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Approval Of Building Plans: Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Construction/Building Permit in Kiambu County

Starting a construction or building project is a major investment and it is crucial to ensure that you have all the necessary permits and approvals in place.

In Kiambu, obtaining a construction/building permit is an essential step in the building process, and it is important to understand the process in order to ensure a smooth and successful project.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to obtaining a construction/building permit in Kiambu.

Eligibility Requirements

Before beginning the application process for a construction/building permit in Kiambu, it is important to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. These requirements may include:

  • Proof of ownership: A title deed, lease agreement, or any other legal document confirming your ownership of the property is required.
  • Payment of relevant fees: You will need to pay the relevant fees, including the application fee, inspection fee, and permit fee, in order to proceed with the application process.
  • Approval from relevant authorities: Depending on the type and size of the project, you may need to seek approval from relevant authorities, such as the National Environment Management Authority, to ensure that the project complies with environmental standards. It is also important to have your project registered with NCA.

Application Process

Once you have confirmed that you meet the eligibility requirements, you can proceed with the application process for a construction/building permit in Kiambu. The process involves several steps, including:

Submission of necessary documents:

You will need to submit the necessary documents, including proof of ownership, site plan and design, and proof of payment of relevant fees. The exact requirements will vary depending on the type and size of the project, so it is important to check with the relevant authorities for a complete list of necessary documents.

Review by relevant authorities:

The relevant authorities within the county government, will review your application and the submitted documents to ensure that they meet the required standards. This step is important to ensure that the project complies with environmental regulations and standards.

Site inspection:

An inspector from the Kiambu government will visit the site to ensure that it is suitable for construction and that the site plan and design meet the required standards. This step is crucial to ensure that the construction project meets the required safety and building standards.

Issuance of the permit:

If your application is approved, the Kiambu government will issue a construction/building permit, which will allow you to proceed with the construction process. The permit is only valid for a specified period of time and may need to be renewed or extended after that.

For commercial projects, NCA registration is required.

Project Registration with the National Construction Authority of Kenya(NCA)

Project registration with the National Construction Authority (NCA) is a requirement for all contractors undertaking construction projects in Kenya.

The process of registering a project with the NCA is relatively straightforward and involves few steps.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register a project with the NCA in Kenya:

 Register with the NCA

Once you have obtained an approved drawing from the county, you can proceed to register your project with the NCA.

To do this, you will need to submit an application form online and provide relevant documents, such as the project drawings, bill of quantities, and a site plan.

Local developers/owners registering a project must ensure that their contractors and sub-contractors are registered by NCA and have a valid practicing license for the current financial year.

The contractor classification/grades set by NCA regulations allow contractors to register in one or more categories according to their experience and qualifications. Once all requirements are met, a Certificate of Registration is issued on registration as a contractor in Kenya.

Developers can register their projects through the NCA project registration portal or visit the nearest NCA regional or liaison office for assistance.

It should also be noted that project registration is currently free of charge.

NCA Project Registration Requirements

The following are the requirements:

  • The contractor and sub-contractor must be registered by NCA and must have a valid practicing license for the current financial year.
  • The project consultants (for example the engineer (s), architect, and quantity surveyor) must be duly registered with their respective professional regulatory bodies, such as the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) and the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (BORAQS). They must have valid practicing licenses
  • Approved architectural and structural drawings.
  • Physical planning forms (county approval permits/ letters/PPA2)
  • Other statutory and regulatory approvals such as NEMA, EPRA, WRA and KCAA licenses where applicable.
  • Bill of quantities summary page duly signed and stamped by the quantity surveyor.
  • Copy of developer’s Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) PIN.
  • Signed contract/tender form or signed agreement by developer with the contractor.
  • Supervision Commitment Letters by consultants and/or agreements/contract by developer with consultants.

How National Construction Authority (NCA) Project Registration Is Done Online Portal

To register a project with the National Construction Authority (NCA) in Kenya, developer can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the NCA website at https://nca.go.ke/ and download the Project Registration Form.
  2. Fill out the form with the relevant information about your project, including the type of project, location, estimated cost, and project duration.
  3. Attach the necessary documents, including architectural and engineering drawings, environmental impact assessment reports, and other relevant certificates and approvals.
  4. Pay the prescribed fees (if any) for project registration through the provided payment channels, such as M-PESA, bank deposits, or online payment systems. Note that project registration is currently (2023) free of charge.
  5. Submit the completed registration form and supporting documents online or  to the nearest NCA regional office.

After submitting your application, NCA officials will review your project and either approve or reject it based on their evaluation of its compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

If your project is approved, you will be issued with a NCA registration certificate, which you will need to present to other relevant authorities to obtain necessary permits and approvals for construction.

