Detailed Guide to Obtaining a Construction/Building Permit in Machakos County /Mavoko Sub County

Building and construction projects can be a big investment, and the last thing you want is for the project to come to a halt due to a lack of necessary permits.

In Mavoko / Machakos, obtaining a construction/building permit is a crucial part of the building process, and it is important to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to obtain it.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the detailed process of obtaining a construction/building permit in Machakos.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Before you start the process of obtaining a construction/building permit, it is important to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements set out by the Machakos government. These requirements may include:
  2. Proof of ownership of the property: This can be in the form of a title deed, lease agreement, or any other legal document that confirms your ownership of the property.
  3. Site plan and design of the building: The site plan and design should include detailed information on the location and dimensions of the building, as well as information on the materials to be used in construction.
  4. Proof of payment of relevant fees: You will need to pay the relevant fees, such as the application fee, inspection fee, and permit fee, in order to proceed with the application process.
  5. Approval from relevant authorities: Depending on the type and size of the project, you may also need to seek approval from relevant authorities, such as the National Environment Management Authority, to ensure that the project complies with environmental standards.

Application Process

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

Submit the necessary documents:

You will need to submit the documents required by the Machakos government, 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, such as the National Environment Management Authority, 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 is in compliance with environmental regulations and standards.

Inspection of the site:

An inspector from the Machakos 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 Machakos government will issue a construction/building permit, which will allow you to proceed with the construction process. It is important to note that the permit is only valid for a specified period of time, after which it may need to be renewed or extended.

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.

Documents Required for Mavoko/Machakos County Building Approvals

Before implementing your project, you are required to seek permission from the relevant approving authorities in the Mavoko sub-county, Machakos county.

These are the key documents/ requirements for approvals

  • Certified drawings -at least 5 copies  (Architectural & Structural drawings certified by architect and structural engineer)
  • Survey plan from Survey of Kenya. One is to visit the Survey of Kenya offices in the ministry of land departments to obtain a survey plan. A survey plan from Survey of Kenya is a required document when applying for a building permit.
  • Search certificate. This is obtain at the Lands office in Machakos. It should be noted that not all these approving bodies will necessarily approve your project.
  • Ownership documents (Title copy,ID etc)
  • Land Rates clearance certificate( Mavoko sub-county land rates )
  • Change of User (for Commercial & Apartments)

Approval of Building Plans in Kenya

Submission Process

After submission, the maximum approval period is about 21 days to allow for the town planners deliberations and meetings which are normally done fortnightly.

The town planners also carry out site visits to ascertain and authenticate the submitted documents as well as confirm the land particulars with the NLC.

Mavoko/Machakos County Building Approvals Fees

The cost of obtaining a construction/building permit in Machakos county will vary depending on the type and size of the project. It is important to ensure that you have budgeted for the relevant fees, which may include:

  1. Application fee: This fee covers the cost of processing the application and is usually a one-time payment.
  2. Inspection fee: This fee covers the cost of the site inspection carried out by the Machakos County government.
  3. Permit fee: This fee covers the cost of issuing the construction/building permit.
  4. Sign Board: this fees cover the permission to erect a signboard within the vicinity of the construction site

It is important to note that these fees are subject to change, other things like location, whether it is a commercial or residential project, and also the size of the project in terms of the total floor area.

The building permit fee is based on the size of the building in terms of square footage.in Most cases, the building plan approval fee is approximately 1% of the estimated cost of construction.

For example, 3 bedroom bungalow with an estimated cost of  KES. 4M will cost about Ksh. 40,000 in county approval fees.  And can be distributed as follows (Example):

  1. Construction sign board fee: Ksh. 10,000
  2. Application fee: Ksh. 5,000
  3. Inspection of building file: Ksh. 5,000
  4. Occupation certificate: Ksh. 5,000
  5. Building plan approval fee: Ksh. 10,000

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