Development control as an effective instrument for urban management ensures that the persistent growth and management of settlements can be such that make for orderliness, improved settlement reflection, healthy and aesthetics. It also ensures that the environmental challenges as a result of settlement growth can be reduced to bearable levels. In Nigeria, development control requires special skill as a result of the daily problems the authorities are confronted with, which is ascribed to the absolute size and rate of increase of these settlements and the difficulty of the tasks involved. The problem ranges from non-implementation of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law (Decree No 88 of 1992, amended as No 18 of 1999), inadequate funding of physical planning programs, lack of planning tools, political intervention and manipulation by government officials, lack of public enlightenment on physical planning programs, poor monitoring of planning schemes amongst others. The paper highlights the concept of development control, relevance and problems associated with development control and presented the uses of various development control tools as well as development control mechanisms for producing conducive, aesthetically pleasing, functional, safe and more importantly healthy environment for all Nigerians. The review reveal the lawlessness unplanned physical development and haphazard development recorded in many places. The solution is the ability to realise positive results in the course of enforcement. The laws that will satisfy both private and public needs have to be harmonized into the present conditions in the building industry.
Keywords: Development Control, Physical Development, Planning Regulation, Urban and Regional Planning
The British Town and Country Planners Act of 1817 defines development “ as the carrying out of building operations, engineering, mining and other operations in , on, under or over land, or the making of any material change in the use of building or other land”. Similarly, the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Decree number 88 of 1992 describes development as “the carrying out of any building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over, or under any land, or making of any environmentally significant change in the case of any land or demolition of buildings including the felling of trees and the placing of free-standing erections use for display of advertisement on land”.
Meanwhile, control means the process of exercising power over ones area of jurisdiction. Development control can thus be defined precisely as the process of implementing building and land sub-division regulations and specifications. The word control is exercised when what is actually happening is compared with and guided towards the achievement of the proposals and specifications in approved building and layout plans.
One of the most notable features of many Nigerian cities is the very disorderly nature of the cities. There has been a phenomenal growth of urbanization resulting in our major cities growing and expanding in an unplanned manner. The central parts or core areas of most cities are decaying while the some sections are increasingly becoming slums. Despite the existence of Local Planning Authorities whose portfolio includes development control of urban land use, many buildings have been and are being constructed without approved layouts, illegal structures springing up arbitrarily, open spaces are disappearing fast and many parts of Nigerian cities lack access.
Compounding the problems is the alarming rate at which urban sprawl has been developing haphazardly. Many examples abound. Nasarawa settlement in Kaduna metropolis is a typical example of such uncontrolled growth. Almost all the urban centres are growing day-in-day-out with little or no systematic direction. The supply of sanitary and infrastructural facilities is increasingly becoming inadequate for the ever-teaming population influx into the urban centre. What proportion this build-up will reach in two or three decades ahead is anybody‟s guess.
Therefore, with the political changes and administrative development of the action, these cities have continued to grow but at a rate faster than the types of facilities initially installed. The rapid population growth and physical expansion of the cities have been accompanied by unplanned urban sprawl, environmental pollution, deterioration, deficiencies in modern basic facilities such as water, electricity, hospitals, sewage, municipal and community facilities, and general urban decay. As increased urbanization exert more pressures on urban facilities, most Nigerian cities tend to have lost their pre colonial original dignity, social cohesion and administrative efficiency.
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