If you live on a larger block, you may wish to subdivide and sell off a portion of the land to access funds or reduce the amount of land that has to be maintained. Alternatively, you may wish to use part of the land to build a new residence for yourself or develop two new houses – one for you and one to sell.
The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is responsible for approving all subdivision applications in Western Australia. The WAPC refers applications to the relevant local government and any public body or private utility for objections or recommendations.
The WAPC may approve an application with or without conditions, or refuse an application altogether. You can apply to the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of a decision of the WAPC to refuse an application or to impose conditions on approval. The WAPC will endorse a subdivision on a plan or diagram that has been certified correct by the Western Australian Land Information Authority (Landgate). The WAPC must be satisfied that the plan is in accordance with the approval and that all conditions have been complied with. The applicant can then apply to Landgate for new certificates of title for the lots created by the subdivision.
There are significant costs involved in subdividing and the process can be quite lengthy and complicated. An experienced surveyor can help you with the steps involved. A surveyor can help with checking for restrictive covenants applying to the land, site surveys, subdivision approvals, meeting any conditions or subdivision, final pegging, drafting of the plan and the lodgement of plans. Check with the surveyor on what is included in their charges and what you have to pay as extra.
Costs can include:
- Surveyor’s fees
- sewerage, drainage and plumbing works
- power charges
- tree removal
- Legal costs for the Application for new titles or registration of plan
- Government fees