All about subdivision, boundary adjustment, subdivision certificates, developer contributions
The subdivision of land is a process where a larger parcel of land is ‘cut’ or subdivided into smaller allotments. Each of these smaller allotments are issued with a lot and Deposited Plan (DP) number. A lot and DP number is unique to each allotment and is how land is described and identified. These numbers are shown on the Certificate of Title for the land.
The subdivision of land can be a lengthy, complicated and expensive process and is usually undertaken by an experienced property developer however individuals with little or no experience do undertake small subdivisions with assistance from Consultants.
The Subdivision Process
The steps associated with the Subdivision Approval process are as follows;
- Preparation of a Development Application (DA), which includes the preparation of supporting documentation known as a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) and lodgement with the Consent Authority. The Consent Authority could be Council or the Department of Planning and it is recommended that advice is sought (pre lodgement) in relation to who is the Consent Authority for the application in question.
- Assessment of the SEE by Council Officers and/or the relevant State Government Departments. Requests for further information to clarify certain matters may be necessary during the assessment process.
- Determination of the Development Application which will be either approval (with consent conditions) or refusal.
- If the DA is approved it is likely that a Construction Certificate for Public Infrastructure will be required. A Construction Certificate consists of engineering drawings that show a contractor how to build the infrastructure associated with the subdivision and may include roads, stormwater drainage, sewer and water reticulation. A Construction Certificate application may be approved by either Council or a Private Certifier and the engineering plans for the application must be prepared by a Professional Engineer experienced in the design of public infrastructure and National Engineer Registration (NER) accreditation.
- If public sewer and water reticulation is necessary to service the subdivision, a Certificate of Compliance must be obtained under s307 of the Water Management Act 2000. The applicant will be required to submit engineering plans for the sewer and water reticulation and seek approval under s68 of the Local Government Act for these plans.
- After the Construction Certificate and s68 is approved the Contractor can commence works in accordance with the consent, the approved drawings and Council’s Design and Construction Specifications. Inspections of the public infrastructure works by Council’s Officers will be required during the course of construction. A private Professional Engineer must also be engaged by the Applicant to attend these inspections and certify the completed works.
- When all works are completed in accordance with the consent and the approved Construction Certificate and a successful Final Practical Inspection has been undertaken by Council or the Private Certifier, the Developer is required to submit an application for a Subdivision Certificate. The Subdivision Certificate application is a comprehensive package of documents that provide evidence of compliance with the conditions of consent contained in the DA approval. It is recommended that the applicant seek professional assistance for the preparation and submission of this application.
- The Subdivision Certificate application will be assessed by Council’s Development Engineers. If all conditions of consent have been satisfactorily complied with the Development Engineer will recommend that the Subdivision Certificate be endorsed by Council’s Authorized Officer. Endorsement (signature/approval) of the Subdivision Certificate is required before the Land and Property Information Services will register the new lot and DP number and subsequently issue the new title. It is at this stage that the new allotment or property legally exists.
- It is only after the issue of the new lot and DP number (title) that the land can be transferred from one property owner to a different property owner.