Wickham

There are very few exceptions to Section 135's requirement for a Subdivision Application - Wickham South subdivision undertaken by Taylor Burrell Barnett for Rio Tinto is one such exception.

Subdivisions – When an Application is NOT Required

The need to apply for and obtain approval for subdivision of land is a normal requirement and a standard practice familiar to most planners and land developers. This arises from Section 135 of the Planning and Development Act 2005, where it is
stated that:

(1) A person is not to:
     a) subdivide any lot;
     b) amalgamate any lot with any
         other lot, whether within the
         same district or otherwise; or
     c) lay out, grant or convey
         a road,
 without the approval of the Commission.

But When Does This Requirement Not Apply?

There are very few exceptions to this rule. One such exception is the Wickham South subdivision undertaken by Taylor Burrell Barnett for Rio Tinto.

Under Section 133 of the Act, Crown Land subdivision is exempt from the Commission’s approval unless the Minister for Lands intends to subdivide for the purpose of selling the land.

In the case of Wickham South, the land is Crown Land subject to lease to Rio Tinto (or, more specifically, the Robe River Joint Venture) and no sale of the land is proposed. As a result, there is no power for the Commission to approve the subdivision plan, despite the intention being to set aside and create lots, roads, services and open space for the future residents of Wickham South.

Before You Jump for Joy…

While the initial reaction to this may be to ‘jump for joy’ at the prospect of not having to prepare and lodge a subdivision application and therefore not having to deal with subdivision conditions, how do you go about creating lots, roads, open space, etc. without the comfort of a subdivision approval?

The answer is simple – with much difficulty!

Wickham South Subdivision Concept Plan

Wickham South Subdivision Concept Plan

Without subdivision approval from the Commission, there is also no deemed approval to subdivision works (as per Section 157 of the Act). This means development approval is required under the operative local planning scheme, as well as a native vegetation clearing permit and other relevant approvals.

More questions arise when considering the conditions to be imposed by a local government on a development approval for subdivision works.

Also, if the construction cost is greater than $7 million it needs to be determined by a Development Assessment Panel. In the case of Wickham South this is complicated because the Stage 1 Subdivision/Civil works DA was lodged prior to the commencement of DAPs, but the second stage will be determined by the Pilbara JDAP, instead of the Shire of Roebourne.

Wickham South Subdivision is a Success, Despite the Obstacles

Wickham South received certification for Ecosystems, Waste, Energy, Water and Community.

Wickham South received certification for Ecosystems, Waste, Energy, Water and Community.

Even without the scrutiny of the Commission, the Wickham South Subdivision has been designed according to the principles of Liveable Neighbourhoods and awarded Envirodevelopment certification in Ecosystems, Waste, Energy, Water and Community – delivering a sustainable development and building a community for Rio Tinto’s growing workforce in Wickham.

More Information

Wickham South – EnviroDevelopment Certification
Wickham South EnviroDevelopment Leafs for Rio Tinto

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