Majority complying with building laws

National, Normal


THE Morobe provincial building board is satisfied the majority of building developers in Lae are complying with the law, board chairman Marcel Oreke has said.
Mr Oreke said at least 75% of the proposals that had gone before the board for building development have met the guidelines and complied with the rules and procedures of getting approval for construction.
He said for the other 25%, work had yet to be done to comply with the law.
Otherwise, Mr Oreke said his board wanted to work with all developers to ensure that the processes of securing approval for development were followed.
“The process is transparent and adhered to always,” he said.
Mr Oreke’s statement followed an earlier statement by the chairman of Morobe provincial physical planning board George Naemon who said last week that illegal buildings in Lae would be demolished within the next three months.
However, Mr Oreke said he was not aware of any buildings that had been declared illegal and were on the list for demolition.
Mr Oreke said the process of approval for building construction goes through three different boards – the lands board, physical planning board and then the building board.
This process ensured that a proposed development was scrutinised by physical planning, fire services, health inspectors, PNG Waterboard, PNG Power, building inspectors, city planning inspectors, and the Works Department to ensure that everything was in order before the building board gives the final approval.
“There are no short cuts and no development proposal will be approved unless and until it goes through this entire process,” Mr Oreke said.
He said the Morobe building board was doing everything possible to ensure that it did not delay any development.
It operated on a meager budget but Mr Oreke said inadequate funding did not mean that work was held up.
“We have to do our job and we are doing it,” he said.
Mr Oreke also clarified the process of demolishing illegal buildings.
Firstly, a stop work notice must be served on the developer to stop work on a building.
This gives the developer time to get their documents in order so work can continue.
In most cases, Mr Oreke said, developers comply with the requirements of the stop work notice.
If nothing is done then the building is demolished.
However, to date the building board was satisfied that all requirements were complied with by developers.
Mr Oreke was asked if the building board was also responsible for the standard of buildings in settlements.
He said if settlements were on State land then buildings would be subject to building board regulations.
“The board relies on the Lae city council and district administration staff to help enforce the rules in settlements,” Mr Oreke said.