Land use is the way that land is used for a particular purpose. For example, residential land use is used for housing, commercial land use is used for businesses, and industrial land use is used for factories. A change of use application is a request to change the way that land is being used.
A change of user is the process of changing the intended use of a property from one category to another. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to convert a residential property into a commercial property or to change the use of a piece of land from agricultural to industrial.
Before undertaking a Change of User application, it is key to assess how the proposed development aligns with local planning policies and existing trends. You should obtain comprehensive details about the site’s physical attributes, location, and infrastructure availability are essential components as well as an analysis of the development’s potential impact on the socio-economic and physical environment within the area.
The process of obtaining a change of user approval in Kenya
In Kenya, the procedure for obtaining a change of user approval is governed by the Physical Planning Act, 2019. The Act gives the County Governments the authority to grant or deny change of user approvals.
The process of obtaining a change of user approval in Kenya involves the following steps:
- Advertisement and Recommendations: The process begins with an advertisement and the collection of recommendations from members of the public and relevant line ministries, facilitated by the County Government. This phase often coincides with an application for a construction permit.
- Application Initiation: The investor, with the assistance of a registered physical planner, submits an application for the change of user using the PPA 1 form, duly signed by the physical planner.
- Public Notices: Public notices regarding the proposed change of user are published in two daily newspapers, inviting objections from the public for a minimum period of 14 days. A site notice is also placed on the property.
- Planning Brief/Report: A planning brief/report for the site is prepared by the physical planner, explaining the alignment of the change of use with planning policies and its lack of adverse effects on the land and neighbouring properties. The duration of this process varies based on the project scale.
- Payment: The required fee is paid to the respective County Government, and the receipt is attached to the planning brief/report prepared by the physical planner.
- Submission: The planning brief/report is submitted to the County Government’s Department of Physical Planning for approval, along with any public objections received.
- Review and Resolution: The County Government reviews the proposal and public objections (if any) and passes a resolution, recording reasons for its consideration or non-consideration. This process may extend depending on additional requirements.
- Permission Issuance: If the authority finds that the changes are relevant to planning principles, in the public interest, and not in contravention of any other statute, it grants permission by issuing a PPA2 form.
To successfully apply for a change of user approval, the following requirements must be met:
- Duly Filled P.P.A 1 Forms: Two copies of the P.P.A 1 form, in triplicate, submitted and signed by a Registered Physical Planner.
- Planning Brief: A planning brief prepared and signed by a Registered Physical Planner.
- Ownership Documents: Ownership documents, including Title Deeds.
- Comprehensive Location Plan: A comprehensive location plan.
- Advertisement of Proposal: Advertisement of the proposal in two local dailies and on-site.
- Application Fee Receipt: Receipt of the requisite application fee paid to the County Government.
- Latest Rates Payment Receipts: Receipts for the latest rates payments.
The costs associated with the change of user application process vary depending on the specific circumstances. However, some of the typical costs include:
- Change of User Application Fee: Counties may charge different fees depending on the location and nature of the change sought.
- PPA 1 Form Fee: The fee for the PPA 1 form.
- Newspaper Advertisements: Costs related to advertising the proposal in two daily newspapers.
- Professional Fee: Professional fees vary based on the size and location of the project or property.
Obtaining a change of user approval in Kenya is a complex and time-consuming process. However, by following the outlined procedure and meeting the required requirements, property owners and investors can increase their chances of success.
How to Apply for a Change of Use on the ArdhiSasa Platform
- Log in to the ArdhiSasa platform. You can do this by going to the ADISA website and entering your username and password.
- Click on the “Change of Use” application. This is located under the “Development Control” section of the platform.
- Select the type of change of use that you are applying for. There are different types of change of use applications, such as residential to commercial, commercial to industrial, and agricultural to residential.
- Enter the details of your change of use application. This includes the current land use, the proposed land use, the status of the land, and the reference number of the DC-17 form.
- Attach the required documents. The required documents for a change of use application vary depending on the type of change of use. However, some common documents include a site plan, a survey plan, and a letter from the planning authority.
- Verify the details of your application. Make sure that all of the information that you have entered is correct.
- Submit your application. Once you are satisfied with the details of your application, you can submit it by clicking on the “Submit” button.
- The owner of the property will need to verify the application before it can be approved. The owner will receive an OTP code via SMS or email. Once the owner has verified the application, it will be submitted to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning for approval.
The approval process for a change of use application can take several weeks or even months. The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning will notify you of the decision on your application.
Obtaining a change of user approval in Kenya is a complex and time-consuming process. However, by following the outlined procedure and meeting the required requirements, property owners and investors can increase their chances of success. The key to a successful change of user application is to have a well-prepared planning brief/report that demonstrates the alignment of the change of use with planning policies and its lack of adverse effects on the land and neighboring properties.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers are advised to seek professional legal guidance for specific concerns.