Land Development and what's involved

Land Development and what's involved

Do I sell my land to a developer or do I develop the land myself?

Whether you're new to land development or an experienced developer each property has its own unique opportunities and challenges. 

Common questions include how long will it take me to get an approval?  What are the zoning requirements and land use?  How many lots can we achieve on this site and how quickly can I get to construction and make some money?

So what is actually involved in the often timely and expensive land development process?

Firstly we need to prepare concept plans and undertake numerous planning studies in ecology, bushfire impact, traffic impact, site contamination, drainage, serviceability, compliance with state and local planning criteria.  We also need detailed site surveys and perhaps negotiations with adjoining land holders for access and/or easements.

This information is then collated and submitted in a Statement of Environmental Effects with the Development Application (DA). In NSW, DAs are lodged via the NSW Planning Portal. Gone are the days when one could visit the local council and seek the assistance of the friendly planning officer.

A significant lodgement fee must be paid before Council will commence assessing the DA. Once paid, Council may refer the DA to other agencies such as Transport for NSW, the Natural Resource Access Regulator and the NSW Bushfire Service with response times varying.

In addition to the above, Councils often request concept engineering design drawings that show the proposed roads, drainage, water supply and sewer. They want assurance these can be built in accordance with design standards. They also want to ensure that each lot can be accessed and that a house can be constructed on each lot with access to all utility services.

We also provide estimates of the cost to develop the land. We cannot provide a profit estimate as we are not insured to provide this advice. This makes sense as often we are not privy to the financial arrangements that a developer may be using to undertake the development.

Another consideration is the cost of construction. A lot of infrastructure is buried so you can't see where the money goes. Water mains, sewer mains, power lines, stormwater pipes and gas lines are all buried in the narrow space between the front boundary and the rear of the kerb & gutter. If the land falls away from the road, sewer and stormwater, lines will be located at the rear of each lot. 

The estate also has to look inviting with sales not reaching their full potential if landscaping, trees, public playgrounds and footpaths are not included in the design. 

We believe it's crucial for developers to work closely with their real estate agent. They will advise what sized lots are in demand and the expected sales price.

Also in the team are accountants who will assist with tax position and solicitors to offer the legal vehicle that develops the estate. Both will assist in protecting the developer’s personal assets. 

At Hanlons, our team of experts are here to guide you through the land development process. Whilst engineering and planning initiate the path, the guidance and project management ultimately determines the overall success.  Our team are here to work with you from site feasibility to approvals and construction – to ensure we keep your project moving.

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Mitchel Hanlon Consulting Pty Ltd ABN 51104693736