Compliance, awareness, and relevance

The literature discussion in Chapter 6 established that there is low compliance with planning regulations in SSA. This is a major contributory factor to the weakness of planning regimes in the region. Although some studies had previously linked factors such as lack of awareness of planning regulations and perceived irrelevance of planning policies to socio-economic development to the low compliance with regulation, the linkage was predominantly descriptive and devoid of analytical touch. However, based on the human action theoretic framework this book carefully analyses how the above factors contribute to the low compliance with planning regulations and ultimately the weakness of SSA planning systems.

Cost of planning regime

There is a dearth of quantitative studies on the cost of planning regimes in SSA. Few of such studies that exist also concentrate on a single or few aspects of the urban development process in the region. These few studies even assessed cost in terms of time lag or in both time lag and money terms. Moreover, most of these studies overlook indirect costs, such as unofficial fees, commuting cost, cost of time lag, and waiting time. However, this work establishes that the cost of SSA planning regimes must be assessed based on a planned development incorporating all the necessary indirect costs as possible.

Chapter 9 demonstrated that the cost of SSA planning regimes is a combination of sub-division plan preparation and approval, and infrastructure and amenities costs. The remainder is architectural design, title formalisation, and building permit acquisition costs and indirect costs, such as time lag and commuting costs, unofficial and professional fees for facilitating services on the planning regime requirements. This revelation, unlike previous studies, gives a much broader and deeper indication of the quantitative cost of complying with planning regime requirements in SSA, in broad terms.

The book also established that the cost of compliance with planning regime requirements in the case study in Ghana is huge relative to the socioeconomic conditions of the majority of urban dwellers (Chapter 9). Indeed, it established that the cost of compliance with the subject planning regime requirements in the case study regarding a typical standard three-bedroom house on a 0.065-hectare land is about 71.54% of the value of a planned three-bedroom residential development of the same size of land in the area. This in monetary terms means that the cost of compliance with planning regime requirements in respect of a standard three-bedroom planned residential development in the study area is GH056,087.58 or US$37,391.72 in addition to the time lag. This raises a query as to how many people could bear the cost and enjoy the benefit of such a planned residential development in a country where urban poverty continues to rise.

The above finding therefore supports the literature (Chapter 6) that suggests that meeting the regulative requirements under SSA planning regimes is costly in light of the precarious socio-economic conditions of most of the people in the region. The finding further reinforces the question why some of the requirements of these planning regimes are still in operation. After all, the people in whose interest planning was supposedly instituted are not in a position to bear the cost of its requirements and hence the requirements themselves.

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