Development applications

Subdividing land

The process for subdividing land can be time-consuming, complex and expensive. You can choose to submit the application yourself but as this is a complex process it is strongly recommended you get a professional licensed surveyor and a conveyancer or solicitor to:

  • determine the planning and development requirements
  • draft plans
  • lodge all applications and necessary paperwork
  • monitor the progress of the application
  • help explain the land division process (468.2 KB PDF).

Contact the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) for more advice and information.

A surveyor will prepare the plan and necessary paperwork to lodge with SCAP and a conveyancer or solicitor will prepare the necessary application to be lodged in the Lands Titles Office (LTO).

All plans of division must be prepared according to the Plan Presentation Guidelines and the relevant LTO application must satisfy the Real Property Act, 1858 and LTO requirements.

For information on how to lodge an application for subdividing land to SCAP see Submitting development applications.

Once lodged, you can check the status of your subdivision application online through the Land Division Application Search using either your unique ID number or development application number.

Fees you may need to pay

As well as the lodgement fees for the SCAP and LTO, and the fees charged by a professional surveyor and conveyancer, there are other fees you may be charged when subdividing land.

SA Water may charge fees to connect the new allotments to water and sewerage mains. The amount payable will depend on:

  • the current location of the mains
  • the number of allotments and their distance from the mains
  • whether any internal drains will need to be relocated or altered to accommodate the new allotments.

You may have to pay for the connection or alteration of electricity supplies to the new allotments. SA Power Networks (previously ETSA Utilities) will be able to provide advice and information about these charges.

You may be expected to pay an open space contribution fee. Large subdivisions of land into multiple allotments must set aside at least 12.5% of the land for use by the general community - eg as a park.

For smaller subdivisions this is impractical and a payment of an open space contribution fee may be required instead. The amount is based on the number of additional allotments to be created and the current rate set by regulations. These fees are payable to the Planning and Development Fund.

What to do if your application is refused

An application may be refused because:

  • the subdivision is contrary to your council's development plans
  • it's in a rural area not intended for subdivision
  • the area of the land is deemed as too small for its proposed use.

In most cases, you will have a right to appeal this decision. The SCAP will be able to provide advice about why your application was refused and your rights around appealing the decision.

Related information

On this site


For an alternative version of these documents contact the Land Services Group

For an alternative version of these documents contact Planning contacts - general enquiries.



Land Services

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Page last updated 16 March 2018

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