Subdividing land | Brisbane City Council

Subdividing land

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

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 accepted development then at a minimum your subdivision will require a code assessable development application.

Level of assessment

Where the site is within a neighbourhood plan or has an overlay, the subdivision may be subject to an alternative category of assessment. You can visit PD Online to use Council’s property enquiry tool. Follow the instructions to determine if the proposed development requires an application. Alternatively phone Council on 07 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner.

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 (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 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 with the Queensland Government.

Specific zone requirements

Proposals for subdivision are based on zone location. Your application may be subject to code assessment. Find the key facts about your property, including: 

  • which zone the property is in
  • if your subdivision requires a development application.

Low density residential zone

Your proposal is 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.

Proposals are assessed against the:

Council requires a development application, subject to impact assessment if:

  • the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes; or
  • it involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land)
  • not associated with an existing or approved building.

Low-medium density residential zone

Your proposal is subject to code assessment if:

  • it is in an area not associated with a Material Change of Use (MCU); and  
  • every lot is equal to or greater than:
    • 260m² - in the two storey mix zone precinct or two or three storey mix zone precinct
    • 180m² - in the up to three storeys zone precinct
    • 350m² - where a rear lot in the two storey mix zone precinct, two or three storey mix zone precinct or up to three storeys zone precinct.

Council assesses proposals against the:

If your proposal does include an MCU, you need to determine the category of assessment for use.

Council requires a development application, subject to impact assessment if:

  • the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes; or
  • it involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land)
  • not associated with an existing or approved building.

Character residential zone

Your proposal is subject to code assessment if:

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

Council assesses proposals against the:

Council requires a development application, subject to impact assessment if:

  • the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes; or
  • it involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land)
  • not associated with an existing or approved building.

Medium density residential zone

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

Council assesses proposals against the:

Council requires a development application, subject to impact assessment if:

  • the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes; or
  • it involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land)
  • not associated with an existing or approved building.

High density residential zone

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

Council assesses proposals against the:

Council requires a development application, subject to impact assessment if:

  • the proposed subdivision is smaller than the minimum lot sizes; or
  • it involves a volumetric subdivision (using space above or below the land)
  • not associated with an existing or approved building.

Emerging community zone

In the Emerging community zone, subdivision requires a:

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.

Other zones

For subdivision proposed in other zones, phone Council on 07 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner.

Subdivision process

Before a new lot is sold, it must 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 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 subdividing land can provide additional information.

18 December 2018