Stakeholders decry illegal property development in Lekki

Real estate investors in Lekki area of Lagos State have decried the distortion of the master plan of the area.

They noted that over the last few years, there had been illegal encroachment and conversion of spaces.

According to them, the violation of approved layouts and master plan has not been challenged by successive governments in the state.

An architect, Dr Tony Alabi, told journalists that  there had been gross disregard for the master plan of the area.

He said, “Developers of high-end properties on government layouts operate with one set of building regulation rules under a discretional best-of-judgement aura and a myriad of privileges.

“The developers of low-end properties in other areas of Lagos operate under another set of building regulation rules and best-of-judgement aura.”

A real estate investor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Lekki Northern Business District parking facility meant for the general parking of over 20 business land investors in the Lekki master plan had been sold.

According to him, there is currently no common parking facility in the area, which he described as a built-up community of block of flats.

He said the investors who erected their buildings as planned in accordance with the master plan around the common parking space had nowhere to park their cars.

“This has caused traffic congestion at Olubunmi Owa Crescent in Lekki Phase One,” he added.

He noted that there had been a general lack of adherence to master plans, adding that the failure to address the issues had paved the way for political and pecuniary abuse identified as the major cause of chaos in Lagos State.

Alabi noted that Lagos had been unable to get rid of the moribund master plans that remained inadequate for its modern cosmopolitan and elitist population.

He explained that the operating and building regulatory rules seemed to have had no effect on the current planning of some parts of the state.

He stated that multiple visits to the Northern Business District of Lekki brought clarity to a few of the prevailing issues.

Alabi said, “It was observed that, the human and traffic congestion generated from the businesses has reached unbearable points for business owners. The business district is fast becoming like any other one in Lagos suffering from the abuse of the master plan with the characteristic street chaos.

“This dire situation seems to repeat itself all over Lagos. There is a widening gap between master plans and realities of land use in Lagos.

“How do you get investors to buy into the perceived comfort of a master plan by selling to the public as investment plots of land with an offer of common spaces that should enhance their common business good only to jettison that master plan once they are financially locked in?”

He said such actions of unlawful conversion of public space were crime against the built environment for which the general public would ultimately suffer the unbearable consequences as had become common in Lagos.

Alabi said the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, should tackle the master plan induced issues beyond demolition alone.

Reacting to the issues raised, the Assistant Director, Public Affair, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Mukaila Sanusi, said the state government planned to review the master plan of the area.

According to him, the Lagos State Government is taking note of the developments in the area and the observations will form part of government’s considerations for the comprehensive  review of the Lekki master plan which is imminent.

Source: Punch

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