What is subdivision?

Subdivision is the process of dividing land or an existing building into two or more lots. Each lot then has a separate title and can be sold separately.

A planning permit is required for all types of subdivision. A planning permit is the first step in the process of obtaining new titles for subdivided land.

Speak to a Council planning officer before you lodge an application by contacting Council or visiting the Merri-bek Civic Centre at 90 Bell Street, Coburg.

Subdividing a vacant block or backyard

If you want to subdivide a vacant block of land or your backyard, Council prefers that a multi-unit development planning permit has been issued before you submit an application for a subdivision planning permit.

Having the multi-unit development planning permit will make the application process for the subdivision planning permit less complex and helps avoid delays.

How to subdivide

The steps below explain what is involved in the process of subdividing land.

Step 1: Pre-application meeting

Council strongly encourages all applicants to contact Council to organise a pre-application meeting before they submit an application for a subdivision planning permit.

This is a free service and assists Council to assess your application and help avoid delays in the approval process.

Step 2: Engage a land surveyor

To subdivide you need to engage a licensed land surveyor to prepare a plan of subdivision to submit with your planning permit application.

Licensed land surveyors are the only people qualified in Victoria to determine the location of your title boundary and create new title boundaries.

The Association of Consulting Surveyors Victoria and the Institute of Surveyors can help you find a land surveyor.

Step 3: Apply to Council for a planning permit to subdivide

You land surveyor lodges the application for subdivision with Council.

Most land surveyors are registered with SPEAR (Surveying and Planning through Electronic Applications and Referrals) and will lodge using this application.

If your land surveyor is a registered SPEAR user they can register you as a guest user so you can track the progress of your subdivision application online.

There are fees for a planning permit application for subdivision.

Council may refer the subdivision planning permit application to servicing authorities, such as Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water, as well as gas, telecommunication and electricity authorities

If your planning permit is approved, it will contain conditions that must be satisfied in order for the subdivision to proceed. This may include conditions from servicing authorities or to complete the works in accordance with the approved development permit.

Step 4: Apply to Council for certification of plan of subdivision

Once a planning permit has been issued, the plan of subdivision that was prepared by the land surveyor must be certified by Council in accordance with the Subdivision Act 1988.

The application for certification is a separate application to the planning permit application.

As well as satisfying conditions on the planning permit, all the servicing authorities must consent to the plan being certified.

There are fees for certification for subdivision.

Step 5: Obtain a Statement of Compliance

A Statement of Compliance is issued by Council once all the requirements of the planning permit are met and all of the servicing authorities have consented to the issuing of the Statement of Compliance.

Once you have a Statement of Compliance you can lodge it and your certified plan with Land Victoria and this is the basis for the new titles.

Other requirements for subdivision

Open space contribution

This contribution is a requirement of Clause 53.01 of the Merri-bek Planning Scheme and Schedule to Clause 53.01 of the Merri-bek Planning Scheme and is a condition on your subdivision planning permit.

There are some exemptions, which are explained in Clause 53.01 of the Planning Scheme. The clause also outlines the percentage rate of the contribution that must be paid, which is dependent on where you live. This is a set rate and does not vary depending on the distance to a local park or how many parks are within walking distance of your property.

The open space contribution must be paid for Council to issue a Statement of Compliance.

Moreland Development Contribution Plan (DCP)

The Development Contribution Plan (DCP) is a levy for developments that are proposing to increase the number of dwellings on a site or increase leasable commercial or industrial floor area.

See Moreland Development Contribution Plan (DCP) for further details.

Public works

When you apply for a Statement of Compliance, a Council Officer will inspect the site to determine what public works (works in the street or on other public land) need to be completed. These works may include drainage works, repairing a damaged footpath or replacing a street tree.

These public works must be completed before Council can issue a Statement of Compliance.

Water-sensitive urban design

Under the requirements of Clause 56.07 of the Victoria Planning Provisions, developers must now use water sensitive urban design techniques to meet targets for stormwater quality and discharge in new subdivision developments.

Melbourne Water is responsible for assessing whether your subdivision meets these requirements.

You can view the Victoria Planning Provisions online.

Owners corporation

If you create a subdivision that has common property, such as a flats, apartments or units, the plan of subdivision must create an Owners Corporation (formerly body corporate). Consumer Affairs Victoria has more information on owners corporation.

Related brochures and guidelines