The Subdivision Process, Estimated Costs And The Role of the Local Council/Shire in Subdividing Land

Low Cost Draftsman - Your partner for land subdivision process

What Are Property Subdivisions?

Understanding The Subdivision Process

Once you have decided to apply for a Planning Permit, the Council will circulate a copy of your subdivision proposal to authorities including the area's water and sewer authority, the local electricity and gas infrastructure authority and other relevant authorities, as well as your neighbours for comments.

The Council holds responsibility for:

  • Issue of Subdivision Planning Permit with a set of conditions and terms from the Council and Authorities that must be met for Planning Permit approval

  • A Plan Certification of the Final Survey Plan highlighting boundaries and measurements precisely

  • Once the above two conditions have been met successfully, the Council will issue a Statement of Compliance

Note: The conditions as stated in the Subdivision Planning Permit for an unoccupied land subdivision shall ensure that all provisions including and not limited to water, sewer, drainage, gas, electricity etc are present. Note that ensuring these exist, it is possible you may have to pay for physical works including and not limited to increasing capacities of the drainage system, re-locating existing services and even establishing new easements that allow one block to obtain services on a portion of land under suitable land positioning

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The Role of the Local Council/Shire in Subdividing Land

The Council is responsible for many important roles during the land subdivision process. The Planning Section's Subdivision Officer of the concerned Council will overlook your land subdivision process. It is advised to contact the concerned Council Planning Officers for initial advice to determine if your property is potentially apt for the proposed land subdivision and costs (approximate) related to it. If you have plans to develop more than one the allotments, the factors the Planning Officers will look into include:

  • Available street frontage

  • Safe and secure access to the public road

  • Amount of the total area

  • Provisions of essential services

  • Issues that your neighbours might face

Important Information To Know About Property Subdivision

  • In case the resulting lot remains unoccupied and has an area less than 500m² (some Councils even allow area lesser than 400m²), it may require a subdivider to indicate that the resulting unoccupied lot(s) can be used for dwelling purposes that go in accordance with the Res Code for upcoming homes. This may involve proving the availability of adequate private open space (POS), well-spaced car parking area based on the number of bedrooms in the property, good provisions for natural light and more on-demand. 

  • The Council shall assign a subdivider to have the full course of town planning drawings done for the Dwelling process which will include the floor plan, landscaping and the site plan for all elevations (04 in numbers). This process will be initiated even if you do not intend on building the dwelling yourself. A Development Planning Permit is obtained which will establish a link with the Subdivision Planning Permit in accordance with Section 173 Agreement.

  • This way, you or any future buyer of the land can only make the construction of the pre-approved dwelling without the need of going through the planning process again. In case you or the buyer wishes to build a design different from the pre-approved plan, a new Planning Permit will be required

  • In case the subject land is being serviced in a shared sewer setting, and if the resulting subdivision is three (03) lots or more, a compulsory Limited Owners Corporation will be set as a condition in the Planning Permit by the local Water Authority (Yarra Valley Water Authority particularly). This is done to create a legal mechanism for pursuing management and costs of maintenance for the shared sewer (valid even in case of no Common Property). If found that the existing sewer setup doesn't have the required capacity to service the lots, additional on-site sewer works shall be enforced to allocate sewers to ensure that each lot has a sewer branch line of its own

  • During subdivision of an already established building wherein wall(s) may act as a boundary, the Planning Permit may state the need for a Fire Safety upgrade, or an Audit Report to check Fire Rating of the wall(s) in concern.

  • The various financial perks include the "Open Space Requirement", up to 5% of the Vacant Site Value. As an example, for the development of a property with a Council verified Site Value of $500,000, the contribution would amount to $25,000. However, it can be negotiated down under certain conditions. It should be noted that this wouldn't apply to 2 Lot subdivisions unless there is the possibility of the subdivision from either or both Lots. When considering larger subdivisions, one can instead opt to “donate” 5% of the total site by area (which has to be a useable land).

The Land Surveyor - Roles, Responsibilities and Importance

After seeking advice from the Subdivision Planning Officer at your local Council, you plan on going through the land subdivision process, the next step will be to appoint a Land Surveyor who will help in measuring the land and assist you in deciding the right position for the new boundary construction.

Note: The Land Surveyor in charge will install surveyor's pegs in the ground while taking measurements and assisting boundary positioning. These positions are subject to change as the process moves from the proposal stage to the final survey step.

Once the boundary positions have been established, the Surveyor will then note (draw) the proposal plan and fill the Application for Planning Permit for you.

Note: Council application fee applicable. An interim account shall be sent at this stage.

At Low Cost Draftsman, we use the Online Planning Portal (known as SPEAR, which connects Council and Surveyors efficiently) to file your application for Subdivision Planning Permit. The Land Surveyor will launch your application and will keep an eye on the process' progress.

Feeling lost? At Low Cost Draftsman, our expert Land Surveyors are an appointment away! Contact us today!

What happens after the Subdivision Planning Permit Is Issued?

Role of the Land Surveyor, What happens next and more!

Upon issue of the Subdivision Planning Permit, the Land Surveyor will explain the stated conditions and will also guide you through the process to get the Statement of Compliance. In case the project is large scale and has intricate or involves a higher degree of capital works, the Land Surveyor may recommend appointing a Project Manager (oftentimes a Civil engineer) who will look after the construction right from getting the right quotes to earthmoving and establishing the property.

Once everything's in place, the Land Surveyor will get working to prepare the fully certified plan of subdivision copy and have it uploaded on SPEAR for the Council's certification. Once conditions from the Planning Permit are met with 100% satisfaction, the Surveyor will actively involve themselves to get the Statement of Compliance from the Council at the earliest.

What Role Low Cost Draftsman Plays When It Comes To Subdividing Property

Your Land Surveyor - Roles and responsibilities

  • Preparation and arrangement of the official signing of the “Application to Register a Plan of Subdivision” document. We get the required signatures done and can be sent to the Land Registry after the Council have Certified the final version of the Plan of Subdivision (and Council have issued the Statement of Compliance) on SPEAR

  • If there is an “Owners Corporation”, we will undertake the creation and lodging of the “OC1” Document. For “Special Rules, additional drafting and fees will apply

  • For a mortgage registered on title, we will make the preparations and arrangements for all owners/borrowers/guarantors to give their signature for the Consent and Production of Title Authority supervising the mortgagee to agree to the Application to Register have the Certificate of Title Available at Land Registry at the suitable time to let our Lodgement and to give the Land Registry guidelines for sending of the new titles. After putting your signature on the Authority, we will undertake further liaisons with your mortgagee

  • We will offer advice on the new, legal street addresses for all of the lots.

  • We will do the calculations for the fees and create the final lodgement at Land Registry of all of the required items described above (either electronically or on paper, as appropriate)

  • After lodgement and examination, the Plan of Subdivision is Registered and the new certificates of title are issued. For those with a mortgage, the mortgagee will receive them; for those with no mortgage, we will be receiving them

  • We will offer you advice on the new Volume & Folio Certificate of Title references for all of the lots.

  • For the sale of any allotment/s, we will liaise with your selling agent in the course of the entire process (it should be duly noted that Preparation and Supply of “Subdivisional” Contracts of sale and Vendor Statements are not included in the Subdivision costs herein, and are billed separately on a Vendor file)

How much will a Land Surveyor Cost?

Surveyor Subdivision Costs, Explained

A Surveyor's role is to ensure that your property meets all Planning Permit criteria successfully and also assist you throughout the process, recommending and suggesting methods to ensure your land subdivision is a smooth and hassle-free process.

Surveyor fees can anywhere between a minimum of $3,000.00. For small scale subdivisions (anywhere between 2-5 lots) the charges rarely go over $6,000.00. The fee charged by the Land Surveyor depends on the extent and capacity of the property project. Application fees for Council and Authorities' as applicable.

What Is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing can be understood as the transfer of legal title of the property from one person to another or is granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien.

A conveyancing transaction has two major phases: the exchange of contracts and completion.

The exchange of contracts is when the equitable interests are created. While the completion is when the legal titles have been passed and the equitable rights merge with the legal title. It is also known as settlement.

How much money does it cost to build a subdivision?

The charges for the whole subdivision process depends on the type of property under subdivision, the area where the subdivision is taking place. With costs like GST are applicable and the process at all stages must comply with sections and go as per the Planning Permit. While it may look easy on the outside, the process of meeting Council stated conditions, qualifying for Planning permit and issue of Statement of Compliance can be a long process that if you do it all by yourself will take extra hours and might not yield desired results.

At Low Cost Draftsman, we understand your need for land subdivision and we aim at smoothing the process of issue of Statement of Compliance. Our Surveyors are efficient and understand your vision. They are always practical with your planning and boundary positioning needs, actively assist from start to finish of the planning permit issue process.

To learn more about how much money does it cost to build a subdivision, get in touch with us today!

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