Building and development applications are now lodged and assessed under simplified, state-wide planning rules through the Planning and Design Code and ePlanning platform.

Visit the PlanSA portal to find out more about the changes and to lodge an application.

The process for subdividing land can be time-consuming, complex and expensive. While you can choose to submit the application yourself 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 advice.

A surveyor prepares the plan and paperwork to lodge with SCAP and a conveyancer or solicitor prepares the application to lodge at Land Services SA (LSSA).

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

You can also check the status of a land division application on the PlanSA portal.

Fees you may need to pay

As well as the lodgement fees for the SCAP and LSSA, 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 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 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.

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Page last updated 8 June 2021

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