Subdivision is when land is divided into sections that are easier to sell or develop. Find out about subdividing land in Palmerston North.

There are many people who can be involved in the subdivision process:

  • Palmerston North City Council
  • licensed cadastral surveyors or registered professional surveyors
  • solicitors
  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
  • Horizons Regional Council
  • affected people, such as neighbours.

Planning for subdivision consent

It's important to plan ahead, as subdividing takes time. There are many steps before we can issue titles for new allotments.

Section 7 of the District Plan details the subdivision rules. You'll need to talk to a Council planning officer to check the zoning rules for the site.

Talking to your neighbours

It is courteous to talk to your neighbour before starting construction work or when you have a proposal in mind. However, you are not legally bound to consult with them unless your project requires an affected person to give written consent.

If you are the neighbour and are deemed to be unaffected by the proposal, you have no legal ability to become involved. If you are concerned, talk to the developer about your concerns or contact us if you need more information about their proposal.

How to apply

You need to engage a licensed cadastral surveyor or registered professional surveyor to lodge the application on your behalf. They are experienced and will know whether the land you want to subdivide is suitable and can meet Council rules.

Your application will need to include:

  • the address and legal description of the property
  • a copy of the Certificates of Title for the land to be subdivided
  • abutting and underlying title boundaries and existing building line restrictions
  • topographic and geological details
  • areas of the land that are or may be subject to flooding, inundation, erosion, landslip or subsidence
  • existing vegetation, including significant areas of bush and significant trees
  • vegetation to be retained or protected
  • existing sanitary, sewer and stormwater drainage systems with invert and manhole levels
  • existing power and telegraph poles and services
  • existing and proposed septic tanks and irrigation systems
  • existing roads, carriageways and pathways that will be connected to
  • existing buildings and other structures and a description of their uses and materials, and whether you intend to retain, relocate or move them
  • proposed roads, accessways, service lanes, access lots, and private ways with relevant widths, areas and proposed gradients
  • proposed easements (drainage, rights of way etc) with a memorandum and/or schedule
  • proposed areas of excavation and filling, together with proposed finished contours.

Earthworks proposals should be accompanied by a report from a registered engineer or other suitably qualified person with experience in soil mechanics or geotechnical matters.

What it costs

Refer to the latest planning fees and charges.

How long it takes

The statutory timeframe for processing a subdivision consent is 20 working days. If we need more information under S92 of the RMA 1991, we will contact you. If this happens, the clock stops until we receive the extra information.

What happens after you lodge your application

The subdivision consent process varies for more complex or notified subdivision consents. Here is the general process:

  1. subdivision consent application is lodged with Council
  2. the application is processed by the planning officer and other relevant officers, like roading engineers, subdivision engineers and waste and water engineers
  3. Council provides its decision with conditions, after any objections/appeals have been resolved
  4. the surveyor measures the land and prepares the Land Transfer Plan, and places pegs in the ground to define the new boundary
  5. the surveyor submits the Land Transfer Plan to Council and confirms that conditions imposed have been completed by the applicant.

There are two types of Certificates to be issued by Council:

  • 223 Certificate for approval of the final survey plan.
  • 224 Certificate for approval of all conditions being met. This certificate can be applied for with the 223 Certificate. This may also involve Council officers inspecting any construction work to confirm it meets Council's minimum standards.

When approved, we will return the signed certificates to the surveyor, who will lodge the survey plan and other related documents with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for checking.

When LINZ approves the plan, it is passed to the Land Title Office to issue the Certificates of Title for the new allotments.

If your plan doesn't meet the rules for subdividing

As well as an application for subdivision consent, you will need to apply for resource consent.

Your surveyor can do this on your behalf. Depending on which rules you don't meet, we may identify affected people who would need to provide written consent for your application to be approved.

Subdivision consent conditions

It is typical for Council to impose conditions on a subdivision consent to ensure the land or existing buildings can work properly. Generally, these requirements must be met before titles are issued.

Development contributions

Most subdivision proposals result in more demand on our city's infrastructure. The increased demand caused by your development means you will need to pay a development contribution.

The amount you have to pay will depend on where the site is located and the nature of the subdivision. The development contribution will need to be paid before the 224 Certificate is issued.

How long subdivision consent lasts

You have up to five years from the time consent is granted to get the 223 Certificate. You then have up to three years from the date the 223 Certificate is issued to get the 224 Certificate.