Town Planners on the Question of Property Subdivision

Property subdivision entails the splitting of a single property into two or more pieces of land, which are both registered at the Deeds Office of South Africa. These properties can be registered as Sectional Title or freestanding properties. However, the process is complex and best done with the help of experienced town planners.

Why sub-divide properties?

You may be interested in developing a piece of land into an estate or simply want to sub-divide your current stand and sell off one piece of the property. It may seem straightforward enough, but many factors must be taken into consideration to avoid delays, unnecessary costs and failure of your application. Of course, subdivision does hold several benefits, one is being able to generate profit from selling the stands or properties developed after subdivision, but for whatever reason, you will need to comply with the zoning and density regulations of the particular municipality.

Factors to consider in the subdivision of property

Acts like the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act 70 of 1970 and related ones with their amendments must be taken into consideration, depending on the location and type of property to be divided. Given that many laws and regulations apply when it comes to land use management, it makes sense to seek advice from town planners before buying a property with the aim of sub-dividing it.

For instance, you need to consider the by-laws of the particular municipality with jurisdiction over the land in question. If your property is located in an area zoned for a particular density and stand size, it will be difficult to have an application approved for the subdivision where such a subdivision will not comply with the zoning regulations for the area and property.

Restrictions range from the minimum size of the sub-divided stand, how many stands or portions can be achieved from subdivision, accessibility to each of the portions, to the zoning applicable for the specific land and Title Deed restrictions, to name only a few. Make sure you know which regulations apply to the particular property before you go through the application process. This will save you money and frustration. To this end, reach out to our experienced town planners for expert advice and assessment of the property.

What is the process?

Once you have decided to proceed with the subdivision application after consultation with the town planners, you will have to engage the services of a land surveyor. The professional will handle the drafting of the land surveyor subdivision diagram. This has to be registered with the Surveyor-General. Once done, the town planners will take the application forward.

This process includes submission of relevant documents, drafting Government Gazette notices, the required advertisements, and following up on the progress of the application. They also handle the public participation process as relevant to the property’s subdivision. This might entail having to deal with objections from neighbours through the right vehicles including public hearings to tribunals.

If the subdivision of the particular piece of land is complicated by the topography, service lines, or accessibility, you will need to call in an engineer. The professional will do the necessary site assessments and report on findings. Once the subdivision is approved, all requirements met and the process complete, a conveyancing attorney registers the properties from it at the Deeds Office.

As can be seen from the above, several professionals are involved apart from the town planners. The registration of the portions takes place right at the end of the subdivision process. If you plan on subdividing property, first reach out to experienced town planners for advice and to perform due diligence. They’ll also give you an indication of the timeframe involved. Safe to say, you need to start the process well in advance if you want to build on these properties.

Who to use?

Make use of our extensive range of town planning services. We work with the relevant professionals to complete the process. We also save you the time it takes to find land surveyors, engineers, architects and conveyancers as we have developed a well-established network of professionals. Whether you require the help of planners, someone to map, due diligence, or advice or handling of the entire process, we’re here to assist you.