What You Need to Know before Buying and Developing Land in Ghana

So, you’ve bought a piece of land in your community and you’re planning to build it soon. Good for you, since development is springing up in almost every part of the country. Even better if the land is located within or around urban centres, such as Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi or Tamale.

Before you get too excited about developing your newly-bought land, there are a few things you must have in mind. Yes, you may own the land, but you can’t just build any property on it at will. There are planning and building codes implemented by the local council that you must follow. These codes ensure that the land development meets the following conditions:

  1. It leads to positive economic changes in the community.
  2. It preserves if not improves the community’s social state.
  3. It doesn’t cause environmental damage.
  4. It goes with the visions of the local community.

According to the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016(ACT 925(113); a person shall not undertake any physical development of land within a district unless that person has been issued a permit by the district assembly within the jurisdiction in which the land is situated. That’s not even enough – the planning authorities shall from time to time visit the project site to ensure you comply with the development permit. It can lead to revocation of the development plan if you fail to work according to the plan. Here is some land development where applying for a permit is necessary.

  • Partially or fully demolishing an existing structure
  • Vertically or horizontally extending an existing structure
  • Constructing a free-standing permanent structure
  • Cutting native shrubs or trees
  • Partially or fully renovating or transforming a building
  • Changing the original use of the land

Minor changes on a property, such as simple interior or exterior repainting, kitchen or bathroom remodelling

, and minor internal structural renovation, may, however, not require a development permit. To put it simply, any land development that will not negatively impact the neighbourhood does not require a development permit.

Buying Based on Use Type

To avoid any setbacks to your land development plan, consider looking for lands based on your use type, not the other way around – For Example, do not buy land zoned for residential use and try to use it for a factory. That way, you can choose the land for sale that suits your specific development needs. It also helps you identify and prepare the documents needed to carry out any changes or alterations in advance.

Buying land is a good investment. You need a highly experienced real estate agent with good knowledge of the local market to help you locate the perfect property. Not only does he know the ins and outs of land buying, but also knows which part of the city you’re eyeing to move to buy parcels that closely match your criteria. He can help you with the paperwork, too.



Land Use and Spatial Planning Act,2016(ACT 925(117).


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