Other building projects

Approval for subdivisions 

If you would like to subdivide a building or a parcel of land you will generally need to:

1. Engage a surveyor to prepare subdivision plans

There are three main types of subdivision plans:

  • Deposited plans
  • Strata plans
  • Community plans

Your surveyor will be able to provide guidance on the different types of subdivision. Typically, deposited plans are used for subdividing land, whereas strata plans are used for subdividing buildings. For more information on subdivision plans, please refer to The NSW Land and Property Information website.

2. Obtain development approval for the subdivision

Under the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (The Codes SEPP) there are certain types of subdivision that do not require development approval. These include:

  • a minor realignment of boundaries:
    • that will not create additional lots or the opportunity for additional dwellings, and
    • that will not result in one or more lots that are smaller than the minimum size specified in an environmental planning instrument in relation to the land concerned (unless the original lot or lots are already smaller than the minimum size), and
    • that will not adversely affect the provision of existing services on a lot, and
    • that will not result in any increased bush fire risk to existing buildings,
  • rectifying an encroachment on a lot

Please refer to the SEPP for the full list of exempt criteria. If your proposal meets all of the exempt criteria you will not need development approval

If your subdivision does not meet the criteria for exempt development, you may check to see if it meets the criteria for complying development in the SEPP. In the SEPP, complying development includes:

  • The strata subdivision of a building, other than a dual occupancy, for which development consent or a complying development certificate was granted or issued within the preceding 5 years.

If your proposal does not meet all the criteria for either exempt or complying development, you will need to lodge a development application for subdivision.

Please refer to steps in preparing and lodging a DA for subdivision below for more information .

3. Obtain a subdivision certificate

Generally, a plan of subdivision cannot be registered unless it has a subdivision certificate. The NSW Land and Property Information websitelists several exemptions to this (such as some boundary adjustments); however, the majority require a subdivision certificate even if development approval is not required.

Subdivision certificates for deposited plans of subdivision

In accordance with section 109J of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, a subdivision certificate cannot be issued unless:

  • in the case of subdivision that may not be carried out except with development consent, a development consent (or, in the case of complying development, a complying development certificate) is in force with respect to the subdivision; and
  • in the case of subdivision for which a development consent has been granted, the applicant has complied with all conditions of the consent that, by its terms, are required to be complied with before a subdivision certificate may be issued; and
  • a Section 73 Compliance Certificate under the Sydney Water Act 1994 has been obtained from Sydney Water (if required); and
  • all other matters discussed in section 109J of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act have been satisfied.

Subdivision certificates (for deposited plans of subdivision) cannot be issued by an accredited certifier. To apply for a subdivision certificate from Council, you will need to complete the Application for a Subdivision Certificate Form PDF, 506.7 KB.  You will also need to submit six (6) copies of the subdivision plans and supporting documentation.

Strata subdivision certificates 

Strata subdivision certificates may be issued by Council or an accredited certifier. Generally, a subdivision certificate cannot be issued unless:

  • there is a relevant development consent in force; and
  • all conditions of the development consent that, by its terms, are required to be complied with before a strata certificate may be issued have been complied with; and
  • a Section 73 Compliance Certificate under the Sydney Water Act 1994 has been obtained from Sydney Water (if required); and
  • a construction certificate has been issued with respect to the erection of any building containing any proposed lots to which the strata plan relates (for strata subdivision of new buildings); and
  • all other relevant matters discussed in Division 4 of the Strata Schemes (Freehold Development) Act 1973 (or Division 7 of the Strata Schemes (Leasehold Development) Act 1986) have been satisfied.

Note: If you are seeking to subdivide an existing building that does not meet current fire safety/building requirements, you may be required to upgrade your building prior to receiving a subdivision certificate.

To apply for a strata subdivision certificate from Council, you will need to complete the Application for a Subdivision Certificate Form PDF, 506.7 KB. You will also need to submit six (6) copies of the subdivision plans and supporting documentation.

4. Register the plan with the NSW Land and Property Information

Once you have received development approval and obtained a subdivision certificate, you will need to register your approved subdivision plans at the NSW Land and Property Information.

Note: If you are planning to subdivide an existing residential flat building, you will need to consider Part 3 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009. For more information, please refer to the Planning NSW website.

Steps in preparing and lodging a DA for subdivision

The following steps are provided to assist you in preparing and lodging a development application for subdivision.

Step 1: Seek information

Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012

The Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012 (RLEP) contains the key planning controls that you will need to consider when preparing your development application. Clause 4.1 details the following development standards for minimum allotment sizes:

  • Zone R2 - minimum allotment size resulting from subdivision is 400sqm.
  • Zone R3 - minimum allotment size resulting from subdivision is 325sqm for dwelling houses.

Clause 4.6 Exception to Development Standards

If you think that any of the development standards (contained in the RLEP) are unreasonable or unnecessary in your particular case, you may lodge a development application which does not comply with all of the development standards. However, you will need to support the application with a written exception PDF, 60.47 KB that demonstrates how compliance with that development standard is unreasonable or unnecessary in your case.

State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009

If your application is for subdivision of a residential flat building, you will need to consider Part 3 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009. If your proposal is likely to reduce the availability of affordable housing within the area, you may be required to pay a contribution for affordable housing to mitigate the effects of your development.

Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013 (DCP)

Please refer to Sections B11 and C1 of the DCP for specific design requirements in relation to subdivision.

Step 2: Prepare Plans and Drawings

The following plans may be required:

  • Notification Plans (A4)
  • Survey Plan
  • Subdivision plans

Step 3: Prepare a Statement of Environmental Effects

Your statement of environmental effects (SEE) should clearly outline the details of your proposal. If your proposal includes any building work you will need to clearly state what works are being proposed (and provide plans if necessary).

Your SEE should also provide an assessment of your proposal against relevant environmental planning instruments, draft instruments and development control plans. In particular you should consider:

  • Clause 4.1 of the Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012
  • Part 3 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
  • Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013.

If your proposal involves subdividing an existing building, you should provide details of the relevant building approval.

You may also be required to submit a report from a suitably qualified and experienced Fire Safety Engineer or Accredited Building Surveyor that identifies those upgrading works and strategies that are considered necessary to provide adequate levels of building and fire safety.

Step 4: Complete an application form

You will need to complete an application form PDF, 825.22 KB and checklist PDF, 70.98 KB

The application form must be signed by all land owners and the applicant.

Step 5: Lodge the DA with Council

The development application must be lodged with the applicable DA fee. Please contact us to obtain a fee quote.

You may lodge your DA directly with Council at our administration building or by online services. A Council Officer will use the Development Application checklist form to check your application. Council will only accept a DA with all necessary information.

You are required to submit:

  • One (1) copy of the completed DA form and checklist
  • Two (2) copies of the A4 notification plans (if required)
  • Six (6) copies of the draft subdivision plans
  • Six (6) copies of the SEE and other supporting documentation
Back to top