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Osborne Foreshore Residents Accuse Lekki Gardens of Violating Buildings Laws

The residents of Osborne Foreshore Two Estate has accused a property developer, Messrs Lekki Garden Estate of violating state’s planning laws in its quest to construct multi-storey structures in the expansive residential estate.

The residents also accused Richard Nyong, Lekki Gardens Estate, Foreshore Waters Limited of alleged “flagrant and unchecked violation of officially approved building plans.”

The relationship between Lekki Gardens and the management of the Estate turned bad after its insisted that the property developer obeys building permit laws given to it by both the Lagos State government and the resident association.

According to management of the Estate other developers has since comply with this guidelines while Lekki Gardens had allegedly refused to do so.

Chairperson of Osborne Foreshore Resident Association, Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa-Mbah, had recently complained about the effect of the heavy construction by Lekki Gardens and other developers and how it is affecting the house of other residence in the area.

She said that there is need to take a look at the approval order so as to limit the damaging situation.

“When we got our plots, we were told that the place was design as a low population residential area. We did not know that a time will come when this area will become a commercial area.

“When you come into an existing estate and you are doing pilling that is breaking your neighbors foundations as well as against the approved plan given to you in the name of commercial development,that is not right.”

Several other landlords and Residence of Osborne foreshore 11, have also complain on several occasion about the activities of lekki gardens and other develops in the area who have violated the building permit given to them by the government.

Also in a petition to the State government, the residents claimed that, “Lekki Gardens got a planning approval for five family housing units on about 1,500 square metres of land but has developed 25 family units.

“On a similar land size, the Lekki Gardens had approval for 28 family units but increased it to 84 family units without any consideration of car parks.

“On yet another location within the estate, Lekki Gardens developed 78 family units in clear and brazen violation of its approved building plan and without car parking lots or adequate consideration for organic waste management.”

The residents appealed to the Lagos State government for the reversion of the original master plan of the wrongful classification of Osborne Foreshore Phase II from a low-density to a high-density residential estate.

They also called for the removal of all infractions after payment of penalties as well as ensure that the developer comply with relevant physical planning requirements and building approvals.

The resident association said “as we were informed at the stakeholders meeting, there are 177 plots of land within our Estate. This shows that there are 160 plots of land left after we take out Mr. Nyong’s 17 plots. However, if Mr Nyong is allowed to keep crowding his plots of land with an average of 84 family units, by the time he is done with his developments, he would have added about 5,700 persons to the population of our estate based on a very low average of 4 (FOUR) persons per family unit.

This would imply that his 17 plots will on an average have 9 times more people dwelling therein than the remaining 160 plots combined.”

While on the issue of approval  they said “The Ministry has discretion in this matter. This discretion should take into consideration, a wide range of factors in determining how to treat the matter. It should rule in the OVER RIDING PUBLIC INTEREST AS WELL AS A NEED TO ENSURE THAT ALL DEVELOPERS MUST ABIDE WITH APPROVED APPROVALS. Guidance should be gleaned from the dictum which says  “It’s nouse closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.” Does it make sense to allow ‘flawed’ developments that have flouted government approvals to subsist?

“On the issue of approvals already granted Lekki Garden for which work has not started or reached any appreciable level, we request that these approvals be suspended and a design review instituted along the lines that complies with all regulation and building approval order for OSFRA.  

“It is evident that if a cluster review was factored into some of the approvals given to RICHARD NYONG/LEKKI GARDENS ESTATE/FORESHORE WATERS LIMITED, the outcome of his application may have turned out differently”.

They also pleaded with the governor to uphold and protect the rights of the 200 residents which cannot be discarded for the interest of one developer Mr. Richard Nyong/Lekki Gardens/ Foreshore Waters Limited.

“We will not allow anyone to desecrate the very delicate fabric of our estate, ahead of the finalization of the ongoing review of the Approval Order. We would not allow ourselves to be presented with a fait accompli” they said.

They further requested the governor to direct the state Commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development to order a suspension, for 3 months, of all approvals that may be impacted by the ongoing review of the Approval Order, as there is no point in a review when the harm is already being done or being watched unfold. 

The resident associations also inform the governor that will resist any act of intimidation coming from Lekki Gardens Estate/Foreshore water limited and pleaded with him to act fast.
“With  Richard Nyong/Lekki Gardens Estate/Foreshore Water Limited penchant for always resorting to dropping the name of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and Senior Lagos State Government Officials as an intimidation ploy. We will not be cowered. 

“Therefore, we once again invite your Excellency to visit our Estate  as you promised during our meeting with you to see for yourself how the activities and wiles of Richard Nyong will one day lead to a breakdown of law and order if this brazen disregard of planning laws of Lagos States is allowed to continue in OSFRA.”

But in a response, the management of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited said the letter by the association is defamatory and malicious, adding that the company has all requisite approvals from constituted and legally empowered authorities for all its projects and is not in violation of any of the approvals.

“The estate is susceptible to flooding by virtue of its location and contrary to the claims, Lekki Gardens has contributed significantly to the infrastructural development of the estate by building a 299 metres perimeter drainage and 400 metres toad on Acacia Drive in addition to periodically embarking on a myriad of infrastructural development projects as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

“In the last two years, Lekki Gardens has paid OSFRA the sum of N24.5 million as fees for infrastructure and development of the estate. OSFRA in its campaign of calumny has resorted to blaming every infraction on unrelated construction sites in the estate on Lekki Gardens even when they have the facts to the contrary,” the company said.

This complains lead to a stakeholders meeting where review of the approval order for Osborne foreshore residential scheme ll was presented to the public, but was rejected by Lekki gardens who complain bitterly about the approval order.

19th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph