Subdividing land

If you are planning to subdivide a lot, you will need to find out the key facts about the property and planning requirements. Key facts include zoning, overlays, lot size and if the property is in a neighbourhood plan.

Subdividing, also known as 'reconfiguring 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.

No development application required

The Planning Act 2016 does not consider the subdivisions below as developments. These are accepted development and do not require assessment against the Brisbane City Plan 2014:

  • building format plans (define 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 for road widening purposes and truncations
  • subdivision where required by state legislation (e.g. acquisition of land for water infrastructure projects).

You can proceed to register the title in these instances with the Queensland Government.

Subdivision process

Before a new lot is sold, it must be created and have the 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 Queensland Government will issue the title under the Land Title Act 1994.

Application fees

You must 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, Council 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 considers all relevant assessment criteria.

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 titled Subdividing land can provide additional information.

Last updated:27 May 2019