NEW BROOM AT WORK

NMS disbands City Hall’s urban planning technical committee

All property development applications to be delivered physically at KICC

In Summary

• In his public notice, the NMS director-general said all applications processed through the e-construction development management system were null and void.

• In February, the value of approved housing projects dropped by Sh69 billion from Sh210 billion in 2018 amid permit issuance hitches at City Hall.

 

Nairobi Metropolitan Services director general Mohammed Badi
Nairobi Metropolitan Services director general Mohammed Badi
Image: COURTESY

It's back to manual property development plan applications after Wednesday's suspension of the e-construction system by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

NMS director-general Mohammed Badi directed the public to physically submit all property development applications to the first floor of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

City Hall had in March launched an online QR Code System for development plans, intended to reduce the approval time for construction permits.

The system provided unique identification of all approved architectural and structural plans, eliminating the need for property developers to submit hard copies of plans for stamping upon approval.

Building approvals had been halted in August last year after concerns were raised on how the Planning department was handling business, leading to the suspension of some officials.

After the launch of the online QR Code system, the county started issuing construction plan approval permits to clear the backlog.

In his Wednesday public notice, Badi said the suspension of the e-construction took effect immediately, pending the development of a new system.

All the applications processed through the e-construction development management system from March 18 were rendered null and void.

The NMS boss has also disbanded the Nairobi City County Pre-Technical Committee and the Nairobi City County Urban Planning Technical Committee.

New county pre-technical and urban planning development committees will be constituted within seven days  of the notice.

The technical committee was under the county’s Lands, Housing and Urban Planning sector and was responsible for consideration and approval of development application.

Members of the committee included acting county secretary Justus Kathenge, planning compliance and enforcement director Jusper Ndeke, development director Dominic Mutegi,  enforcement assistant director Fredrick Ochanda and director of urban planning Ruth Waruguru.

Governor Mike Sonko had suspended the committee on September 25, 2019, after a classroom at Precious Talent Academy collapsed, killing eight pupils.

In February, the value of approved housing projects dropped by Sh69 billion in a span of one year amid permit issuance hitches at City Hall.

The Architectural Association of Kenya said the value dropped to Sh141 .27 billion in 2019 compared to Sh210 billion reported by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in 2018.

"The delay in the processing of construction permits by the Nairobi government negatively affects all persons in the construction value chain by prolonging project implementation timelines," AAK said.

The association further faulted the delays on the suspensions of City Hall's technical planning committee and e-permit downtime in the second half of 2019.

However, on January 8, all the suspensions were cleared after investigations.

 

- mwaniki fm