1.1 Background of the Study
Various authorities and scholars (Sukuran & Ho, 2008; Owei et al., 2010; Nnah et al., 2007) have given different definitions of town and physical planning. According to Sukuran and Ho (2008), town planning system is principally a system of preventive control of various land uses patterns where the controlling authority would not allow any approval for development activity if adverse impact on surrounding environment was visualized. Town planning can be seen as a means of increasing the values of private and profitable uses of land. Yet fragmented and multiple private interests in land restrict private owners from altering radically or enhancing the overall pattern of use, and multiple ownership simultaneously retards the transfer of land to more profitable users and inhibits large –scale development. Therefore, in this context, town planning can be seen both as means of establishing complementarity of land uses while keeping conflicting uses apart through such devices as zoning, and as a means of speeding up the transfer of land between uses. By creating a climate of greater certainty; the zoning and density control aspects of town planning eliminate some of the imperfections of the property market, and enable land to move more readily to its highest and best use (Balchin, et al., 1995)
Owei et al. (2010) described physical planning as a process aimed at achieving orderly physical development with the overall aim of evolving a functional and live-able environment where individual and common goals can be achieved. The above definitions infer that planning is aimed at helping the society achieve various beneficial goals. Planning is regarded as a mechanism for the government to exercise its control on the urban development process.
In Nigeria, Town Planning is interpreted in section 18 of the Town Planners Registration Council Decree No. 3 of 1988 (TOPREC), as the theory and practice of town and country planning by the ordering and control of the citing and erection of buildings and other structures and the provision of open spaces and such similar use of land, as the case may be, for the improvement of the human environment. Essentially, town planning is concerned with the spatial ordering of land use both in the urban and rural settings for the purpose of creating functionally efficient and aesthetically pleasing environment for living, working, circulation and recreation. For any system to work as expected there is always the need for control and, balance which is a form of regulation for necessary operation. According to Nnah et al. (2007),Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. This includes the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment.