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NMS stops construction of 15-storey apartment

Monday, January 17th, 2022 13:08 | By
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) lost over Sh65 million between May and August this year because of a non-functional e-development permit system that authorises construction of new buildings.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services has stopped a Chinese developer from constructing a 15-storey residential apartment in Nairobi.

The deliberate decision by city authorities comes in the wake of several discrepancies by the developer in Kilimani area.

NMS says the establishment that will have 870 units comprising bed-sitters, studios and one-bedroom units was constructed in violation of building plans.

A stoppage and enforcement order was issued by NMS against Ever Forgarden Company Ltd after disapproving the building plans, which it termed as illegal.

The decision by NMS to crack the whip follows a petition by residents to Director-General of NMS Lt-General Mohammed Badi through their lawyer Lesinko Njoroge & Gathogo Advocates.

Nairobi County Director for Lands, Housing and Urban Renewal, Urban Planning and Development, S. G. Mwangi says the development overwhelmingly exceeds the ground coverage and plot ratios, which are permissible within Kilimani area categorised as Zone Four, hence the illegality.

“A total of 870 units on 0.463 hectares are unacceptable since they exceed the ratios which are provided. You are, therefore, advised to stop further construction forthwith as per our enforcement notice to avoid legal action from NMS,” Mwangi said through a correspondence addressed to Forgarden.

Condemned building

In essence, the development on an acre of land on L.R No.1/402 along Kindaruma Road in Nairobi is said to breach the Zoning Policy of Nairobi City County for Zone Four (Kilimani area) and provisions of Physical Planning and Land Use Act, No.13 of 2019. “Our officers visited the site on December 10, 2021 and the following was established: (i) building plans are not properly drawn and do not provide sufficient information and lounges are not ventilated. Setback on the basement is not observed and no traffic management report was provided,” building plans disapproval notice reads in part.

Documents in our possession, the condemned building plans had been controversially approved on October 13, 2021 but it was later established they had not met the required set guidelines under the set By-Laws and Physical and Land Use Planning Act (PLUPA) No.13 of 2019.

The developer has engaged Green World Consultants Ltd as architects of the project. An enforcement notice dated December 20, 2021 now requires the developer to re-submit satisfactory building plans that meet the threshold of the set building guidelines and PLUPA regulations for this zone. In the meantime, Kilimani residents now want parallel investigations to be conducted to establish how the illegal approvals had been made and the parties involved.

Public participation

In Zone Four, county By-Laws require public participation of residents for developments with more than 100 units that were never conducted.
Enactment comes even as concerns are raised that such a development will only escalate the already strained amenities such as sewer, water, traffic flow and security dynamics amongst others.

There are plans to petition the Architectural Association of Kenya, Building Inspectorate under the State Department of Public Works, Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya, Planners Association of Kenya and the National Environment Management Authority over the matter.

In the past, the government formed a taskforce to undertake forensic investigations into at least 200 buildings whose construction approvals were deemed questionable.

Report revealed that some 400 buildings out of the audited 3, 914 in Huruma alone have failed structural tests, which necessitates being demolished.

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