At the finalisation of a subdivision or multiple dwelling development, a Survey Plan is required to be lodged with the relevant local Council for approval. This process is known as Plan Sealing which facilitates the creation of new titles and the formal transfer of lots or units to buyers.
Plan Sealing can only occur at the final stage of development when all earthworks have been completed, essential services infrastructure such as water and sewer have been connected and the majority of capital has been outlaid, with construction costs, infrastructure charges and consultant fees all being paid.
While often the most underrated process, plan sealing is an important component of the development process. If it isn’t managed efficiently, developers can experience costly effects.
What is the plan sealing process?
- Once work is completed, a surveyor surveys the development and prepares a plan of subdivision, mostly commonly referred to as the Survey Plan
- This Survey Plan is then required to be lodged to the relevant local Council for them to “seal”.
- As part of this “plan sealing application”, the applicant is required to demonstrate how the development has been completed/constructed in accordance with all conditions of the relevant reconfiguring a lot or material change of use approval.
- This usually requires them to submit various supporting certifications from RPEQ engineers, Energex, Telstra etc and all infrastructure charges and any outstanding rates must be paid in full.
- If the local Council is satisfied that the conditions have been complied with, they will sign the back of the Survey Plan.
- The applicant must then submit the Survey Plan and all relevant legal documents to the Titles Office for registration within six (6) months of the Survey Plan being sealed by Council.
- Once the Survey Plan is registered, new titles are created and the units/lots can be settled.
If the applicant has not complied with the conditions of their approval or they do not submit the necessary paperwork to Council to demonstrate compliance, then they can experience lengthy delays and additional costs at the most critical time in the development process.
To avoid such a headache, it is important to employ a town planner during the early stages of the development process. They will be able to ensure the process is managed correctly and that all parties are made aware of what is required to be completed and provided to Council. HOPD is ideally placed with a bespoke quality assurance process that puts developers in the optimal position to obtain a sealed Survey Plan in the shortest possible time.
Image: Hickey Oatley Planning & Development Leichhardt Subdivision, Edits: Rhiannon Smit