• NMS has cleared a backlog of 4,400 pending development plans applications since March 18, 2020.
• All development permits issued as from March 18, 2020, must be processed within the above framework or risk being declared null and void.
More changes are expected in the capital as a new multi-sectoral urban planning technical committee was constituted to handle building plans and approvals in Nairobi County.
This comes a day after Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi announced that his office had cleared a backlog of 4,400 pending development plans applications that had accumulated at City Hall since last year August.
Moving forward, the planning approvals will be handled from the DG’s office at the KICC second floor, meaning that the public will be required to physically submit all the property development applications there.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, all planning/development complaints, applications or Hoarding, occupation, renovation permits and hard copy prints of approved drawings are to be submitted to the second floor, amphitheatre wing of KICC,” Badi noted.
In addition, the DG observed that all development permits issued as from March 18, 2020, must be processed within the above framework or risk being declared null and void.
“Prospective developers/investors and the general public are informed that Nairobi Metropolitan Services will not be liable for any planning permit under (3) dated from March 11th,2020 to date that has not been processed within the above framework,” Badi declared.
In May 2020, NMS commenced administering the e-construction development control system for processing approvals of development applications.
“In May 2020, we gained administrator and super access rights of the e-construction System which has enabled us to incorporate competent processing of the development applications for approval in a timely and predictable way,” Badi stated.
What followed next was a May 13, 2020 notice issued by NMS which announced that new Pre-Technical and Urban Planning Development committees are being reconstituted.
That notice disbanded the Nairobi City County Pre-Technical Committee and the Nairobi City County Urban Planning Technical Committee.
The new ones were to be constituted within seven days of the notice.
The two committees which were responsible for consideration and approval of development application had been accused of being in the centre of hindrance in city development and engaging with cartels which lead to a delay in the approval process.
Building approvals in Nairobi had stalled for close to eight months after fifteen members of the technical team were suspended by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
In February, the value of approved housing projects dropped by Sh69 billion within one year.
This was caused by the troubles that had faced at City Hall on permit issuance in the planning department.
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.