Ghana

Dealing with Construction Permits in

Ghana

Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and costs to build a warehouse in Ghana. This includes obtaining necessary licenses and permits, completing required notifications and inspections and obtaining utility connections.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2014. Read the methodology.

The indicator set on dealing with construction permits will be expanded in Doing Business 2016 to include an index that will measure good practices in construction regulation and assess the quality control and safety mechanisms in place for an economy’s construction permitting system, as well as the quality of the building regulations. This new index will become a component indicator of the ranking on dealing with construction permits. The new data were collected for 170 economies in 2014 and is available under the “Methodology Expansion” tab, below. The data are preliminary and do not have any impact on the Ease of Doing Business 2015 rankings. This data may differ from what will be published in Doing Business 2016.

Compare Ghana to 188 other economies.

  • STANDARDIZED WAREHOUSE

  • Estimated cost of construction: GHS 176,080
  • City: Accra
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Obtain preliminary design approval in principle (PDAP)
Agency: Town and Planning Commission

The Town and Planning Commission check whether the zoning is correct and they check the height of the warehouse, the tracing of the layout of the warehouse, the total occupied surface by the building, the set-back with regards to the main road, the fence line and the building line.

A receipt and a letter will be issued to the architect to enable a search at the Land Commission to prove the ownership of the land.
45 days GHS 40
2 Conduct title search at the Land Commission
Agency: Land Commission

Before the approval process commences at the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), the department must confirm that the land where the warehouse will be built belongs to the applicant. In order to do so, the TCPD will provide the applicant with a letter to be submitted to the Land Title Registry/Land Commission along with the applicant’s site plan. The TCPD requires stamps from the Land Commission on its documents to prevent applicants from bringing in forged or outdated documents.
45 days GHS 125
* 3 Obtain fire protection opinion report
Agency: Fire Department

The fire safety drawings are presented to the Fire Service Authority. The cost of the permit depends on the drawing and the project.
14 days GHS 100
* 4 Obtain an environmental impact approval certificate
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency

Depending how complex the building is, an environmental impact assessment report, a hydro report and a traffic management report may be required.

In the Doing Business case study, an environmental impact assessment report and the traffic management report would be required.
7 days GHS 700
5 Apply for building permit with the Town and Country Planning Department
Agency: Town and Country Planning Department/ Works Department

Once the preliminary approval has been obtained, the architect will submit the following to the Town and Country Planning Department:
- 4 sets of drawings, including the septic tank drawings
- Fire permit
- Soil report – not applicable for Doing Business case study
- Structural Assessment for buildings that are 3 storeys or higher - not applicable for Doing Business case study
- Copy of the title certificate and the form from the Land Commission showing correct ownership
- EPA clearance certificate – for all developments
- Traffic management report – when applicable (mainly for big developments in downtown Accra).
- Approval of architectural and engineering design

The TCPD has been decentralized and so the local level in Accra is part of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). To start the approval process for the building permit, a technical committee is set up by the TCPD, including other officials within the AMA. After the technical examination, a recommendation is made to the Statutory Planning Committee (SPC). The SPC is an intergovernmental committee made up of officials from the TCPD, Works Department, Land Commission Survey Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Survey Department, the Fire Service, and utility companies who meet periodically to approve building permits. They are required by law to have reviewed the application within 3 months after it is submitted and to inform the applicant of their decision.

The applicant will be informed of the amount of the processing fees and the time limit of 3 months starts as soon as the processing fees have been paid both for the development permit and the construction permit.

There will be a joint inspection by TCPD and the Works Department and each department will issue their own recommendations. BuildCo does not need to be present at the inspection.

The fee schedule for the building permit is as follows: 0.625% of construction cost processing fee of GHS 50 for the development permit GHS 84 30% of GHS 66 per gross floor area of 5000 square ft for the construction permit.

45 days GHS 1,290
6 Receive inspection after foundation has been laid
Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.
1 day no charge
7 Receive inspection after floor level has been finished
Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.
1 day no charge
8 Receive inspection after lintel has been finished
Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.
1 day no charge
9 Receive inspection after roofing has been finished
Agency: Building Inspectorate

Inspections are to be carried out by the building inspectors at the end of each phase of the building: foundation, floor level, lintel, roofing, and finishing. Special coupons are provided when the building permit is granted, and the builder is supposed to send the appropriate coupon to the authorities informing them of the completion of that phase so that an inspection can be conducted. In practice this is rarely done. However, building inspectors are regularly sent to inspect buildings under construction.
1 day no charge
10 Obtain certificate of habitation/occupancy
Agency: Building Inspectorate

This request is not mandatory and most owners do not request this inspection. BuildCo will inform the Building Inspectorate upon completion of construction and a joint committee will inspect the building to determine if it was constructed according to the approved plans. If this is not the case, then the architect will have to re-file the plans of the building as it has been constructed.
30 days GHS 322
11 Request water connection
Agency: Ghana Water Company Ltd.

1 day no charge
12 Obtain inspection from Ghana Water Company
Agency: Ghana Water Company Ltd.

An inspection of the construction site to determine the cost is conducted and an estimate is providing to the applicant. Water will be connected only after payment has been made.
1 day no charge
13 Obtain water connection
Agency: Ghana Water Company Ltd.

30 days GHS 1,000
  * Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
Answer
Building code/regulations
Which requirements to obtain a building permit are clearly specified by the building regulations (including the building code), any regulations dealing with construction permits or any accessible website, brochure or pamphlet? List of required documents to submit; Required preapprovals by all relevant agencies
Where are the building regulations (including the building code) or any regulations dealing with construction permits accessible? Available for purchase
Quality control before construction
Which entities are required to verify that the architectural plans/drawings for a private construction are in compliance with existing building regulations? Government agency
Who is part of the committee or team that reviews and approves building permit applications in the relevant permit-issuing agency? Licensed architect; Licensed engineer
Quality control during construction
What type of mandatory inspections (if any) are required by law to be carried out during construction? Inspections at certain stages of construction
Do legally mandated inspections occur in practice during construction? Mandatory inspections are done most of the time.
Quality control after construction
Is there a final inspection required by law to verify that the building was built in accordance with the approved plans and existing building regulations or is a final report / sign-off required by a supervising engineer? Yes
Do legally mandated final inspections occur in practice? Final inspection is done most of the time.
Liability/insurance regimes
Which parties (if any) are held liable by law for structural flaws/problems in the building once it is in usage? Architect or engineer; Professional or Agency in charge of the supervision
Which parties (if any) are required to obtain an insurance policy to cover possible structural flaws/problems in the building once it is in usage? Project owner/investor
Professional certification and controls
What are the qualification requirements for the architect or engineer in charge of verifying that the architectural plans/drawings are in compliance with existing building regulations? University degree in architecture or engineering; Be a registered architect or engineer; Pass a certification exam
What are the qualification requirements for the professional who supervises the construction on the ground? Minimum number of years of practical experience; University degree in engineering, construction or construction management; Be a registered architect or engineer; Pass a certification exam; Be a building services engineer

  Please send any comments and inputs on the data above to rru@worldbank.org

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