Can my property be subdivided or amalgamated?

All properties within the Shire have a zone under the Local Planning Scheme, and each zone has rules including a minimum lot size.

Where a property is at least twice the minimum lot size it may have potential for subdivision.

Even if the lot is big enough there may be other issues that prevent the land from being subdivided, such as:

  • Land is in a bushfire hazard area
  • It contains significant environmental features or habitat for threatened species
  • No sewer connection available or soil unsuitable for on-site effluent disposal
  • Lot frontage or access path is not wide enough
  • Subdivision cannot occur until a structure plan has been prepared for the coordinated subdivision of surrounding lots (providing for ceding of land and
     construction of infrastructure such as roads, drainage and public open space).

Check the zoning of your property

Refer to the Local Planning Scheme for zoning rules.

Subdivision decisions

Subdivision decisions are guided by a range of state planning documents as well as the Local Planning Scheme, including:

  • State Planning Policies (e.g. SPP 2.5 Land Use Planning in Rural Areas, SPP 7.3 Residential Design Codes – Volume 1)
  • Development Control Policies (e.g. DCP 2.2 Residential Subdivision and DCP 3.4 Subdivision of Rural Land)
  • Planning for Bush Fire Protection Guidelines and subsequent WAPC Planning Bulletin 111/2016 Planning for Bushfire.

These documents are available online from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website.

Subdivision/amalgamation application process 

  1. Applications for subdivision, lot amalgamations and boundary realignments are often prepared by planning consultants or surveyors on behalf of the landowner.
     The application is made to the WAPC.
  2. The WAPC sends out copies of the application to a number of organisations, including the local government, for comment.
  3. The Shire usually responds to the WAPC within 42 days with a letter recommending approval (with conditions), refusal (with reasons) or deferral (need more information).
  4. If the WAPC issues a conditional approval for the subdivision, it can include conditions requested by the Shire and other agencies. 
  5. The subdivider will undertake the necessary work and then writes to the Shire and other Government agencies to request 'Clearance' of the conditions.
  6. Once all the conditions have been met, the titles to the new lots will be requested by Landgate.

What the Shire considers

In making its response to the WAPC, the Shire considers a range of issues including:

  • Zoning and provisions under the Local Planning Scheme
  • Whether the land is suitable for additional development
  • Existing structure plans or the need for a new structure plan
  • Whether environmental values can be adequately protected
  • If the lots are an appropriate size and shape for that zone
  • If new lots will have safe and adequate access to public roads
  • How drainage should be managed
  • Whether existing buildings should be removed
  • Whether any soil, environmental, or bushfire investigations should be undertaken before the subdivision is determined, or if an investigation and report should be required as a condition of approval.

Minimum lot sizes

For Residential zoned land, the minimum lot size is determined by Table 1 of State Planning Policy 7.3 Residential Design Codes. For land in other zones, the minimum lot size is likely to be provided for in the maps and provisions of the Local Planning Scheme.

The WAPC may accept slight variations to the minimum lot size required for the zone.

Circumstances where the WAPC will consider residential lot size variations of up to 5% are listed in its Development Control Policy 2.2 Residential Subdivision.

The Shire will generally not support any relaxation of the minimum lot size for battleaxe lots. The Shire and WAPC are unlikely to support variations to the minimum lot size in bushfire prone areas unless access improvements brought about by the subdivision will significantly improve bushfire safety in that locality.

How to apply to subdivide land

Visit the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website for detailed information on subdividing land and the application form.

You may find it helpful to contact local surveyors or planning consultants to help with the preparation of an accurate plan for subdivision, and / or manage the entire matter for you.

The Shire or WAPC may request detailed site investigations or the preparation of management plans before a decision is made. These should be undertaken by qualified and experienced consultants (the Shire is unable to recommend particular consultants).

The submission of reports or management plans does not guarantee that a subdivision will be approved.

The Shire recommends discussing your subdivision with one of our Planning Officers prior to applying.

Application for clearance of subdivision approval

This information relates to the WAPC approval for Local Government conditions only.

Ensure the following is included in your application. (Incomplete package will not be processed):

  • Application for Clearance Form (see below)
  • Subdivision Clearance fees (refer to the Fees Schedule); and
  • Two copies of Deposited or Survey Strata Plan.

Any other documentation relating to the approved Local Government conditions of subdivision must be supplied with the application for clearance, regardless of such information having been previously supplied to the Shire and may include but not limited to:

  • Diagram of Survey showing full details of all lots, road reserves, easements (temporary and permanent) reserves, and where necessary clearance between new boundary and existing structures; and existing on site effluent disposal system (site, type and location)
  • Geotechnical report, Hydrological report, Urban Water Management Plan
  • Completion of any Deeds, Agreements or Legal documents required
  • Payment of appropriate fees and/or bonds
    • Supervision fees - A non refundable fee shall be paid to the Shire based on the percentage shown below of the value of all road and drainage works. 1.5% where the works are also designed and supervised by a suitably qualified Civil Engineer.
    • Maintenance bond - A refundable maintenance bond shall be 5% of the cost of the works and shall be lodged with Council for the duration of the
       12 month maintenance period
  • All as constructed information (drainage in ‘D’ spec/earthworks) Connections or silt pits within the property are to have depth, location by measurement
     from boundaries provided. This is especially required for lots less than 450sq/m
  • Consulting Engineer’s Certification that all works have been completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications
  • Any other documentation or information relating to the development of the land via subdivision to support future intended development
  • Landscaping/Revegetation Plan & Bond / Public Open Space Contribution.

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