Osborne Foreshore Estate Housing Project: Conflict Dissipates As LASG Meets Feuding Parties

Foreshore estate
  • The matter has been between Osborne Foreshore Residents Association (OSFRA) and a property developer, Messrs Lekki Garden Estate.
  • LASG meets parties, drafts new development plan.

The ongoing tussle to fend off private developers and investors from constructing multi-storey structures in expansive residential estate named “Osborne Foreshore Phase II Estate,” on the highbrow area of Lagos has continued to escalate as the involved parties have enlisted the intervention of the Lagos State Government.

EKO HOT BLOG gathered that the gated residential estate responsible for the tussle stands directly opposite Dolphin estate. Controversy over the new property developments began last year and continued until the Lagos State Government held a stakeholders meeting last week.

The matter has been between Osborne Foreshore Residents Association (OSFRA) and a property developer, Messrs Lekki Garden Estate over an alleged infraction and contraventions of the state’s planning laws. The association also clamoured a ‘flagrant and unchecked violation of officially approved building plans.’

In a letter signed by OSFRA II Chairperson, Chinwe Ezenwa-Mbah and Chairman, Board of Trustees, sir Steve Omojafor, the residents said: “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 association prayed the Lagos State Government to reverse the original master plan which wrongfully classified Osborne Foreshore Phase II as a low-density to a high-density residential estate.

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

Reacting, the management of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited said the letter by the association is defamatory and malicious, insisting that the company has all necessary approvals and legal backing from relevant authorities to carry out its projects.

“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.

As gathered by EKO HOT BLOG, a stakeholders meeting to review Osborne Foreshore Residential Scheme II approval order held last week at Alausa, Ikeja. The meeting was characterized by intense verbal altercation before calm was eventually restored.

The parties agreed on review of the Approval Order and Operational Development Plan for the Osborne Foreshore Residential Scheme II estate.

Dr. Idris Salako, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning, who spoke at the conciliatory meeting said the desire for the review of the extant Approval Order was sequel to the observed disparities in the Approval Order of Osborne Foreshore II and that of Banana Island, Ikoyi Southeast and Ikoyi Southwest, despite being of similar status and character.

The Commissioner noted that the review of the Operational Development Plan would engender timely bridging of identified gaps and inadequacies such as omissions or commissions, in order to bolster effectiveness and functionality of the plan.

His words: “In essence, Plan Review is a conscious intervention to make an operational Developmental Plan more effective for the plan area to be more functional as best possible”.

He stated that the ministry was empowered by law to prepare development plans for different areas and also provide Approval Orders that were more specific on the intended use, density and operation of the identifiable segments of an area.

He said: “The Ministry is also statutorily charged to review the existing Development Plans which have been adjudged to be outdated or no longer relevant to achieving the stated goals. Indeed, this is one of the powers of the Hon. Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development as stated in Section 5(1) (a & c) and Section 6 (1) of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2019 (as amended), which allows for the review/amendment of Development Plans every five years”.

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He emphasized that the ministry as a government adjunct was charged with the mandate of ensuring sustainability of the physical environment.
Osborne Foreshore Estate Housing Project: Conflict Dissipates As LASG Meets Feuding Parties
“It is therefore noteworthy that the operative development plans are sacrosanct and that the use of any space within the plan area can only be altered through due process of an official review, contrary to which a change in use becomes illegal. There are provisions in the law for sanctioning of erring Development/Developers,” he said.

Mr. Kola Ayanwale, a resident of the estate who spoke after the meeting, expressed confidence in the ability of the government to design a formula that would be acceptable to the warring parties. He also urged developers and investors in the estate to balance economics with the environment.

Chairperson of the association, Ezenwa-Mbah, implored the government to consider leaving the estate as low- density, while the private developers held that the estate should be designated as a high-density milieu.

Prominent names at the meeting included the Chairman, House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Nureni Akinsanya, member of Lagos House of Assembly representing the area, Hon. Gbolahan Yishau, Former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Kosegbe and Deputy Director, Urban and Regional Planning, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mrs. Catherine Ozonde.

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Ronny Ikpoto
Edidiong-Ronny Ikpoto holds a First Class degree in Media Studies from the University of Calabar. He shares a healthy enthusiasm for journalism, social & literary criticism, and creative writing.