Establishment and Mandate
The Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) was established in 1945, pursuant to the Town and Country Planning Ordinance (Cap 84) and charged with the responsibility of planning and managing the growth and development of cities, towns and villages in the country. It therefore seeks to promote sustainable human settlements development based on principles of efficiency, orderliness, safety and healthy growth of communities.
The Town and Country Planning Department derives its mandate from the following key legal instruments, among others:
- Town and Country Planning Ordinance, 1945 (Cap 84)
- Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462)
- National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) Act, 1994 (Act 479)
- National Development Planning (System) Act, 1994 (Act 480)
- National Building Regulations, 1996 (LI 1630)
Some of these laws are outmoded and inconsistent with current trends of development planning and management. To address these lapses a Land Use and Planning Bill is being processed for passage in 2013. The Bill received Cabinet approval in November 2012 and currently with the Attorney General’s Department for redrafting. This is expected to result in the repeal of the Cap 84 and sections of several other laws such as the LI 1630, 1996 and Act 462, 1993.
The Department currently operates at three levels; the national, regional and district level. At the national level, it operates under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology as a technical department responsible for human settlement issues. At the regional level, it operates under the Regional Coordinating Councils and responsible for coordination, harmonization and monitoring operations of the district offices. At the District level, the Department is merged with the Department of Parks and Gardens to form the Physical Planning Department, in line with Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462)
To become a unique, technically capable and proactive entity, able to contribute effectively to the rational development of sustainable human settlements in Ghana.
To plan, manage and promote harmonious, sustainable and cost effective development of human settlements in the country and in accordance with sound environmental and planning principles.
The Department performs the following key functions as spelt out in its establishment mandate:
- Planning and management of physical development and growth of human settlements in the country
- Preparation of spatial and land use plans
- Monitoring settlement growth and controlling development to ensure that human settlements function as healthy places for residence, work, and recreation.
- Facilitating the processing of development and building permits
- Provision of general land use planning and urban development advice.
The Department however performs the following specific functions at the various levels of its operation, namely, the national, regional and district levels.
- Researching into spatial planning and urban management issues
- Formulation of human settlements policy
- Formulating and reviewing laws on human settlement development, land use planning and management matters
- Setting Spatial Planning Standards
- Preparation of spatial planning guidelines and development of permitting procedures
- Provision of technical advisory services on human settlements to Government, the local government service, public organisations, private sector and the general public
- Monitoring and Evaluating performance of Regional and District level spatial and land use planning
- Management of special projects
- Public education and awareness on spatial and land use planning issues
- Human resource planning and capacity building for effective town and country planning.
- Ensuring that the land use plans prepared by the District Physical Planning Departments reflect the Medium Term Development Plans
- Ensuring the harmonization of spatial plans of the MMDAs.
- Leading the process of preparing Regional Spatial Development Frameworks.
- Monitoring and ensuring quality control of spatial and land use plans at the District level.
- Overseeing operations of the districts without established physical planning offices or professional planners.
- Providing technical guidance for both public and private institutions and individuals.
- Preparation of District Spatial Development Framework Plans
- Preparation of Structure Plans for urban settlements
- Preparation of Local Plans or detailed planning schemes
- Processing of planning schemes and development applications for consideration of the District Assemblies
- Monitoring urban development processes and recommending for management by the District Assemblies
- Contributing to the preparation of the District Medium Term Development Plans
- Providing technical guidance for both public and private institutions and individuals