In short, after submitting your application, the NCA will review your documents and conduct an inspection of the project site.

If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of approval, which will allow you to proceed with the construction project.

Display Your NCA Project Registration Number

Once your project is registered with the NCA, you will need to display your project registration number at the project site.

This certificate number serves as proof that the project is registered with the NCA and that the contractor is authorized to undertake the construction work.

It is important to ensure that your project is registered with the NCA before starting construction work, as failure to do so can result in fines and other legal consequences.

Kiambu Online Application Process

To obtain approval for the architectural plans from the county council, the structural engineer must follow these steps:

  • Register with the county self-service portal
  • Submit architectural plans through the online eDevelopment Permit System
  • Pay permit fees and wait 2-3 weeks to receive an invoice from the County Council
  • Receive architectural plans approval notification
  • Submit the plans for signing and obtain approved, signed plans

The following documents must also be submitted:

  1. Proposed development
  2. Survey plan from Survey of Kenya
  3. Ownership documents
  4. Up-to-date rates payment receipts
  5. Architectural /Structural plans

Note that the Approval takes upto 45 days.

For structural plans, follow these steps:

  • Submit structural plans
  • Receive structural plans approval notification
  • Submit plans for signing
  • Obtain authenticated structural plans

Construction can begin while waiting for a building permit, with the submission of project plans, architectural drawings, location survey, and more. Approval takes one day and is free of charge.

Next, obtain stamps on the architectural and structural plans from the Nairobi City County Development Control Section. This takes 10 days and is free.

Then, register the project with the National Construction Authority (NCA) and fill out a project registration form.

This takes a week and requires submission of various documents including authenticated architectural and structural plans, contractor and professional certificates, and more. The building company will receive an invoice for a 0.5% levy on the project cost.

Finally, the NCA will conduct a site visit to check compliance and issue an invoice. After payment, a provisional compliance certificate valid for 90 days will be given. If there are no violations, the final compliance certificate will be issued within 7 days.

Kiambu County Building Plan Approval Fees

The cost of obtaining a construction/building permit in Kiambu will vary depending on the type and size of the project. It is important to budget for the relevant fees, which may include:

  • Application fee: This fee covers the cost of processing the application and is usually a one-time payment.
  • Inspection fee: This fee covers the cost of the site inspection carried out by the Kiambu government.
  • Permit fee: This fee covers the cost of issuing the construction/building permit.

It is important to note that these fees are subject to change and it is advisable to check with the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information on fees.

Example: Building permit fees are based on the size of the building and cost approximately Ksh. 500/Sq.M . The fees include:

  • Building plan approval fee (1% of estimated construction cost)
  • Construction sign board fee (Ksh.25,000)
  • Application fee (Ksh.5,000)
  • Inspection of building file fee (Ksh.5,000)
  • Occupation certificate fee (Ksh.5,000)

In conclusion, obtaining a construction/building permit in Kiambu is a crucial step in the building process and it is important to ensure that you follow the right process for smooth and faster approval.

Why Having a Construction/Building Permit is Important

Having a construction/building permit offers several advantages to the property owner, including:

Legal protection: A construction/building permit serves as proof that the project meets all the necessary standards and regulations, and provides legal protection to the property owner in the event of any disputes or legal issues.

Improved safety and quality of construction: Obtaining a construction/building permit ensures that the project meets all the required safety and building standards, which can improve the safety and quality of the construction.

Facilitation of future sales or transfers: Having a valid construction/building permit can make it easier to sell or transfer ownership of the property in the future, as it demonstrates that the project has been approved by the relevant authorities.

Access to financing options: Financial institutions may be more likely to provide financing for a construction project if it has a valid construction/building permit, as it demonstrates that the project is legal and meets all necessary standards.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

While the process of obtaining a construction/building permit in Kiambu is relatively straightforward, there are some common challenges that can arise, including:

  • Delays in processing: Processing times can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the workload of the relevant authorities. To minimize delays, it is important to ensure that all necessary documents are submitted in a timely manner and that any issues are addressed promptly.
  • Inconsistencies in regulations: Regulations and standards can change over time, making it difficult to stay up-to-date on the latest requirements. To overcome this challenge, it is important to regularly check with the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information.
  • Lack of information or guidance: The process of obtaining a construction/building permit can be confusing, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with the process. To overcome this challenge, it is important to seek guidance from a professional or from the relevant authorities, who can provide the necessary information and support.

Conclusion

In conclusion, obtaining a construction/building permit in Kiambu is a crucial step in the building process and it is important to understand the requirements, process, and potential challenges involved.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your project is approved and that it meets all the necessary standards and regulations.

With the right preparation and support, the process of obtaining a construction/building permit in Kiambu can be a smooth and successful experience.

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