County to fast track building plan approvals
The Kiambu county government has assured investors in the real estate sector that approval of building plans will be fast-tracked to ensure timely completion of projects.
“We as a government will not delay approving any plans, not only for this project, but any other brought to us as has been the case before,” acting governor James Nyoro promised while on a visit to Tilisi Real Estate Development in Limuru.
With a population of two million people, the county is facing a housing shortage worsened by rising demand from Nairobi city residents. However, contractors are being frustrated by delays in building approvals while investors encounter challenges acquiring title deeds.
Nyoro was speaking during a tour of the development in Limuru off the Nairobi-Naivasha Road.He was accompanied by Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
“We encountered delays in approvals during the regime of governor William Kabogo, but the current administration has been more supportive,” said Njun’ge Mukirae, a director of Tilisi.
Munya said the national government will support private real estate developers in order to spur growth and development.
“That is why President Uhuru Kenyatta chose the sector as one of his four pillars of change besides agro-processing, health and manufacturing,” he said.
The government has committed to put up one million affordable new houses singularly and through public-private partnership. Private real estate developers have also lined themselves up with a view to capitalise on the estimated deficit of 200,000 homes annually and also supplement the government’s efforts.
“That’s why Tilisi, short for Tigoni, Limuru and Sigona Real Estate Development company in Limuru sub-county was born,” said Njun’ge Mukirae, a director of Tilisi.
Mukirae said although the company is planning to put up high end villas, it has set aside land for high density population. Despite high land prices, Limuru is luring families into the lush serene environs away from congested and polluted Nairobi estates.
Tilisi as a 400-acre mixed-use development incorporating residential, commercial and logistics zones. “Some 54 acres have been zoned for low-income people wishing to be part of Tilisi where they will put up houses under controlled development,” he said.
The project will spend Sh4 billion, with almost Sh1 billion having been spent already and is expected to be completed in two years.
Over US$40 million (Sh4.06 billion) has been pledged for developing world class infrastructure for Tilisi, ranging from tarmac roads, cycle lanes, foot paths and jogging tracks to sewage treatment plants and galvanized streets fencing, circuit cameras televisions, gate houses and Internet connection.
There will also be a school, a medical facility, shopping centre and recreational areas as well as parks thereby offering residents all the peace and tranquillity similar to ones in cities.
The villas will range from three, four and five-bedroomed, set on eighth and quarter acre plots with six different designs to choose from.
According to Mukirae, the villas are competitively priced, giving value for land and quality of buildings and facilities such as a clubhouse and access to other wider Tilisi developments.
However, he decried lack of funding and growing competition as the main challenges facing the real estate sector.
Mukirae said the company was ready to advise the county government on ways of embracing creativity and innovation in construction to minimise costs .
“The government should use modern building innovation such as prefabricated building technology in order to transform societies and their lives,” he said.