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How to get a building permit in Accra

A building permit is an official approval to construct a new building or expanding an old building or remodel an existing one. It’s purpose is to ensure that the construction project follows all relevant regulations, including building standards, land use and environmental protection. Obtaining a building permit is an important step in any construction project in Ghana as it ensures that your project meets the minimum safety and zoning standards set by the government. This document will assure that the structure built is designed to withstand natural calamities and the materials used are within the specifications of the design and requirements of law. Before an applicant can get a permit, the government agency thus the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has to confirm that the land legally belongs to you.
A development or building permit issued is valid for 5 years as per Instrument 7 of L.I. 1630, 1996. Consequently, a developer who is unable to complete development shall apply for planning permission for an extension of time.

The statutory requirements for a building permit :

  1. Submit your full set of application to the Physical Planning Department.
  2. Attach completed land ownership document from Lands Commission.
  3. Attach four copies of structured drawings signed by an engineer.
  4. Proposed development must conform to zoning status.
  5. A certified soil test report.
  6. Fire certified report including drawings from the Ghana National Fire Service.
  7. Environmental Protection Agency Permit.
  8. Structural integrity report in case construction development has already commenced or is completed.

In addition to the statutory requirements above, in AMA the following requirements also apply:

  1. Business Registration Certificate for organizations.
  2. Business Operating Permit for organizations.
  3. Up to date property rate payment for existing buildings.

Apart from the cost of the permit application form and processing fees, all other costs are arrived after going through each process based on the fee fixing resolution of the assembly of that year. The fee fixing resolution for each year is published on the Assembly’s website and copies can also be purchased at the Ghana Publishing Company ( Assembly Press). Effective development management promotes orderliness, convenience of movement, public safety and enhanced economic development.

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