LDA proposes to relax its land use rules

Published: November 12, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: To encourage mega commercial project, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has proposed to relax its land use rules by introducing a new category. The authority has also proposed to reduce commercial fee rates.

In order to seek input from different stakeholders for the preparation of Land Use Rules 2019, the city developer organised a seminar on Monday. A diverse segment of society, including construction experts, town planners, architects, students and academia attended the event.

Speaking on the occasion, LDA officials said that the authority has decided to phase out the existing annual commercialisation scheme by 2024. For commercialisation of residential property, the authority has proposed to reduce commercialisation fee from the existing 20% to 15%. To encourage commercial and miscellaneous purpose projects, the authority has proposed to introduce a new semi-commercial category in revised land use rules to promote commercial and business activity. It will encourage mega commercial projects ranging between 24-kanal and 200-kanal.

Instead of allowing commercialisation on a single road, the authority would prepare classification, reclassification and re-development plan of the entire area, said the LDA officials. The authority has also proposed to waive the commercialisation fee for not-for-profit educational and health institutions in its jurisdiction.

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It has formed a complaint and grievance committee to resolve the pending case of commercialisation. However, commercialisation on prohibited/frozen roads would be decided by the authority.

LDA Chief Town Planner Tariq Mahmood, Chief Metropolitan Planner Nadeem Akhtar Zaidi, Commercialisation Director Ahmad Saeed Sultan, Architect Khalid Abdul Rehman, Town Planner Khurram Fareed and other senior officials briefed stakeholders about new LDA land use rules proposals.

The authority is trying to encourage commercial activity in the provincial capital. Earlier, it conducted various sessions with construction experts, town planners, engineers, developers and builders to highlight vertical development and high-rise buildings in Lahore to save precious agriculture land.

Recently, the authority has approved building plan of the first-ever 45-storey high-rise to be built in Johar Town’s Finance and Trade Centre (FTC) after departments concerned issued no-objection certificates (NOCs). It will have a five-star hotel, commercial areas and a head office. The building will be built be on 44 kanals of land that had already been allocated for the project. The authority had accorded approval after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Environment Department, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency issued NOCs.

Similarly, the other formalities, such as traffic impact, assessment, structure stability certificate, structure drawing, plan vetting reports, extra height charges, car parking agreement, etc were also fulfilled by the project executing agency.

In addition, the city developer has already drafted new regulations to encourage construction of high-rise buildings with special attention to safety, fire-fighting, rescue, parking and other amenities.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2019.

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