The rules and regulations regarding how to subdivide land in Brisbane are contained with the Brisbane City Plan 2014.  The Brisbane City Plan was developed by the Brisbane City Council and contains the guidelines for property subdivision, property development, and the application approval process.  Importantly, if you want to know how to subdivide land, the City Plan specifies the interpretation of the zoning regulations.  It also specifies the description for submission of applications to the Council Planning Department.

Do I need approval to subdivide my land?

The simple answer is yes.  You need approval from the Council before you attempt to make any changes to the use of the land.  This includes:

  • how to subdivide land,
  • the process to change the material use of the land,
  • doing a development on the property,
  • and the many other ways that you can impact a property.

Guide to subdividing land

How to Subdivide LandThe subdivision of property is a process for splitting a block of land into a smaller lot or allotments.  The new block (or blocks) of land each have their own separate title once a property is correctly subdivided and approved by the local council. The benefit of subdividing land is that the owner can decide how they wish to deal with each of the separate allotments.

Of course, this still has to be within the bounds of development approval of the local Council regulations.

Why would you want to know how to Subdivide Land in Brisbane?

There are many benefits for subdividing land, and it really depends on your individual circumstances.  But some of the options for subdividing land include;

  • Keep the land as an investment
  • Sell the new allotments as individual blocks of land
  • Sell one block of the subdivided land to pay for the other
  • Develop the land by building a house, or an block of apartments
  • Keep the properties as rental investment properties
  • Sell the properties when fully developed for maximum return.

Is my land big enough to subdivide?

This is the number one question before you begin the process of subdividing land. You need to accurately know the area of your block in square metres.  If you think that it meets the criteria for how to subdivide land in your suburb, then it might be worth asking a few more questions!

Can I subdivide my land?

It’s easy to get lots of big ideas about subdividing and selling off separate blocks of land!  However, it is important to determine whether the land can actually be subdivided before getting carried away.  A whole range of zoning regulations defined in the Brisbane City Plan define what is possible.  Start by getting to understand how the zoning regulations work for your location, and what the zoning density is.  The residential density defines the size of the housing blocks for a given location.  So this will provide a guide as to the minimum block size in that location.  There are other considerations on top of the minimum block size, such as;

  • Length of frontage of the property
  • Rectangular dimensions of the property
  • Development considerations such as space for a house
  • Slope of the land
  • Vegetation on the land
  • Local infrastructure
  • Flood maps and overland flow considerations
  • Character residential considerations.

Help with property subdivision

The bottom line is that there are many considerations which can determine how to subdivide land.  There is no one size fits all when it comes to splitting up a residential block.  If you need to know can I subdivide my land, then it might be useful to speak to a professional town planner, like Planning Insights.

What are the Town Planning Laws?

There are many Town Planning laws and regulations to take into account.  But what is important to understand is that some of the guidelines are just that – to guide the process.  There are many constraints that affect the decision of how to subdivide land in the Brisbane City Council area, and often it comes down to a professional interpretation of what is allowed.  And that is why it can often pay to hire a professional town planner who can search for the latest guidelines, and discover where opportunities might exist.

Engage a Professional Town Planner as part of the due diligence process

It is important to conduct a thorough due diligence assessment of any potential property development.  And it is no different when it comes to the question – “Can I subdivide my property?”.  There are many potential snags when it comes to subdividing land.  So it pays to hire a Professional Town Planner to help you with due diligence.

The potential problems often arise from extraneous factors such as:

  • easements that impinge on the site,
  • covenants over the block,
  • protected vegetation,
  • significant trees on or adjacent to the site,
  • as well as other services that may affect the property.

Constraints are not always impossible to overcome, but there may be additional cost involved to develop a work around.  Ultimately, when it comes down to how to subdivide land, you need to know all of the costs involved before you begin.

But it is not all about the problems.  Often there are opportunities that an experienced private town planner can spot that the less experienced eye will not see.

How to subdivide land

If you have satisfied your due diligence, then there are some basic steps to getting the job done.  A formal survey of the property is conducted by a licensed surveyor, or the results of a recent survey accessed.  This is a vital step in the process of how to subdivide land, as any errors with the site survey will likely postpone approval.  The next step is to prepare a development approval application for submission to the Council Town Planning Department.

Do you want to fast track your approval to subdivide?

Here is another reason to engage a professional town planner.  The average development application with Council may take between 3 to 6 months for approval.  Brisbane City Council has a streamlined approval process called “RiskSmart” which is available to approved professional Town Planners.  The team at Planning Insights has this approval and can help you fast track your qualifying approval.  With RiskSmart, the approval process for how to subdivide land can be fast tracked in as little as 2 weeks!

The next step to subdivide your property

The next step, once development approval is obtained, is to check for any conditions that must be met in accordance with the approval.  Often there are certain standards to be met, such as delivery of services to the subdivided block of land. Any additional costs involved in meeting conditions are met by the property owner. Other associated costs may be engineering, fencing, retaining walls, house moving, or building removal or demolition.

Final seal for subdividing your property

When the process is complete and the property is registered, the Council Planning Department gives the final seal for the subdivided property.  The survey plan for the property is officially “Signed and Sealed” in accordance with the State Government Titles office.  It is only after completion of the registration that the property owner may offer the property for sale.

More information on how to subdivide land

If you want to know the best and surest way to subdivide a property, it pays to speak to an expert town planner.  Call us at Planning Insights, where we are experts in this process.