Sci & Tech
New team set up by the President mandated to clear backlog that goes back nearly 7 months.
The approval of building plans in Nairobi has been digitised after the newly formed Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) took over key functions of the county government.
In a notice published in the local dailies, City Hall revealed it has set up an online system that will be used to provide unique identifiers of all approved development plans.
“Nairobi County Government hereby notifies professional consultants in the built environment, developers, property owners and the public that we have launched an online QR code system to provide unique identification of all approved architectural and structural plans,” read the notice.
Urban Planning Executive Charles Kerich said the QR code will appear on the front page of all approved plans.
“The code eliminates the requirement to submit hard copies of development plans for stamping upon approval thus saving the developer time in the process,” said Mr Kerich.
The move comes after a presidential decree that positioned the NMS to be in charge of approvals of building development in the capital city.
While announcing the formation of the office, President Uhuru Kenyatta decried the presence of cartels that have City Hall in a choke-hold thus making it almost impossible to render services.
The President directed that issuance of building and construction approvals, which had stalled for the past seven months, be handled by NMS. The office is also expected to implement a plan to clear a backlog of construction approvals.
In February, City Hall announced a weekly schedule where officials would meet with developers every Wednesday to consider and approve low-risk building applications.
Kerich said they were considering projects whose proposals are under single dwelling houses (excluding large comprehensive schemes), go-downs and warehouses of up to 1,400 square metres, and apartments of four levels and below.
The urban planning department is also considering all renewals for already approved building plans, change of use and sub-division schemes, as well as all internal alterations and amendments not exceeding 500 square metres.
In October last year, the Architectural Association of Kenya had raised concerns that approvals had stagnated, with the value of housing projects dropping by Sh69 billion in one year from Sh210 billion in 2018 to Sh141 billion due to hitches over permit issuance.