorsement of plans for State Housing Company's areas.

Copy of the title certificate from the Land Commission showing correct ownership.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.