Surveying for Land Development
Homeowners who want to make a profit off their existing property or property investors who are looking to maximise their investment, often contemplate how to subdivide their property.
The three methods to develop and subdivide land in Western Australia are by:
- Green Title – Planning Consultant and Licensed Surveyor required
- Survey-Strata – Planning Consultant and Licensed Surveyor required
- Built Strata – Licensed Surveyor and Licensed Building Certifier required
Which type of method to subdivide your land will depend largely on your Residential Design Code (R-Code), Local Government Zoning and the size of your block. However, there are other factors to consider that can determine if you can even subdivide or not.
Take the time to read about the three options to subdivide as we understand there is not a lot of information readily available about the processes involved.
Conversely, you may wish to redevelop your land by combining it with an adjoining property that you also own. This is called an Amalgamation and also requires a Planning Consultant and Licensed Surveyor to complete.
Quantum Surveys do not undertake any initial planning activities associated with Green Title Subdivisions, Survey-Strata Developments and Amalgamations of land. We recommend that the planning process and application to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) be undertaken by a qualified Town Planning Consultant that specialises in this field.
We highly recommend Gail Bermingham from LandWest Urban and Rural Planning Consultants to assist with the planning for any development. Quantum Surveys & LandWest share offices and work collaboratively on many projects. LandWest are contactable on (08) 9965 0550 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To discuss any small or large scale land development, simply contact us or LandWest and we can help you figure out your options on how best to develop your land to ensure you achieve your goals.
Green Title (Freehold) Subdivisions
Subdivisions are a process where a parcel of land is legally divided into smaller lots to create separate certificates of title. The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) controls the process for the subdivision of land within Western Australia. Firstly, an application to subdivide is required to be lodged with the WAPC. The WAPC will then refer the subdivision application to all authorities affected (such as the local government, service authorities and/or government departments). The WAPC then compiles all of the comments and recommendations from the affected authorities and makes a determination. If the subdivision application has been approved, a condition approval is issued.
Once conditional approval has been received, the proponent can proceed to final subdivision approval. This involves complying with all of the conditions imposed on the conditional approval (such as connecting the property to power or water) and engaging a licensed surveyor to undertake the legal survey. The surveyor will subsequently prepare a Deposited Plan reflecting the new title boundaries. The Deposited Plan must go through various approval and auditing processes with before finally being endorsed by WAPC and new certificates of titles being issued.
A Green Title lot is the most desirable form of property from a purchaser’s point of view, but is the most expensive from a development perspective. It can be difficult to achieve, particularly for battle-axe schemes as no common property is permitted and all lots must have direct access to services which can significantly increase development costs. However, Green Titles may prove rewarding for developers in the long run as they may achieve a premium when the time comes to sell.
Built Strata Developments
Built Strata Titles (commonly referred to as ‘Strata Titles’) are the quickest, easiest and cheapest way for developers to have titles issued for residential lots with multiple dwellings. They can only be issued once the entire development is 100% complete (buildings, fencing, paving etc) and are more onerous for the individual lot owners. Any upfront advantages may be sacrificed when the time comes to sell the property(s), due to the tighter constraints associated with ownership of properties within a Built Strata Title.
No approvals are required from the Western Australian Planning Commission unless there are more than five units. All lots must have buildings/houses on them.
Survey-Strata Titles are more flexible than Built Strata Titles (as they can apply to vacant or built properties or a combination of the two) and can be obtained at any stage in the development process. Survey-Strata owners have more freedom with what they can do to their properties, compared to Built Strata owners, but this form of Strata is more expensive for the developer.
The Western Australian Planning Commission must approve all Survey-Strata applications and there is usually less flexibility compared to dealing with local Councils.
Land amalgamations are a process where two or more parcels of land are combined to make one lot. This is desirable to some land owners so as to simplify their land holdings or to increase future development potential. The process for amalgamating land is exactly the same as the subdivision process.