Kisumu County Building Plan Approval Process; A Step-by-Step Guide On Obtaining a Construction Permit in Kisumu County
If you’re planning to build or construct a property in Kisumu, Kenya, then obtaining a construction permit is an essential step in the process.
The permit ensures that your construction project meets the necessary regulations and standards, and helps to protect both you and the community.
Construction and building activities are a vital part of Kisumu’s development. The city has witnessed a rapid growth in the real estate sector in recent years, with more and more people investing in construction projects.
In order to ensure that these activities are carried out in a safe and regulated manner, the local government of Kisumu requires individuals to obtain a construction/building permit before starting any construction work
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a construction permit in Kisumu, from start to finish.
Understanding the Requirements for a Construction Permit
Before you start the process of obtaining a construction permit, it’s important to understand the requirements for the permit.
These requirements may vary depending on the type of construction project you’re planning, but typically include:
- A detailed construction plan
- Proof of ownership or lease of the property
- Building specifications, including materials and methods to be used
- Proof of payment of any necessary fees
It’s also a good idea to research the local regulations and codes that apply to your construction project, as these can vary from area to area. This information can typically be found on the website of the local government or a relevant department.
To obtain a construction/building permit in Kisumu, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be the owner of the property or have obtained written permission from the owner to proceed with the construction project.
- The construction project must comply with the local building codes and regulations.
- The applicant must provide a detailed plan and design of the construction project.
- The applicant must pay the requisite fee
- Provide any additional documents required by the local authorities
Steps in Kisumu County Building Plans Approval Process
The process and documentation required for building plans approval in Kisumu County typically involve the following steps:
Submitting the building plans:
The applicant must submit the building plans, which should include detailed architectural and engineering drawings, site plans, and elevations.
Documentation: The following documents may be required as part of the building plans submission:
- Proof of ownership or lease agreement for the site
- A survey plan from Survey of Kenya
- Certified structural and architectural drawings
- Structural calculations
- Land rates clearance
- Land search
Once you have gathered all the necessary information and documents, the next step is to submit your application for a construction permit.
This can typically be done in person at the relevant department or online through the department’s website.
When submitting your application, be sure to include all the required documents and information, and to answer any questions as accurately and fully as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of your application and any supporting documents, in case you need them later on in the process.
Pay the Fees
After you have submitted your application, you will be required to pay a fee for approval. The fee is based on the value of the construction work you are proposing to do.
This fee varies depending on the size and complexity of the project, but it is generally most cases, building plan approval fee is about 1% of the estimated cost of construction.
For example, a 3-bedroom bungalow with an estimated cost of KES. 3.5M will cost about Ksh. 35,000 in county approval fees
The fee covers;
- Building plan approval fee
- Construction sign board fee
- Application fee
- Inspection of building file
- Occupation certificate
It is important to note that this fee is non-refundable, so it is essential to ensure that all information on the application is accurate and complete before submitting it.
Reviewing the Application and Inspecting the Property
After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the relevant department. This may take 2 -5 weeks, during which time they will check that your construction plans meet the necessary regulations and standards.
If any issues are found, they may ask you to make changes to your plans before approval.
Once the review process is complete, an inspector will visit the property to ensure that it is suitable for construction. This may include checking the property for any environmental or zoning restrictions, and confirming that the plans comply with local regulations and codes.
Generally, here, the submitted plans and documentation will be reviewed by the county’s physical planning department to ensure compliance with the building codes, zoning regulations, and safety standards.
Inspection of the site:
The site may be inspected by the relevant authorities to verify the details provided in the building plans.
Approval or rejection of building plans:
Based on the review and inspection, the authority will either approve or reject the building plans. If approved, a building permit may be issued. If rejected, the applicant may need to revise the plans and resubmit.
Once the inspector has approved your plans, you will receive your construction permit. This permit will typically be valid for a specific period of time and must be displayed at the construction site at all times.
It’s important to note that your construction permit may need to be renewed if your construction project takes longer than the permit period, or if you need to make changes to your plans.
In these cases, you will need to repeat the process of applying for a construction permit, including submitting new plans and undergoing another inspection.
Note: The exact requirements and process may vary depending on the specific regulations and changing policies of Kisumu County. It is recommended to consult the local authorities for more information.
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:
- Visit the NCA website at https://nca.go.ke/ and download the Project Registration Form.
- Fill out the form with the relevant information about your project, including the type of project, location, estimated cost, and project duration.
- Attach the necessary documents, including architectural and engineering drawings, environmental impact assessment reports, and other relevant certificates and approvals.
- 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.
- 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.
Once your permit has been approved, you can start construction on your property. Make sure to keep all required permits and documentation on hand during construction.
Once the construction is complete, a final inspection will be conducted by the local authorities to ensure that the construction complies with the approved plans and regulations. If the construction passes the inspection, you will receive a certificate of occupancy.
Obtaining a construction permit in Kisumu may seem like a complex process, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a straightforward and efficient process.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your construction project meets all the necessary regulations and standards and that you have all the approvals you need to proceed with your construction project.
What is a Construction/Building Permit?
A construction/building permit is a legal authorization granted by the local government to proceed with the construction or renovation of a building project. The permit ensures that the construction complies with the local building codes and regulations.
In Kisumu, obtaining a permit for these activities is mandatory and regulated by the local authorities.
Why do you need a Construction/Building Permit?
A construction/building permit is required for a number of reasons. It ensures that the construction is safe and meets the minimum standards set by the local authorities. Additionally, it protects the property owner and the community from potential legal liabilities.
What documents are required for Kisumu County Building Plans Approval process?
Required documents include;
- Land Title (copy)
- Certified architectural plan (at least 5 copies)
- Certified structural plans (at least 5 copies)
- Land rates clearance certificate
- Architect’s practicing certificate
- Engineer’s practicing certificate
- A survey plan from Survey of Kenya
- Land search
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