The Lands, Physical Planning and Housing Sector board held its monthly meeting on 3rd July 2019 at KEPSA offices. The main agenda of the meeting was to discuss private valuers’ regulations, Land Use and Physical Planning Bill 2017, and Land Process handbook.
The meeting was informed that the Finance Act 2018 legalised Private Sector valuers to reduce the number of days it takes for land valuation to be done. The Act further recommended that the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning in collaboration with the private sector should develop the guidelines to actualize the process. KEPSA raised the issue during the Ministerial Stakeholders’ Forum held on 25th April 2019 where it was agreed that the private sector and government Chief Valuer should meet and come up with the guidelines. The meeting took place in May 2019 where the guidelines were developed and forwarded to the Office of Attorney General. However, it was noted that the AG said that they should have been developed as regulations as opposed to the guidelines. The members were concerned that this had slowed the process, which is already long overdue. The sector board recommended fast-tracking of the process to reduce the number of days it takes to do a valuation during the transfer of a property, which is one way to attract investment.
It was reported that both Houses of Parliament had passed the Land Use and Physical Planning Bill 2017 and that it was awaiting the Presidential Assent. This is after the Mediation Committee agreed on the current version of the Bill. The sector board was further informed that despite the Planning Professionals acknowledging the support this legal framework would bring, they also have noted that once the bill is enacted, it would cause immediate confusion with existing laws and statutes.
According to the Land Use and Physical Planning Bill 2017, every County should come up with County Land Use and Physical Plans yet there is County Spatial Plan, which serve the same purpose. The Bill also requires that towns and municipals to come up with Land Use and Physical Plans conflicting with the Urban and Cities Amendment Act 2017 which require towns and municipals through their boards to develop Integrated Development Plans. The sector board noted that if assented as it is, the Bill will require an urgent amendment to address conflict areas.
The sector board noted that there are many land processes in land transactions which some of the professionals in the sector might not understand. The sector board agreed there is need to develop a handbook describing key processes on various land transactions starting with the most common ones.