LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) notified the LDA building and zoning regulations of 2019 (amended) on Wednesday to promote highrises in residential areas.

Lahore Conservation Society’s Information Secretary Ajaz Anwar deplored the laws, saying they would play havoc with the city life. “We will oppose this, as it will surely deprive us of fresh air, sunlight, peace and trouble-free underground infrastructure,” he told Dawn.

According to the new regulations, the apartment building can now be allowed in the designated sites of approved private and public sector schemes and other areas.

Previously, the owner of a 10 marla plot and less than one kanal was allowed to take height of the residential building to 36 feet; now, they can construct a residential building to 48 feet (ground plus three floors). In this space, the owner has also been allowed a shop measuring 400 feet at the ground floor. Similarly, the height of building at one kanal and less than two kanals, which was earlier allowed to take 60 feet , has now been allowed 90 feet (ground plus six floors) with two shops.

The new regulations allow up to 120 feet height (ground plus nine floors) at a two kanal and less than four kanal plot. The plots measuring four kanal and less than eight kanals can now be used for construction of building up to 200 feet height (ground plus 14 and service floors). The plots of eight kanals but less than 12 kanals, can be utilized for the buildings of 300 feet. Over 300 feet high buildings can be built at the plots measuring 12 kanals and above subject to provision of a no-objection certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority.

The regulations state that the constructions are allowed on the roads measuring 30 feet to 80 feet wide. Buildings have been categorized as low, medium, highrise and skyscrapers.

“The parking in the setback areas and mandatory spaces will not be allowed and will be used for pedestrian walkways or green spaces. However, in case of addition, alteration or revised plan if the parking already approved in the plan will remain intact. The apartment building in an approved private housing scheme shall be constructed at designated site. However, if someone intends to raise apartments on residential plots of approved private housing scheme, the criteria /procedure mentioned at clause 11.2(3) will be observed. (3) For Apartment Buildings in Medium Rise-I & Medium Rise-II categories under Clause 2.5, height up to 90ft and 160 ft respectively may be allowed on a 30 ft road subject to provision of 5 ft setback by each owner of the plot abutting 30 feet road,” read the regulations. Lahore Commissioner Asif Bilal Lodhi said he would look into public concerns regarding the new regulations introduced by the LDA. However, the people are not satisfied with with new regulations. “If a 30-feet road having 50 houses on both sides is allowed to construct buildings up to 48 feet height, it would surely disturb our living badly,” said Shahid, of Johar town.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2019