Subdivision is the process whereby a parcel of land is divided into two or more parcels or alternatively multiple parcels are consolidated into one or more plans.

Overview of Subdivision Process

Most subdivision applications require two processes – an application for planning permit to subdivide under the Planning & Environment Act 1987 and an application for Certification under the Subdivision Act 1988.

Applications for Subdivision and Consolidation of land, the creation, variation and removal of easements and restrictions are all handled by Council’s Planning Department.

What to lodge with a Planning Permit application:

  • Fully completed and signed Application for Planning Permit form;
  • Application fees
  • A legible, full and current copy of the Certificate of Title, including encumbrances/restrictions;
  • A copy of the plan of subdivision showing the proposed lot configuration, all easements and location of proposed boundaries;
  • A copy of the plan of subdivision showing the position of existing buildings that are being retained on the site;
  • An accompanying letter explaining your proposal and copies of any relevant development or use permits;
  • If common property is being affected, the written consent of the unanimous resolution of the body corporate is required under the Subdivision Act 1988; and,
  • For land subdivisions or where no development permit has been issued for the site, a Site and Context description and design response in accordance with Clause 56.01 of the Planning Scheme (Residential Subdivision) is required.

What steps are involved in the subdivision process?

Step One – Planning Permit for subdivision

Council has 60 days (statutory days)  to assess the application for Planning Permit approval. This time will not include the advertising of your proposal to the adjoining property owners (if required). Once Council has received consent to the issuing of a permit from the Servicing Authorities (water, sewer, gas, drainage) a report is written and a decision made on whether the permit will be granted.

The Planning Permit outlines specific conditions that must be met. These can include Servicing Authorities requirements, such as construction of vehicle crossings, drainage works and contribution towards open space where applicable. The Planning Permit may also request the submission of amended plans.

Step Two – Certification

Certification is an administrative step to ensure that the Plan of Subdivision is satisfactory. It should be noted that a plan cannot be certified until such time as a Planning Permit has been issued.

The Plan of Subdivision for Certification is referred to the Servicing Authorities who check whether easements are required for their services.

If Planning Permit conditions require works to be undertaken (e.g. construction of roads, drainage and services), engineering plans may be required. In such cases, the Plan of Subdivision is not Certified until the Engineering plans have been approved.

Once the Servicing Authorities have consented to the Plan of Subdivision and Engineering plans have been approved (where and if required) the plan may be Certified. A Certified Plan is valid for five years, if the plan is not registered at the Titles Office within that time, the plan expires.

Step Three – Statement of Compliance

A Statement of Compliance is the document required to conclude the subdivision process, allow registration of the subdivision at the Titles Office and the release of the new titles by the Titles Office.

A Statement of Compliance is not issued until all conditions of the Planning Permit have been met. Conditions of Planning Permit may include construction of drainage and vehicle crossings, and payment to all Servicing Authorities for water, sewerage/drainage, electricity supply. 

When subdividing in an approved unit site development site, a final inspection of the completed units and landscaping is carried out by Council before a Statement of Compliance is issued.


How do I obtain titles without developing the land?

In situations where a Planning Permit has been issued for a development on the land (ie. unit development) an application can be made to subdivide the land without commencing the development. When making such an application, a written statement must be submitted with the Planning Permit application to Council, outlining that the land is to be developed after the subdivision takes place.

Council may issue a Planning Permit for subdivision in such circumstances subject to a Permit Condition requiring the owner to enter into a Section 173 Agreement with the Council which requires that only the approved development will be built on the land once the separate titles have issued. This agreement is made under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and will be registered on the title to the land to bind any future owners of the land to the agreement.

Consent to the issue of a Statement of Compliance from all Servicing Authorities is still required, even though there is no actual construction on the site. Drainage and driveway works may need to be bonded with the Council Engineer.

Additional information

Additional information in relation to the subdivision process can be found on the State Governments Planning Page. This page has specific information available in relation to the subdivision process and issues related to the subdivision process.