Subdividing land

""If you are planning to subdivide a lot, you will need to find out the key facts about the property (zoning, overlays, lot size and if the property is included in a neighbourhood plan) and then use the following information to find out more about the subdivision planning approval requirements.

 

Definition

Subdividing, also known as ‘reconfiguration of a lot’, includes:  

  • creating lots from subdividing another lot
  • merging two or more lots into one lot
  • rearranging the boundaries of a lot without creating a new lot
  • creating a community title scheme
  • creating a 'volumetric subdivision' (using space above or below the land)
  • dividing land into parts by agreement, such as by leasing part of a lot for a period exceeding 10 years
  • creating an easement to give access to a lot from a road.

Planning approval

In general terms, if your subdivision is not an exempt development or subject to compliance assessment then then at a minimum your subdivision will require a code assessable development application.

Council’s level of assessment enquiry service provides an easy way to find out the type of application required. 

  1. Complete the Level of assessment enquiry form, including your contact information and property details.  
  2. Select your 'reconfiguration of a lot' for your proposed development. 
  3. Select 'Submit'. 
  4. You will receive an email confirming that you have submitted an enquiry. 
  5. Council will review your details and reply to you within five business days to advise the type of development application required. You may be contacted by email if Council requires further information to assist with your enquiry.

No development application required

The following subdivisions are not considered development by the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and are exempt from assessment against Brisbane City Plan 2014:

  • building format plans (that is, defines land using the structural elements of a building, including floors, walls and ceilings) that do not subdivide land on or below the surface of the land
  • merging of existing lots
  • incorporation of a lot with common property for a community title scheme
  • conversion of lessee common property to a lot in a community title scheme
  • subdivision activities in community title schemes
  • subdivision for road widening purposes and truncations
  • subdivision where required by state legislation (e.g. acquisition of land for water infrastructure projects).

Exempt development means that no development application is required and there are no Council rules to comply with. You can proceed to register the title with the Queensland Government.

Specific zone requirements

Proposals for subdivision are considered based on the zone they are located in. Your application may be subject to code assessment. After finding out the key facts about your property, you can find out the zone the property is in and find the relevant information about whether or not your subdivision will require a development application.

Low density residential zone

Your proposal will be subject to code assessment if:

  • every lot is equal to or greater than 300m², where within 200 metres walking distance of a site or sites in a zone in the centre zones category with a combined site area of more than 2000m²
  • every lot is equal to or greater than 400m² where greater than 200 metres walking distance of a site or sites in a centre zone comprising more than 2000m²
  • every rear lot and is equal to or greater than 600m².

The proposal will be assessed against the subdivision code, Low density residential zone code and any prescribed secondary code that applies.

If the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes outlined here or involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land), where not associated with an existing or approved building, then a development application subject to impact assessment will need to be submitted to Council.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Low-medium density residential zone

Your proposal will be subject to code assessment if:

  • every lot is equal to or greater than 260m² in area where not associated with a Material change of use (MCU) and located in the 2 storey mix zone precinct or 2 or 3 storey mix zone precinct
  • every lot is equal to or greater than 180m² in area where not associated with an MCU, where in the Up to 3 storeys zone precinct
  • every lot is equal to or greater than 350m² in area where not associated with an MCU, where a rear lot in the 2 storey mix zone precinct, 2 or 3 storey mix zone precinct or Up to 3 storeys zone precinct.

The proposal will be assessed against the subdivision codeLow-medium density residential zone code and any prescribed secondary code that applies.

If your proposal does include an MCU then you will need to determine the level of assessment for that use.

If the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes outlined here or involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land), where not associated with an existing or approved building, then a planning application subject to impact assessment will need to be submitted to Council.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Character residential zone

Your proposal will be subject to code assessment if:

  • every lot is equal to or greater than 450m²
  • every rear lot is equal to or greater than 600m².

The proposal will be assessed against the subdivision codeCharacter residential zone code and any prescribed secondary code that applies.

If the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes outlined here or involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land), where not associated with an existing or approved building, then a development application subject to impact assessment will need to be submitted to Council.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Medium density residential zone

Your proposal will be subject to code assessment if every lot is equal to or greater than 800m².

The proposal will be assessed against the subdivision codeMedium density residential zone code and any prescribed secondary code that applies.

If the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes outlined here or involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land), where not associated with an existing or approved building, then a development application subject to impact assessment will need to be submitted to Council.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

High density residential zone

Your proposal will be subject to code assessment if every lot is equal to or greater than 800m².

The proposal will be assessed against the subdivision code, High density residential zone code and any prescribed secondary code that applies.

If the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes outlined here or involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land), where not associated with an existing or approved building, then a development application subject to impact assessment will need to be submitted to Council.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Emerging community zone

In the Emerging community zone, subdivision requires a code assessable development application where all proposed lots are 10ha or greater.

If any of the lots proposed to be created are smaller than 10ha then an impact assessable development application is required.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Low impact, Industry and Extractive Industry zones

In a Low impact, Industry and Extractive Industry zone, a subdivision, other than volumetric (using space above or below the land), not associated with an existing or approved building requires a code assessable development application.

Where the site is located within a neighbourhood plan, or has an overlay the subdivision may be subject to an alternative level of assessment. If you are located in a neighbourhood plan or overlay you can visit PD Online to use Council’s ‘Property Enquiry’ tool and follow the onscreen instructions to determine if the proposed development on your property requires an application, or contact Council's Business Hotline in 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

Other zones

For subdivision proposed in other zones contact Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.

South East Queensland Regional Plan

The statutory provisions in the Queensland Government's South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031 override the requirements of the City Plan.

Under the regional plan, parts of Brisbane are included in the Regional landscape and rural production area. A minimum lot size of 100 hectares applies when subdividing a property in this area.

Any proposal to subdivide a property to a size less than 100 hectares is prohibited development and Council cannot accept your development application for assessment. You can find out more from the Queensland Government.

Subdivision process

Before a new lot can be sold, it has to be created and its title registered. Following your planning approval, the process is:

  1. Undertake the subdivision and required works in compliance with the conditions of the approval and pay the infrastructure charges levied.
  2. Submit the plan of survey to Council for plan sealing.
  3. Submit the sealed survey plan for registration with the Queensland Government. Upon registration, the title is issued under the Land Title Act 1994.

Application fees

You will need to pay a development application fee when you lodge your application.

In addition to development application fees, Council levies infrastructure charges as part of the development assessment process. This applies to each new lot you create. Charges collected contribute to the provision of essential trunk infrastructure to service new development such as roads and transport, sewerage, water supply, stormwater and community facilities.

Additional costs

There are also fees for plan sealing, compliance assessment and to connect new lots to Council infrastructure, which are incurred after receiving a planning approval.

Expert help

Expert help can save you time and make the subdivision process a lot easier for you. You will need to engage a surveyor to design your subdivision so it complies with the relevant assessment criteria.

You may also choose to engage a town planning consultant to help you prepare your planning application. This is not mandatory but will save you time and make the process easier. A town planner will make sure that all relevant assessment criteria are considered.

RiskSMART

This type of development may be suitable for fast-tracked assessment using the RiskSMART process.

More information

If you wish to find out more, Council's fact sheet Subdividing land can provide additional information.