Home Causes Environment Illegal building conversions: Lagos issues 30-day notice to violators

Illegal building conversions: Lagos issues 30-day notice to violators

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The Lagos State Government has issued a 30-day notice to owners and occupants of residential buildings converted without approval, urging them to revert to the original use.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the Director of Public Affairs, Olaoye Olusegun, the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, Gbolahan Oki, said the notice applied to all structures used as bars, clubhouses or religious centres located within residential areas and without a requisite permit from relevant authorities.

Oki said, “The notice is the sequel to the distortion of the master plan of Lagos State, especially residential areas by some people who in gross disregard to the regulatory provisions of the law turned residential areas into clubhouses and worship centres thereby constituting a nuisance to the environment.

“The removal notice became imperative, following security concerns of citizens, and repeated complaints of non-adherence to safety and security guidelines issued to the club owners.”

Oki maintained that LASBCA had earlier identified the illegal and non-conforming structures and had served the statutory enforcement notices but those affected had either failed or refused to respond to the notices, hence the service of this final notice.

He warned, “Any owner of buildings in residential areas that have been converted to churches, mosques, clubs, bars or lounges without the requisite approvals should evict such occupants before the expiration of the 30 days final notice as the state will not give further notice of sealing but outright removal of such non-conforming buildings at the cost of the owners.

“We are giving them one month’s final notice from today 29th of January to revert all properties converted to churches, mosques, clubs and bars to revert to the original plan or have such buildings removed at their expense.”

In 2022, it was reported that the General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Kehinde Osinaike, had decried the trend of illegal conversion of building use.

Osinaike, in a statement, said that the illegal conversion of buildings constituted a contradiction and violation of the master plan of the state as originally proposed by all stakeholders and articulated by experts for the achievement of a sustainable Lagos.

He averred that sticking to the development plan, which dictates the spatial arrangement of the state and the approved permissible uses for different areas, was crucial for the avoidance of slum development in Lagos, stressing that adherence to the Operative Development Plans was non-negotiable for a sustainable Lagos State.

He said, “The housing stock available for Lagosians is usually estimated by planning permits granted for residential purposes and that when such buildings are illegally converted for other uses, the official records automatically become unreliable and disequilibrium is created in the projected proportion of land earmarked for different categories of uses for different areas of the state.

“LASPPPA has the mandate to reject any application seeking conversion of a property from the originally approved use that had been specifically designated for that particular location.”

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