Subdivision is the division of land into two (2) or more parts that, after the division, would be adapted for separate occupation, use or disposition, and includes Torrens title, Strata title, Community title, and Stratum Title subdivisions.

Development consent is required for subdivision via a development application or complying development certificate.

Subdivision of land creates new lots of land or changes the size of the existing lot or the location of the property boundaries.

This process creates a new title for each new lot that can then be registered with NSW Land Registry Services.

What are the different types of subdivision?

Torrens Title

Torrens Title subdivision involves the creation of new freehold allotments from an existing allotment/s.

This may be achieved by:

  • Torrens Title subdivision - the subdivision of an existing Torrens Title lot into two or more Torrens Title lots.
  • Boundary adjustment – a boundary adjustment is a form of subdivision involving the realignment of a common lot boundary between two Torrens Title lots to create a new allotment configuration. Although no additional lots are created by a boundary adjustment, it is a form of subdivision because new lots are created through this process.

Strata Title

Strata subdivision gives ownership to individual portions of a larger property and a share of common property such as gardens and driveways. Owners become members of the body corporate and may share responsibility for the whole property, with strata levies usually paid into the sinking fund apportioned based on unit entitlements to cover the cost of ongoing building maintenance. Strata subdivision is most commonly used with dual occupancies, multiple dwelling development, residential flat buildings, apartment buildings and commercial and industrial buildings.

Community Title

Community Title subdivision involves the subdivision of land so that each resultant lot has a separate title but also shares a common piece of land such as a private road, pool, BBQ area, driveway, garden, etc. The Community Plan associated with the subdivision may also outline a number of development guidelines for the subdivision design and construction.  A community title scheme is similar to a strata title subdivision in that when you buy a lot, you own that lot and share ownership and responsibility for common areas on the property. 

A community title scheme is created by the registration of a Community, Neighbourhood or Precinct plan (much like a strata scheme) and is managed by a body corporate consisting of all lot owners known as the Community Association. All common areas (including all common roads, pools, BBQ areas and parklands) are referred to as Association Property. Unit entitlement is based on site values which determines unit owners’ voting rights and contributions to maintenance and insurance levies.

Any development application proposing a subdivision by community title are to be accompanied by draft Community, Neighbourhood or Precinct plan schemes including the draft by-laws and draft unit entitlements.

Stratum Subdivision

Stratum subdivision is the horizontal subdivision of sections of a building into separate titles.

The creation of mixed-use developments such as shopping centres, commercial offices and residential home units; occupying separate floors within the one building may be subdivided through the preparation of a plan of stratum subdivision.

To enable the different needs of the various occupants to be accommodated the building can be stratum subdivided horizontally into lots, each of which can then be sold, leased, mortgaged or further subdivided by a strata scheme.

An example is the subdivision of multi-level mixed use building with ground floor retail or commercial area in a stratum lot, separated vertically from the above residential floors contained within another stratum lot, each of which could be further subdivided under strata subdivision so each commercial unit, and residential apartment is within its own strata lot.

Lot Consolidation

Lot consolidation subdivision is the amalgamation of 2 or more existing lots and their simultaneous redivision, along new boundaries, into 2 or more new lots. 

However, lot consolidation involving amalgamation of multiple allotments into a single lot is not a form of subdivision, because it involves combining two or more lots into one parcel of land, and hence, one Title.  

In this case, as with other forms of subdivision, either a Deposited Plan, Strata Plan or Community Plan must be prepared by a Registered Surveyor for lodgement to the NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS).  However, unlike subdivision where development consent is required, consolidation into one allotment does not require the consent of the Council, and may be registered directly with NSW Land Registry Services with the consent of the owner of the lots.

What are the minimum lot sizes for subdivision?

The Bellingen Shire Council Local Environmental Plan 2010 identifies the minimum lot sizes that apply for the subdivision of land within the Bellingen Shire in the lot size map.

The exception is subdivision of a lot in the R1 General Residential Zone is not subject to the requirements of the minimum lot size map if the lot to be subdivided contains existing residential accommodation (other than a secondary dwelling) or development consent has been granted for the erection of residential accommodation (other than a secondary dwelling) on that lot, and either way, each lot resulting from the subdivision will contain a dwelling.

Please note this advice is not meant to be all-inclusive and does not contain all the information necessary to determine whether a specific subdivision development proposal meets the minimum lot size requirements.  For a more precise understanding, you will need to refer to the relevant planning controls or seek professional advice.

What else do I need to consider?

There are several important factors which must be considered when determining whether a site is suitable for subdivision.

These are covered in Bellingen Shire Council Development Control Plan 2017-2019(PDF, 8MB) and include, but are not limited to:

  • Zoning and land use objectives
  • Physical constraints such as flooding, vegetation, watercourse, geotechnical issues, coastal hazards, buffers and archaeology
  • Bushfire prone land
  • Heritage implications
  • Access and unformed roads
  • Availability of public utilities, including water, sewer, electricity and telecommunications
  • Restrictions on the use of land, such as easements and restrictions
  • Lot configuration
  • Development potential
  • Solar efficiency of proposed allotments
What approval pathway can I use to apply?

To obtain development consent, you will need to lodge either a Development Application (DA) or a Complying Development (CDC). 

Lodge a DA       Lodge a CDC