LAHORE: To protect prime agriculture land and discourage the horizontal expansion of the city, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has notified new building and zoning regulations, which aim to streamline and expedite building plan approval procedures.
Speaking to media persons on Monday, LDA Vice Chairman S M Imran highlighted that a committee of experts has formulated these new building regulations after detailed consultation with various stakeholders and the general public.
As per new regulation, the authority would ensure that building plan for high-rises would get a go-ahead by the authority within 15 days. He said special counters of different government agencies were being set up in LDA’s One Window Cell. He said the authority had developed a set of building regulations which will encourage high-rise residential apartment buildings even on a 10-marla plot.
Earlier, the requirement for a residential apartment building was a minimum of four kanals. All government agencies would work in close coordination to ensure the availability of requisite infrastructure, like sewerage and other utilities to support high-rise building requirements.
He said it would help in activating the construction sector and allied industries while creating new jobs for youth. Regulations were aimed to trigger construction industry for housing and economic activities with environment-friendly practices.
These regulations will allow developers to increase building heights and achieve a lower cost per square feet in their plots for providing cheap dwellings to the residents of Lahore, he maintained.
Under the law, it has been decided that the concept of a convenience store would be implemented to bring back the concept of pedestrianisation and walkability. It will be enhanced by converting setback spaces in commercial areas into green spaces and pedestrian paths which allow the general public to walk and shop and discouraging parking on these spaces.
It will also help in reducing trips for daily shopping as residents of apartment buildings would also enjoy the facility of daily need items at their doorstep by allowing the corner shop at the ground floor of the apartment building which also will reduce the cost of travelling and restrict the vehicle use. It would create new business opportunities for small investors and reduce traffic and parking load.
Considering scarcity of water and environmental degradation and polluted air of Lahore, he said provisions, like rainwater harvesting, rooftop gardening and plantation of trees are made mandatory for high-rise buildings. One window solution with the establishment of counters of various departments will be open up in LDA and online submission and tracking system will also be introduced to improve the ease of doing business.
Compulsory provision of safety measures had been incorporated in regulations. A new chapter for fire safety, structural stability and water supply sewerage drawings are mandatory in high rise buildings.
New height zoning scheme had been provided in regulations, which is linked with the width of the right of way. The areas declared for low height zones category can be jumped to upper height zones category subject to fulfil the infrastructure requirements, he added.
Commercial, Public Building and Industrial Areas:
Commercial area heights can go up to 120 feet subject to the size of the plot and all other regulatory approvals. Height of industrial plots is allowed up to 90 feet to promote the business like garments. Kiosk at commercial buildings (ie big malls) allowed so that small business can flourish.
To address grievances of builders of existing buildings, a committee had been constituted to resolve hardships of clients. The committee was allowed to give go-ahead up to 10% of non-compoundable violations as compoundable so old cases can be resolved swiftly.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2019.