Welcome to Knox
Skip Links
Visit facebook.com/KnoxcouncilVisit twitter.com/knoxccVisit youtube.com/knoxccVisit our LinkedIn pageContact Knox City Council


Subdivision is the process whereby a parcel of land is divided into two or more parcels or alternatively multiple parcels are consolidated into one or more plans.

Overview of Subdivision Process

Most subdivision applications require two processes – an application for planning permit to subdivide under the Planning & Environment Act 1987 and an application for Certification under the Subdivision Act 1988.

Applications for Subdivision and Consolidation of land, the creation, variation and removal of easements and restrictions are all handled by Council’s Planning Department.

What to lodge with a Planning Permit application

  • Fully completed and signed Application for Planning Permit form;
  • Fully completed and signed Declaration of Restrictive Covenants form;
  • Fully completed and signed Application for Certification form;
  • Cheque for application fees
  • A legible, full and current copy of the Certificate of Title, including encumbrances/restrictions;
  • 12 copies of the Plan of Subdivision showing the proposed lot configuration, all easements and location of proposed boundaries;
  • 6 copies of the plan of subdivision showing the position of existing buildings that are being retained on the site;
  • An accompanying letter explaining your proposal and copies of any relevant development or use permits;
  • If common property is being affected, the written consent of the unanimous resolution of the body corporate is required under the Subdivision Act 1988; and,
  • For land subdivisions or where no development permit has been issued for the site, a Site and Context description and design response in accordance with Clause 56.01 of the Planning Scheme (Residential Subdivision) is required.

Who can I get to make this application on my behalf?

Applications to subdivide land are made by Licensed Land Surveyors. To find a Land Surveyor in your area, check the Yellow Pages under "Surveyors - Land" or call the Association of Consulting Surveyors (Victoria) on 9326 9700.

What steps are involved in the subdivision process?

Step One – Planning Permit for subdivision

Council has 60 days to assess the application for Planning Permit approval. This time will not include the advertising of your proposal to the adjoining property owners (if required). Once Council has received consent to the issuing of a permit from the Servicing Authorities (water, sewer, gas, telephone, drainage) a report is written and a decision made on whether the permit will be granted.

The Planning Permit outlines 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. It should be noted that 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. construction of roads, drainage and services), engineering plans may be required. In such cases, 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 (where and if required) 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.

How do I obtain titles without developing the land?

In situations where a Planning Permit has been issued for a development on the land (ie. unit development) an application can be made to subdivide the land without commencing the development. When making such an application, a written statement must be submitted with the Planning Permit application to Council, outlining that the land is to be developed after the subdivision takes place.

Council may issue a Planning Permit for subdivision in such circumstances subject to a Permit Condition requiring the owner to enter into a Section 173 Agreement with the Council which requires that only the approved development will be built on the land once the separate titles have issued. This agreement is made under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and will be registered on the title to the land to bind any future owners of the land to the agreement.

Consent to the issue of a Statement of Compliance from all Servicing Authorities is still required, even though there is no actual construction on the site. Drainage and driveway works may need to be bonded with the Council Engineer.

Glossary of Terms - Subdivision Speak

Planning Permit
Permit issued by Council under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 allowing for the use, development or subdivision of land, which sets out the items to be attended to as part of the consent.

Heavy Weights
Two cardboard copies of the Plan of Subdivision, which are treated as originals and are signed by Council. One copy is retained by Council and the other returned for submission to the Titles Office.

Section 173 Agreement
An agreement between the land owner and Council made under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This agreement is entered on the title to the land and may restrict the future use, development or subdivision of the land. All subsequent owners of the land will be bound by such an agreement.

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.

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.

Statement of
A certificate issued by the 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.

Servicing Authorities
Utility authorities such as Telstra, South East Water, Melbourne Water, Multi Net Gas, TRU Energy, United Energy, Vic Roads, Country Fire Authority.

PS Number
Number on the top right hand corner of the Plan of Subdivision, allocated by the Land Surveyor at the time of drafting. PC Number used for Plan of Consolidation.

Land Surveyor
Surveyor of Land who holds a license which enables him to make application to the Titles Office to amend titles.

Restrictive Covenant
Shown on the title as an encumbrance. 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 your title, a copy of the Covenant can be obtained from the Titles Office for a fee.

An area of land shown on title in favour of Council, a Servicing Authority or neighbouring property. The easement may cover a drain or sewer line or may be in favour of another 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. Permission is required to build over easements.

Need Help?

If you have questions, you can contact us on 9298 8125 or alternatively, you can lodge a request below and a staff member will get back to you.

Contact Planning Services

Powered by