Your Guide To The Subdivision Process In Victoria

10 July, 2023

The process of land subdivision in Melbourne can be complicated and time-consuming for a layperson, especially a first-timer. Various legal requirements must be met and numerous parties need to be consulted to approve your subdivision project.

Regulated through the Victorian Planning System, the land subdivision process exists to ensure the land is used and developed sustainably, considering a variety of social, economic, and environmental factors.

Hence, if you are thinking of subdividing your land and have concerns about the process, we have compiled a quick guide to help you better understand what you need to do.

Plan of Subdivision

Every property developer in Melbourne is required to have a Plan of Subdivision – or subdivision plan – before embarking on their subdivision project as per the Victorian Planning System. The subdivision plan is a document that is presented to your local Council for approval.

There are two ways to apply for this:

  • Through an application for a joint planning permit and certification.
  • By applying for a planning permit followed by a certification.

The subdivision process


  1. Research your land title

Before getting into the thick of the subdivision process, you must obtain your land title and have it with you. Also known as a “land deed” or “certificate of title”, this document contains information on whether any restrictions on your land may prevent you from subdividing and developing it. It also will help you determine which zone your land falls under, and which rules apply.

Although this land title search is usually done before you purchase a property, you may still search for a copy on the Landata website or reach out to your local Council’s planning department or a licensed land surveyor for assistance. Typically, during the initial discussions with a land surveyor and local Council, you are required to produce a plan diagram of the land that will be subdivided along with the latest copy of your land title.

  1. Engage a licensed land surveyor

If you have your land title in hand and did not enlist the help of a land surveyor in Melbourne in the previous step, now is the time to do so. A land surveyor is a professional who will survey your land, create a plan for your land subdivision plan and apply for the relevant permit.

The surveyor is also responsible for finalising the proposal and design of your land subdivision project. They will liaise with your local Council and communicate with you throughout the application process to ensure your application meets the Council’s requirements and gets approved promptly.

  1. Acquire the necessary approvals

Once the subdivision plan is finalised, your land surveyor will submit it or will advise you to submit it to your local Council for approval. The Council will then refer the application to the relevant authorities and ensure all the requirements are met to successfully implement your subdivision project.

The authorities include VicRoads, water authority, gas, electricity, and phone bodies, who may impose specific requirements on your subdivision application. You must fulfil these requirements on top of the Council’s in order to receive a certificate of compliance, which authorises the creation of new titles for the individual lots on your land.

If the Council and the relevant authorities find all requirements are met, they will approve your application by issuing a Statement of Compliance. Otherwise, the Council will reject your entire application, and you may be required to start the process from scratch.

  1. Register your subdivision plan

After the Council and relevant authorities have approved your land subdivision application, you can register your subdivision plan at the land title office to create new titles for each lot on your land.

This step requires you to engage a conveyancer or property lawyer, as it involves drafting a lot of detailed paperwork that is term sensitive. A minor mistake can result in the Council rejecting your land subdivision project. All relevant parties will receive their Certificate(s) of Title once the subdivision plan is successfully registered.

You can now begin your land subdivision project!

We have been assisting clients with their land subdivision projects at Barker Monahan for decades. Our expert land surveyors and town planners are renowned for offering first-class town planning services and supporting clients to ensure they reach a favourable outcome promptly. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you speed up and smoothen your property development project.

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