Compliance with residential building standards in the context of customary land tenure system in Ghana

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Zoning regulation is considered as a tool used by government to control developments to ensure sustainability. In Ghana where about 80% of lands are held under customary land tenure systems, implementation of residential standards, which is a government function may conflict with customary norms of holding land. This paper uses case study to examine the implementation of residential policies and enforcement of residential standards in areas under customary land tenure in Ghana and if these policies and standards affect the enjoyment of land rights in the context of customary land tenure. Results showed that non-compliance to residential standards and non-conformity to the local plan has minimal interference on enjoyment of land rights. Residents are ignorant of the details of the residential standards and have never seen a zoning regulations document. There is also low level of monitoring and enforcement. Spatial analysis reveals four main types of non-conformity between orthophoto and local plans i) discrepancies in the orientation of the parcel boundaries, ii) discrepancies in the shapes of plot boundaries, iii) houses constructed on the plot boundary or straddle parcel boundaries, and iii) differences in plot sizes. Results suggest the need for planning authority to use efficient approaches such as GIS and UAV’s to communicate, monitor and enforce the residential standards. It is concluded that collaboration between customary land authorities and the Municipality during the allocation and development of plots may improve spatial conformity between orthophoto and the local plans.
plaNext-Next Generation Planning Vol. 6 (2018): Open call 25-45
residential standards, customary land tenure system, land rights, compliance
CC BY 4.0