A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Construction Permit in Vihiga County

Understanding Vihiga County Building Plan Regulations

If you are planning to build in Vihiga County, Kenya, it is important to obtain a construction permit before you begin construction.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to obtain a construction permit in Vihiga County.

A Step-By-Step Guide on Obtaining a Construction Permit Vihiga County Government.

Step 1: Site Survey and Feasibility Study.

The first step in the Vihiga County building plan process is the site survey and feasibility study. During this stage, a professional and qualified architect or engineer should conduct a site visit to assess the physical characteristics of the site, including the actual measurement, access roads, zoning, existing structures, soil quality, drainage, topography, vegetation, and access to infrastructure.

Additionally, if it is a commercial project, the economic and environmental feasibility of the proposed building should be determined to assess the potential impacts on the surrounding area.

Based on the findings of the site analysis and feasibility study, the architect or engineer will prepare a report that will outline the suitability of the site for the intended use. This report will inform the development of the building plans and designs.

This step is not a legal requirement but is crucial in getting it right as you construct.

Step 2: Preparing Building Plans and Designs.

The second step in the Vihiga County building plan process is the preparation of the building plans and designs. The architect or engineer will use the findings of the site analysis and feasibility study to develop detailed building plans and designs.

The building plans and designs should include all the necessary details, such as the building layout, elevations, sections, and dimensions.

It is crucial to ensure that the building plans and designs comply with the Vihiga County building codes and regulations.

The County’s building codes and regulations are designed to ensure the safety and health of the occupants of the building, as well as to ensure that the building is constructed in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.

Step 3: Submitting the Building Plans and Designs.

The third step in the Vihiga County building plan process is to submit the building plans and designs to the County government.

The submission should be made through the County’s Physical Planning Department, and it should include the following documents;

  • Certified Architectural Drawings (at least 5 copies) – prepared by an architect or a firm registered with the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors.
  • Certified Structural Drawings (at least 5 copies) – prepared by a structural engineer or a firm registered with the Engineers Board of Kenya.
  • Indemnity Form (signed by architect and/or structural engineer)
  • Copy of Land Ownership Documents
  • Land Rates Clearance Certificate
  • Land Search Document – not older than three months
  • Survey Map – from Survey of Kenya
  • Approval Fee Payment – the amount is based on the design and is payable during submission.

Building Plan Approval 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, the building plan approval fee is about 1% of the estimated cost of construction.

The building permit fee is also based on the size of the building and is done per square meters/ft. The fees include:

  • Building plan approval fee
  • Construction sign board fee
  • Application fee
  • Inspection of building
  • Occupation certificate

Step 4: Approval of the Building Plans and Designs.

The County government will review the building plans and designs to ensure that they comply with the County’s building codes and regulations. If the plans and designs meet the requirements, the County will issue a building permit, which authorizes the construction of the proposed building.

It is essential to note that any changes to the approved building plans and designs must be approved by the County government before construction can proceed.

For commercial projects, NCA registration is required.

Step 5: 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 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 numberserves 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.

Step 6: Construction.

The final step in the Vihiga County building plan process is the construction of the building. The construction should be carried out in accordance with the approved building plans and designs, and all the necessary inspections should be conducted to ensure that the building complies with the Vihiga County building codes and regulations.

Step 7: Inspection.

During the construction process, the Vihiga County government conducts periodic inspections to ensure that the construction complies with the building codes and regulations. The inspections ensure that the construction is safe for the occupants and the environment.

Step 8: Occupancy Permit.

Once the construction is complete, the Vihiga County government issues an occupancy permit. The occupancy permit allows the building to be occupied and used for its intended purpose.

FAQS

What is the building plan process in Vihiga County?

The building plan process in Vihiga County involves obtaining a building permit from the County Government. This requires the submission of architectural drawings, structural designs, and other necessary documents to the County Department responsible for building and construction.

Who is responsible for issuing building permits in Vihiga County?

The County Department responsible for building and construction is responsible for issuing building permits in Vihiga County.

What documents are required to obtain a building permit in Vihiga County?

The documents required to obtain a building permit in Vihiga County include architectural drawings, structural designs, land ownership documents, and proof of payment of the required fees.

How long does it take to obtain a building permit in Vihiga County?

The time it takes to obtain a building permit in Vihiga County varies depending on the complexity of the project and the completeness of the submitted documents. However, the process typically takes between 2-4 weeks.

What is the cost of obtaining a building permit in Vihiga County?

The cost of obtaining a building permit in Vihiga County depends on the size and nature of the project. The fees are based on the value of the development and are calculated as a percentage of the project’s cost.

The current fee schedule can be obtained from the County Department responsible for building and construction.

Can I start construction before obtaining a building permit in Vihiga County?

No, it is illegal to start construction before obtaining a building permit in Vihiga County. Any construction work done without a building permit is considered illegal and subject to demolition and other legal penalties.

What happens if I fail to comply with the building plan process in Vihiga County?

Failure to comply with the building plan process in Vihiga County can result in penalties, including fines, demolition of the structure, or legal action. It is important to follow the established process to avoid legal issues and ensure the safety and integrity of the structure.

What are the consequences of building without a permit in Vihiga County?

Building without a permit in Vihiga County is illegal and can result in the demolition of the structure, fines, and legal action. Additionally, the structure may not be safe for occupancy, which can put the occupants’ lives at risk.

How can I find out if a building permit has been obtained for a property in Vihiga County?

You can find out if a building permit has been obtained for a property in Vihiga County by contacting the County Department responsible for building and construction. They will be able to provide you with information on the building permit status of a property.

Do I need a licensed contractor to obtain a building permit in Vihiga County?

No, you do not need a licensed contractor to obtain a building permit in Vihiga County. However, it is recommended to work with a licensed contractor to ensure that the construction is done properly and safely.

Can I make changes to my building plan after obtaining a building permit in Vihiga County?

Changes to a building plan after obtaining a building permit in Vihiga County require the submission of revised architectural drawings and structural designs to the County Department responsible for building and construction for approval.

Any changes made to the original plan without approval can result in penalties and legal action.

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