I worked at a rural council for a few years as the head of planning and one of the most common enquiries (aside from building a farm shed) was whether rural zoned land could be subdivided. The general idea was that as the land was so large, or separated by a road, that it could be subdivided. More often than not the answer was no as the land was often either undersized (more on that later) or not large enough for subdivision.

Fast forward to today and an enquiry that we often receive is whether a rural property can be subdivided! The difference is that the town planners at Council nowadays will not be as helpful as what I would have been when I was at Council. In response to that we thought that we would write some information on the ins and outs of rural subdivision.

What land is classified as rural land?

Rural land is a land zoning that is defined under your Councils local environmental plan

Zone RU1 Primary Production
Zone RU2 Rural Landscape
Zone RU3 Forestry
Zone RU4 Primary Production Small Lots
Zone RU5 Village
Zone RU6 Transition

 

How do I find out my zoning?

All you need to do is go to the planning portal website and search for your property. The website provides all relevant development standards such as minimum lot size, maximum height limits and floor space ratio limits as well as providing information on hazards and other planning concerns for the site.

What is the first step?

Rural subdivisions are fairly similar to residential subdivisions where the new lots must comply with the minimum lot size for the area (see above to find out the minimum lot size for your site). For rural land the minimum lot size is often quite large (for RU1 properties it is common for the minimum lot size to be 40+ Hectares (100 acres). This is a very large lot of land!

The main reason for the large minimum lot size for rural lands is because the main use of the land is meant to be for agricultural purposes (farming). This agricultural purpose generally requires a substantial amount of site area which what limits the minimum lot size for that zone and the area.

For rural lands it is difficult to vary the minimum lot size for a site. It is not as simple as some of the urban sites where a clause 4.6 variation report can be provided for a subdivision. The Local Environmental Plan often specifically prohibits the subdivision of rural land where it doesn’t meet the minimum lot size.

What is the required?

Rural land subdivision can be a little different to residential subdivision as sometimes it doe not require as much information to make a determination. Generally for rural block the stormwater can be affectively managed on site through the use of pits and other stormwater engineering initiates. Often the biggest issue with rural subdivisions is the impact that bushfire will have on the development. All subdivision in rural areas that are impact by bushfire (refer to the planning portal to see if your property is classified as bushfire prone land) are required to have a bushfire report. These application are then referred through to the rural fire service for the consideration and assessment.

The main two documents that are required are the plan of subdivision as well as the statement of environmental effects. The latter document is the main document that is used to argue the case for the subdivision as well as arguing the point for any non compliance with the development.

Dwelling houses and dual occupancies on rural zoned land

One of the most common questions in regard to rural properties that we received at Council but that we also received nowadays is whether a house can be built on the land. Some people assume that as the land of considerably large, that a house, or multiple houses can be erected on land. For rural land however there is usually a clause within the local environmental plan (LEP) that restricts dwelling houses on rural land. The clause generally restricts the approval of dwellings dwellings for rural sites unless the site complies with the minimum lot size. There are some additional clauses that can be taken advantage of so please get in contact with us.

Let’s work together

Have a chat with one of our planners about rural subdivisions today!

Helpful Content

Thornton Developments Booming

Thornton and Chisholm has become a booming area for investors and first home buyers wanting to leave Sydney and head towards the Hunter Valley. The greater Maitland area is a booming area with plenty of land available for developers.

Read More »

What can I build without Council Approval?

We explain what types of development you can do without any Council approval for everyone doing their home renovations. Read all about exempt development and what you can build this weekend after a trip to Bunnings to get your DIY tools.

Read More »

Complying Development Certificates

Want to build a house or renovate but don’t want the hassle of a development application. You might be able to get approval through a private certifier. We take some time to explain what a complying development is and the steps you need to take to obtain a CDC through a private certifier.

Read More »

Guide to Heritage Impact Statements

Heritage Impact Statements are essential for any development involving a heritage item or heritage conservation area. We go into some of the basics of what makes up a heritage impact statement and who should be preparing them for your development.

Read More »

New Generation Boarding Houses

New generation boarding houses have a lot of negativity at the moment with developers obtaining approvals for large scale boarding house developments. So what exactly is a new generation boarding house?

Read More »

Northern Beaches Dual Occupancy for beginners

Northern Beaches Town Planners explain Dual occupancy facts on the Northern Beaches including Pittwater, Warringah and Manly. We provide some information on dual occupancy developments on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Where you should be looking and what you should be considering.

Read More »

Reducing Car Parking in CBDs

We explore the theory that as the amount of parking decreases, the appeal of driving gives way to more environmentally friendly transport modes such as walking, cycling, ride-hailing, car pooling and public transport.

Some evidence suggests reducing or capping parking pays off. In cities that have implemented these measures, driving has declined and public transport use has increased.

Read More »

SFS Stadium Redevelopment seeks new construction company

The redevelopment of the Sydney Football Stadium has been full of controversy with a massive public backlash to the development.

The development has been subject to a lot of public debate with questions as to why the NSW Government are demolishing a functioning stadium instead of upgrading the stadium at a fraction of the cost.

Read More »

Objection to Boutique Hotel in Redfern

Outlook Planning and Development were engaged by a group of concerned residents in regards to a nearby development that sought consent to demolish an existing (abandoned) service station to a boutique hotel with 58 guest rooms, car lift and guest facilities.

Read More »