Assessing the influence of land administration systems on physical development in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis

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The capacity to plan, develop and coordinate the spatial distribution of human activities in rapidly growing settlements is critical for national socio-economic progress. Using Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis as a study area, this research compares and contrasts the two land administrative systems, namely, State Lands and Stool Lands and assesses their relative influences on physical development. Following preliminary investigations and the updating of sector layouts for the five selected areas, primary data was collected on a sample of 250 homeowners selected through systematic sampling technique while institutions were purposively selected for indepth interviews. The research found that the Land Allocation committees were ineffective and as result, the land purchasers dealt with chiefs rather than the committee. The analyses also showed that planning schemes were not comprehensive enough to meet increasing demands for recreational and commercial activities. The Traditional Authorities were not informed about updates to sector layouts and as a result allocated lands were based on old planning schemes. These updates were largely carried out to retrofit uncontrolled physical development into the planning schemes. The land documentation process was found to be time consuming and burdensome. As a result, physical development occurred contrary to planning schemes as developers ignored the process. This uncoordinated development was also attributable to the weak resource base in terms of logistics, funds and staff capacity in the official land sector institutions. The study recommends that state institution should offer training to the chiefs as well as the Land Allocation Committee. Experts on land issues should constitute the committee in order to discharge their duties effectively. The committee members are also to ensure that the necessary official documents are obtained by the developers to before development is carried out. In order to minimize unauthorised development of the study recommends that lands on the frontages of major roads should be designated for residential/commercial uses. Thus purely residential uses should not permitted along major roads. Institutions like the Building Inspectorate Division and the Survey Unit should be privatised and run as a commercial entity in order to generate money for the smooth running of the office. The Land Use Planning Bill which is currently before Parliament should be hastened to make Physical Planning Department an autonomous organisation with powers to enforce development control.
A thesis submitted to The School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Planning, 2015