The various legislations on land use and spatial planning have been integrated into a coherent law known as the Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill.
The bill, which seeks to provide for sustainable development of land and human settlements through a decentralised planning system, was passed by Parliament yesterday.
The bill was passed due to the concerns about the absence of a comprehensive legal frame work for land use and spatial planning, which has led to multiplicity of legislations conferring land use, planning and management functions to institutions other than the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD).
The passage of the bill would enable planning authorities at the different levels of governance to control and direct physical development in an orderly and harmonious manner.
The law makes provision for the transformation of the TCDP from a technical advisory body into a proactive regulatory, mentoring, advisory and monitoring institution that would play a significant role in ensuring conformity and compliance with spatial plans, zoning regulations and planning standards at the national, regional and district levels
It is expected to help enhance the quality of life through a consciously planned and adequate provision of socio-economic infrastructure and services, leisure and recreational facilities.
According to a report by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, the development and controls of land are largely violated in the country as a result of the multiplicity of laws which made implementation very difficult.
The committee observed that unregulated land development issues had created problems, including haphazard development, neighbourhood blight, automobile congestions and environmental degradation in the communities.
The committee attributed the high rate of non-adherence to development permit regulations among individuals and developers, largely long delays in processing development permit applications among others.
The committee observed that the bill would create a conducive investment climate that would attract a wide spectrum of investors and urged the House to pass it into law.
In another development, the Technical Universities Bill, 2016 was taken through the Second Reading in the House.
The bill seeks to establish technical universities by converting existing polytechnics to technical universities to provide higher education with emphasis on science and technology oriented disciplines, technical and vocational education and training as well as applied arts and related.
By Yaw Kyei