AN ASSESSMENT OF LAND USE AND ALLOCATION PROCEDURE IN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT (A CASE STUDY OF UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
There is bound to be conflict over land use. The demands for arable land, grazing, forestry, wildlife, tourism and property development are greater than the land resources available (Ratcliff, 1999). In the developing countries including Nigeria, these demands become more pressing every year. The population dependent on the land for food, fuel and employment will double within the next 25 to 50 years. Even where land is still plentiful, many people June have inadequate access to land or to the benefits from its use especially for property development. Land must change to meet new demands yet change brings new conflicts between competing uses of theland and between the interests of individual land users and the common good.
Land is a private property, its ownership and use is protected by the constitution (Farmer and Gibb, 1979). It is the free gift of nature to mankind. Every activity of man as of necessity takes place on land and as a result of increased activities there arose conflicts in different land uses. One land use tends to succeed another, where this is no control of such succession and use. Ratcliff (1999) states that succession of land use for its own sake is hardly desirable and change in advance of the appropriate time will only contribute to the inefficiency of the urban structure. He also argued that there are times when succession appear to lag behind the needs of the community, when actually, the fundamental factors that call for a readjustment of land uses are not present. Thus, the need for spatial ordering of land use with a view to creating functionally efficient and aesthetically pleasing environment for living, circulation and recreation, becomes imperative.
The creation of a balanced land use system (urban equilibrium), that is, the provision of adequate land for the various land uses, consistent with the creation of functionally efficient physical environment, is the objective of the land use allocation. Land use allocation is to ensure the best utilization of land in the national interest, and to prevent individual land owners from using that land to the detriment of body politic (Lawal, 2000). There has been several concern in the recent times as to the procedure involves in the allocation of land for property development. It ranges from the high cost to the fraudulent activities attached to land for property development.
This is inspite of their common law right to develop their land, as they like, provided they do not cause any nuisance or interfere with the rights of others. Land use allocation necessarily has to do with the siting of buildings and communication routes with objectives of achieving equilibrium between convenience, beauty and cost. According to Nwanekezie (2009), land use allocation determines where residential buildings and even new industries should be located, how raw materials can be transported to them, and their products distributed to market, where the employeesshould live, how they would get to work, where schools and other institutions should be situated.
The basic principle of allocation is that adequate land should be set aside for each uses at the onset in appropriate locations pending the time they will be needed and or funds will be available for their provision or development. This is because it takes at least ten to twenty years to fully develop a residential neighborhood for instance, and it is not possible to provide at the initial stage of development all the facilities and services proposed in a layout plan even if money is not a constraint. Their provision of development is normally spread over time to keep peace with the development states of the neighbourhood.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most cities in Nigeria and other developing countries were not planned (Nwanekezie, 2009). They started as villages or trade centres before increasing in size to a big city today. Such process of city growth has been marked with haphazard development, poor planning, urban sprawl and environmental degradation. Business districts often spill over into the surrounding residential and industrial areas. The variety of growth and changing pattern of land use found in different cities complicate the process of identifying simple principles that govern the allocation of land uses.
Barlower (1978)states that urban land use allocation has been designed to promote the orderly development of the nations land resources, minimize certain problems and conflict associated with private use, foster the optimum development of the land resource base and maximize the public welfare. However, the major concern in this study is to assess the land use and allocation procedure for property development in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To assess the procedure of land use allocation for property development in Uyo local government area.
- To determine the effectiveness of the procedure of land use allocation in Uyo local government area.
- To identify the factors militating against land use allocation procedure in Uyo local government area
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the procedure involved in land use allocation for property development in Uyo local government area?
- What is the effectiveness of the procedure of land use allocation in Uyo local government area?
- What are the factors militating against land use allocation procedure in Uyo local government area?