The Planning & Environment Act 1987 and the Subdivision Act 1988 provide the legislative basis for the assessment of planning permits for the creation of additional lots, re-alignment of boundaries, consolidation of land, removal/creation of easements and removal of covenants/restrictions. The Ballarat Planning Scheme determines whether a planning permit is required for the subdivision of land. You should check with our Statutory Planning Unit to determine whether a planning permit is required and the minimum lot sizes and dimensions permitted in any particular zone.

Rescode - Clause 56 Assessment

Subdivision Act User Guide 2012

Subdivision Process

Step One – Planning Permit for subdivision

Council has 60 statutory days to assess a planning permit application. This time will not include the advertising of your proposal to adjoining property owners (if required).  Applications are referred to Servicing Authorities (water, sewer, gas, telephone, drainage) to determine their requirements.  Once Council has received consent from the Servicing Authorities and advertising is completed (if required), Council will decide to either grant or refuse a planning permit.
All planning permits outline specific conditions that must be met. These can include Servicing Authorities requirements, such as construction of vehicle crossings, drainage works and contribution towards open space where applicable. The planning permit may also request the submission of amended plans.

Step Two – Certification

Certification is an administrative step to ensure that the Plan of Subdivision is satisfactory.   A plan cannot be certified until such time as a planning permit has been issued. The Plan of Subdivision for Certification is referred to the Servicing Authorities who check whether easements are required for their services. If planning permit conditions require works to be undertaken (e.g. road construction), engineering plans may be required.  The Plan of Subdivision is not Certified until the engineering plans have been approved.
Once the Servicing Authorities have consented to the Plan of Subdivision and engineering plans have been approved the plan may be Certified. A Certified Plan is valid for five years, if the plan is not registered at the Titles Office within that time, the plan expires.

Step Three – Statement of Compliance

A Statement of Compliance is the document required to conclude the subdivision process, allow registration of the subdivision at the Titles Office and the release of the new titles by the Titles Office.

A Statement of Compliance is not issued until all conditions of the planning permit have been met. Conditions of planning permit may include construction of drainage and vehicle crossings, and payment to all Servicing Authorities for water/sewerage/drainage/electricity supply.
Council will only issue a Statement of Compliance once it has received a letter from each Servicing Authority and a final inspection of the site has been carried out by a Council Officer.

When subdividing in an approved unit site development site, a final inspection of the completed units and landscaping is carried out by Council before a Statement of Compliance is issued.

Fast Track Approvals         

The assessment of application can be fast tracked if the applicant negotiates directly with the referral authorities.  This should be discussed with the Unit first to determine requirements.  Written advice from all relevant referral authorities needs to be provided in all instances. The use of the State government’s SPEAR system  enables electronic application and referral which often leads to faster processing times.

Pre-application meetings with the Statutory Planning Unit to determine likely requirements should also reduce the time for planning permit consideration and assessment of plans.

Subdivision Terms

Section 173 Agreement – An agreement between land owner and Council, entered on the title to the land and may restrict the future use, development or subdivision of land.

Certified Plan – Once the heavy weight copy of the Plan of Subdivision is signed by Council, it is then referred to as the Certified Plan. This is the plan that is lodged at the Land Titles Office. However lodging this plan alone does not result in separate titles being returned as a Statement of Compliance is also required.

Statement of Compliance – A certificate issued by Council once the subdivision is deemed to be complete. This document is lodged at the Titles Office to allow new separate titles to be issued.

Endorsed Plan – A plan showing the subdivision of the site which is endorsed by Council and attached to the planning permit. This is not a Certified Plan and cannot be lodged with the Titles Office.

Servicing Authorities – Utility authorities such as Telstra, Central Highlands Water, VicRoads, Country Fire Authority and Powercor.

PS Number – Number on the top right hand corner of the Plan of Subdivision, allocated by the Land Surveyor.

Restrictive Covenant – Can restrict what can be constructed on the site, can include building envelopes, tree protection envelopes, single dwelling only requirements and building setbacks. If a covenant is listed on a title a copy can be obtained from the Titles Office for a fee.

Easement – An area of land shown on title in favour of Council, a Servicing Authority or neighbouring property. The easement alerts you to the fact that there may be something under the ground or rights of access to your property by another party. 

 Public Open Space Contributions - Frequently Asked Questions