Land Subdivisions

UNDERSTANDING LAND SUBDIVISION

The capacity to subdivide your property is mainly based on the zoning and size of your lot.

Each residential area has a residential density code that is shown on the city’s Town Planning Scheme Map. The density code has an “R” and then a number value – for example, R20, R40 or R60.

The numerical value specifies the maximum number of dwellings permitted per hectare. For example, R20 indicates 20 dwellings per hectare.

Each density code also has minimum and average Lot area requirements (see further down).

TYPES OF SUBDIVISION

Land can be subdivided three ways:

  1. Green title or freehold subdivision;
  2. Survey strata subdivision; or
  3. Strata (often called built strata) subdivision.

Both green title and survey strata divisions allow for the creation of vacant lots.

"The primary difference between green title subdivision and a survey strata subdivision is the nature of the land title created: green title allows the creation of individual land titles for each lot, while survey strata creates individual land parcels on one title."

Built strata subdivisions may only be used to subdivide land that has existing buildings or structures.

Applicants should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the potential subdivision options available with a licensed land surveyor.

DUAL CODING

There are a number of areas with Lots that have a dual residential density coding.

For example, 'Residential R20/25' means that applications for development or subdivision are assessed at the lower R20 density standards, but Town Planning Scheme No.24 provides the option for landowners to make an application to be assessed under the higher R25 density standards.

The higher R25 code is not automatically applied, and an application is required to be made to the City Council for review on an individual basis.

BATTLEAXE SUBDIVISIONS

A common way to subdivide land is to create a lot fronting a street and a lot at the rear of the site that is connected to the street via a driveway along the side of the lot. This type of subdivision is often called a ‘battleaxe” subdivision.

The accessway to the rear lot can either be common property or the exclusive property of the rear lot. This is important as it will affect the minimum lot size requirements.

 

Where the accessway to the rear lot is common property, both the proposed lots will need to comply with minimum lot size as specified for the relevant zoning (see below).

 

Where the accessway to the rear lot is the exclusive property of the rear lot, the rear lot needs to comply with the minimum lot area for ‘battleaxe’ lots at the relevant zoning (see below). The front lot will need to comply with minimum lot size as specified for the relevant zoning.

MINIMUM AND AVERAGE LOT SIZES EXAMPLES

R17.5

Minimum Lot Size 500m2

Average Lot Size 571m2 Minimum Area of Battleaxe Lot 587.5m2

R20

Minimum Lot Size 350m2

Average Lot Size 450m2 Minimum Area of Battleaxe Lot 450m2

R25

Minimum Lot Size 300m2

Average Lot Size 350m2 Minimum Area of Battleaxe Lot 425m2

R30

Minimum Lot Size 260m2

Average Lot Size 300m2 Minimum Area of Battleaxe Lot 410m2

R40

Minimum Lot Size 180m2

Average Lot Size 220m2 Minimum Area of Battleaxe Lot 380m2

Further information on minimum and average lot sizes and other residential development or subdivision requirements can be found in the Residential Design Codes, which is available from www.planning.wa.gov.au.

THE LAND SUBDIVISION PROCESS

It is recommended that applicants contact a licensed land surveyor to help prepare a plan of subdivision.

Subdivision applications are made to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). The relevant forms and subdivision application fees can be found on the WAPC’s website at www.planning.wa.gov.au. In brief, the following process is followed:

  1. A subdivision application is made to the WAPC.
  2. The WAPC refers the application to all relevant service agencies for comment, including the City Council. The agencies have 42 days to provide comment to the WAPC on the proposal.
  3. The recommendations of the City and service agencies will be collated by the WAPC and a Conditional Subdivision Approval will be granted (if the application is satisfactory) or refused (if the application is unsatisfactory).
  4. The applicant and the City are notified of the WAPC’s decision and any conditions of approval or the reasons for refusal. The applicant has the right to appeal a refusal or any of the conditions that may be imposed on an approval.
  5. A Conditional Subdivision Approval is valid for three years for subdivisions of five (5) lots or less and four (4) years for subdivisions of six lots or more. The applicant is responsible for fulfilling the relevant conditions in consultation with the City or service agency within the specified time period. The City has prepared an information sheet entitled ‘Clearance of Subdivision Conditions’ to assist applicants with common subdivision conditions.
  6. When the subdivision conditions have been completed, the applicant should contact the City and relevant service agencies to clear the subdivision conditions. Subdivision clearance fees are payable to the City at this time.
  7. When all authorities have cleared the conditions of approval, the endorsed Diagram or Plan of Survey is submitted to the WAPC for final approval. The endorsed plans are then lodged with Landgate for creation of the new titles.

Feature, Contour & Topographic Surveys

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Boundary Surveys

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Land Subdivisions

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Engineering Surveys

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