W have not permitted anyone to develop OLA- Elmina beachfront – CCMA

Cape Coast The Physical Planning Developmental Department of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) has described as ‘illegal’ and ‘worrying’ a chain of structures springing up along the OLA-Elmina Highway beachfront.

The once beautiful stretch with organic coconut trees along the beachfront, is now a sory site to behold, as a number of the coconut trees have been felled to pave the way for the construction of concrete entertainment structures.

Mr Nicholas Pinkrah, Metropolitan Director of the Department, said the department had not given any permit to such new developers and warned of dire socio-economic and environmental consequences if due processes were not followed.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) over the disturbing trend, Mr Pinkrah said the Assembly was worried about the blatant disregard for building permit in the Metropolis prior to construction works.

According to him, the revised Land Use and Spatial Planning ACT, 2016, (Act 925) consolidated the laws on land use and spatial planning and provided avenue for sustainable development of land and human settlements through a decentralised planning system.

The Act, he said ensured judicious use of land in order to improve quality of life, promote health and safety in respect of human settlements and to regulate national, regional, district and local spatial planning, and generally to provide for spatial aspects of socio economic development and for related matters.

“Since my assumption of office six-months ago as the Metro Director, I have not given permit to such developers, but they are building very fast”, he stated.

In the interim, he said the District Spatial Planning committee was tasked to engage the owners of the facilities to find out the best possible option the Assembly could help them in order not to cause any havoc in the future.

The Committee is made up of representatives from the Lands Commission, Urban roads, Physical Planning Department, Development Planning Officer, Environmental Protection Agency.

Others are, Works Department, Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company Limited, National Disaster Management Organization, Ghana National Fire Service, Hydro Office and a traditional authority.

The Committee is backed by the Land Use Spatial Planning Act, 2016, Act 925 clauses 2 and 3 which states that; the District Spatial Planning Committee may impose conditions that it considered appropriate in giving approval to the recommendations of the Technical Sub-Committee.

Mr Pinkrah explained that the Assembly was concerned about the fast springing up of structures and had in the past demolished similar structures and squatters without permit.

However, on Thursday, January 28, at about 0830 hours when the GNA visited the coastal stretch, many block layers and building engineers were seen putting finishing touches to buildings.

The beautiful greenery of the area, particularly the evergreen grasses and coconut trees that had for years protected the beauty of the coastal stretch from erosion were removed giving way to concrete projects.

Heaps of sand, rock chippings and cement blocks are a common sight along the stretch and various heights of giant electric poles have been erected to support the roofing of many buildings that are under construction.

Construction engineers including; Masons and Carpenters were busily engrossed in their activities giving rise to a discordant cacophony of decibels without qualms to the consequences of their actions.

Other facilities that had begun businesses were busily attending to morning customers with beautiful soothing renditions of hip-life songs to attract and retain potential customers to their fest.

Nonetheless, owners of some facilities who pleaded anonymity said they had granted legal building permits by the same Assembly and challenged them to demolish the structures if they were illegally operating.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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