Land sub-division is an integral aspect of development. Sub-division allows land owners to alter their land-use activities in a bid to maximize the productivity of a given lot.
As a student of development administration, you're likely to come across a question (or two) about land sub-division in your continuous assessment tests or in your final examinations. Here are answers to three questions on the mentioned topic.
Why The Need To Regulate Land Sub-Divisions?
Regulations on land sub-division are often not concerned with the actual sub-division of land. Rather, they're concerned with the intended activities that created the need to sub-divide land. The importance of these regulations is seen in various ways including, but not limited to, the following:
- Food security: An increasing number of Australians are warming up to the idea of living in the countryside. This means that more of Australia's rural plots are being sub-divided to allow for the construction of residential settlements. It also means that more of the productive rural land that was initially used for agriculture is being (permanently) lost to construction-related activities. If unregulated, this situation can easily have a negative impact on the state of food security in Australia.
- Groundwater quality: Activities that create the need for sub-division may also have a negative impact on the quality of groundwater in the particular jurisdiction. For example, the installation of a septic tank may leave nearby sources of groundwater (e.g. boreholes) vulnerable to contamination.
How Is The Suitability Of Land For Sub-Division Determined?
Factors considered when determining whether a particular plot can be sub-divided include, but they're not limited to, the following:
- The extent of disturbance that the sub-division will cause on native vegetation that may be present on site
- The kind of changes that might have to be made on utility lines as a result of sub-division
- How sub-division will affect the ease of access to public areas surrounding the specified lot
- Whether sub-division will make the specified lot more susceptible to natural hazards (for example. mud-slides)
What Are Some Amendments That Have Been Made To Sub-Division Laws?
Legislative policies on land sub-division continue to be modified so that they're more responsive to the needs of those who may wish to sub-divide their land.
For example, the minimum size of land that can be sub-divided in Western Australia is currently 855 square metres. This minimum size was 950 square metres a few years ago.