We will demolish unauthorized structures - LUSPA
The office of Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority in the Bono region has said it is bent on dealing with persons and institutions who tamper with unauthorized plots of land in the region.
Speaking on Service in the Morning, the regional director of the Authority, Mr. Maxwell Amponsah noted the new act which established their authority has given them enough power to supervise activities of all land planning institutions and assemblies, unlike their former portfolio which was Town and Country Planning.
“With the passing of the Land Use and Spatial Act 2016 (Act 925), the authority has been empowered to take control over the use of land, water bodies, and the air space. This power gives us the mandate to ensure unauthorized structures are raised to block the movement of natural water bodies or aircrafts” he revealed.
He further hinted “we have been empowered to ensure lands that are designated for public facilities such as market place, places of convenience, school, lorry park among others are neither encroached nor taken over by unscrupulous persons, this is because the act merged the office of the Physical Planning Department (building inspector) and the Engineering Department to become Building Inspectorate Unit which is now responsible for both monitoring and inspection”
Further quizzed by Collins Apraku Fresh Aluta about what happens to persons who have developed on state lands and unauthorized places and their infrastructure, Mr. Amponsah noted the only solution is demolition.
“As far as your infrastructure is unauthorized, it remains unauthorized. Therefore, if you don’t get a permit before developing at such a place you deliberately inconvenience other users or residents in that area by denying them their right to a road, school, market, or whatsoever. The act however sanctions us to demolish such development for whatever public facility designated there” he revealed.
He took the opportunity to call on traditional leaders and plot owners not to conceal the plan from the physical planning department to put up infrastructure at outlawed places.
“I understand the complaints of National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) complaining about the indiscriminate erection of structures at accident-prone areas, but this is mainly caused by traditional leaders who connive with some people and elude the office of the Physical Planning Department to raise such structures. This might not mean some officers at the Planning Department are not accomplices of this deliberate neglect. The officers are as well warned to refrain from such acts to avoid any punishment” he concluded.
Mr Amponsah again revealed the Regional Planning Committee has made major strides to develop the Regional Development Framework. It has further directed the various assemblies to also develop their district plan to ensure that the three-tier planning (I.e. National framework, Regional plan, and Local plan) as stipulated by the Act is achieved. The committee comprises the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, Lands Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Roads and Highways, Ghana National Fire service among others chaired by the Regional minister madam Justina Owusu Banahene.