About Us

The Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) was established in 1945 and charged with the responsibility of planning and management of growth and development of cities, towns and villages in the country. It therefore seeks to promote sustainable human settlements development based on principles of efficiency, orderliness, safety and healthy growth of communities. It is a unique service delivery Department under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.

The TCPD, until the administrative reforms of the 1980s, operated purely as a Civil Service Department with the Head Office in Accra and branch offices at the Regions and the Districts. Prior to 1993, responsibility for planning lay with the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning (The Town and Country Planning Act of 1958 (Act 30).


This modified the provision of the Town and Country Planning (Gold Coast), CAP 84 which had established a Town and Country Planning Board, responsible for the orderly and progressive development of land, towns and other areas whether rural or urban, and the preservation and improvement of amenities in these areas .


The Board was officially abolished in 1960 under the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Act of 1960 (Act 33). However the powers of the board were vested effectively with the Town and Country Planning Department through the powers given to the Minister.


In 1993, the Local Government Act (462) gave planning powers to the District Assemblies, even though not repealing CAP 84. Whereas CAP 84 and its amendments set out the system or regulation of land use planning, the Local Government Act (462) does not provide any system of plan preparation and approval, except to give the District Assemblies the powers to prepare and approve plans.


With decentralisation (following Act 462) the central TCPD de-concentrated its activities to the Regional and District levels, but did not devolve full authority to the District Assemblies. Instead, a compromise arrangement was established, without specific legal authority, to establish local Planning Committees, which normally have limited representatives of the District Assembly and the District Chief Executive as members.


Through this arrangement, the district offices of the TPCD could claim that they were in conformity with the Local Government Act (462) while retaining the technical nature of the Planning Boards based on Cap 84.

With the deepening of the decentralization programme, and the establishment of the Local Government Service, the Department is seeing its Regional and District offices being delinked from the Head Office to be fully integrated into the Regional Coordinating Councils and the District Assemblies respectively.

At the District level, the Department is being merged with the Department of Parks and Gardens to form the Physical Planning Department, in line with Local Government Act, 1993 (Act 462). At the national level, the Head Office is being realigned with the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.