Nairobi builders face Sh60,000 project assessment fee

design drafts

City Hall currently offers the service at no cost. Photo/FILE

Nairobi developers may soon be required to pay Sh60,000 for preliminary technical opinions as to whether or not a project can be approved.

The fee, which has been proposed in the Nairobi Finance Bill 2014, will be for evaluating preliminary, non-detailed schematic drawings which inform the development of detailed development applications.

Nairobi has been offering the service free of charge. The developer is only required to put forward schematic drawings to the county’s planning department for analysis. Once evaluation is done, the department offers its opinion on whether the project is okay, needs some alterations or cannot be approved.

Nairobi Lands, Physical Planning and Housing chief officer Rose Muema says the opinion of the county’s planning department is necessary before a developer can invest money in developing detailed plans.

“This is important for such developers before they engage the services of architects to do the detailed development application that could cost millions,” she said.

Ms Muema said a lot of man-hours are put into the process, which involves taking the design drafts through departments such as planning, engineering and fire before the technical opinion is offered. This has informed the introduction of the proposed fee, she added.

The fee is yet another cost for developers who are now expected to pay a levy of 0.5 per cent of the value of their project to the National Construction Authority and 0.1 per cent of project cost for environmental impact assessment.

The introduction of new levies is likely to slow down development of housing in the country as potential borrowers will have to raise more money before seeking credit from financial institutions.

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