What is Setback and Air Space?
The word setback in a layman’s view in relations to a building is the space between the fence and all the four sides of a building. This definition does not differentiate between the airspaces between buildings and the building setbacks.
However, the Lagos State Planning Permit Regulations 2019 defines “Building Setback as the distance at the front between the building line and the property (plot boundary) line”. While “Air Space is the distance from the building to the boundary of the plot, particularly on the right, left, and rear side of the building.” The front in this definition means the side(s) that is abutting the road. In some cases, a building could be abutted by two roads, each of the sides abutting the road must observe the required setback.
Setback requirements according to the Planning Permit Regulations 2019
For any Planning Permit to be obtained, the architectural drawings of the proposed development shall conform with the following setbacks:
(a) Setback for a residential building shall not be less than six (6) metres: including 900mm of soft landscaping (greeneries). In practice at the site during construction, some developers do not always consider the 900mm recess for the property boundary (beacons at the front of the property abutting the road) before the erection of their wall fences. The 900mm is meant for landscaping/greeneries.
(b) Air space for residential buildings throughout the State shall not be less than three (3) metres at the rear, right and left sides, except where otherwise stated in the Operative Development Plan and its Approval Order or Regulations.
(c) Residential buildings on Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Apapa, Lekki Peninsula I and II Schemes shall have a minimum of nine (9) metres setback from the front property boundary, other airspaces shall be in accordance with the Approval Order of such scheme.
(d) Air space in between the main building and a boy’s quarter which shall not exceed a bungalow shall not be less than three (3) meters.
space in between two buildings of not more than four (4) floors other than a
boy’s quarter in a residential development shall not be less than 4.5
(f) Air space in between two (2) buildings of more than four (4) floors shall not be less than six (6) metres;
(a) Traditional core areas requirements- Lagos Island and others.
(1) Residential building setback and airspace in traditional core areas in the State shall be as follows:
(a) three (3) metres building setback shall apply on all the sides where the property has more than one (1) access road abutting the subject site;
(b) residential buildings on Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and all other traditional core areas in the State which shall not be less than one hundred and fifty (150) square metres plot size shall observe a minimum of three (3) metres building setback;
(c) the air space shall be three (3) metres on one side and 1.5 metres on the other side with the provision that cantilever shall not be allowed on the side with the 1.5 metres air space, and 3.0 metres rear air space shall apply;
(d) where party walls or other acceptable ideas are introduced to one side of the development, the other air space shall not be cantilevered and shall not be less than three (3) metres;
(e) where plot area is not more than two hundred and twenty-five (225) square metres in other parts of the State, the provision in paragraph (c) above shall apply, and where the plot width is over ten (10) metres, the air spaces shall be three (3)metres.
(2) Buildings in other areas in the State shall have a minimum building setback of six (6) metres and three (3) metres air space on the sides and rear, while buildings over four (4) floors shall observe a minimum of 4.5 metres at the rear, except as otherwise stated in the Regulation.
(b). Commercial buildings setback and airspace.
(1) For commercial development in traditional core areas of the State including Lagos Island, the following shall apply:
(a) three (3) metres building setback shall apply and on all the sides where the property has more than one (1) access road abutting the subject site;
(b) three (3) metres air space shall be observed on all sides, i.e., left, right and rear.
(2) Commercial or industrial buildings in other areas of the State shall have a minimum of nine (9) metres building setback while the sides and rear air spaces shall have a minimum of 4.5 metres or in accordance with the provisions of the prevailing approval order.
(c). Mixed-use buildings Setback and Airspace.
Setback and air spaces for mixed-use buildings and development shall be 4.5 metres and 3 metres respectively only in traditional core areas of the State, whilst 7.5 and 4.5 metres will be maintained in other areas of the State, or in accordance with the prevailing approval order or the scheme.
Summary of the Airspaces required for the Design
|Right||Left||Rear||Between 2 buildings|
|All residential buildings||3mtrs||3mtrs||3mtrs or 4.5mtrs if more than 4 floors.||Main building and a bungalow 3mtrs|
|Commercial||4.5mtrs||4.5mtrs||4.5mtrs||* 2 buildings if not more than 4 floors = 4.5mtrs min.|
|Industrial||4.5mtrs||4.5mtrs||4.5mtrs||* 2 buildings more than 4 floors= 6mtrs min.|
|Mixed use||4.5mtrs||4.5mtrs||4.5mtrs or in accordance with the provision of the approval order|
Summary of the Airspaces required for Design in the Traditional Core Areas
|Residential||3mtrs or 1.5mtrs||3mtrs or 1.5mtrs||3mtrs||* Cantilever is not allowed within 1.5mtrs airspace|