Plan Sealing is often the most vital time sensitive stage of the development process. Following approval of a Material Change of Use or Reconfiguring a Lot development through Council and the construction of works, Council must endorse the Survey Plan (known as sealing) in order for the lots to be individually titled and sold.
Plan Sealing Process
- Following approval of a development application, the site works are carried out and a Surveyor is engaged to survey the development and prepare a Survey Plan.
- The finalised Survey Plan is submitted to Council for sealing. As part of this application the following is required:
- Compliance material demonstrating that the development has been constructed in accordance with the relevant Conditions of Approval. This usually involves a number of certifications and as-constructed drawings for completed works.
- Any accompanying Community Management Statement for Community Title Developments or Building Management Statement for Volumetric Format Plan Subdivisions.
- Any easement documents for easements required as part of the development.
- Payment of Infrastructure Charges and all outstanding rates and charges.
- Council will assess the material provided to determine that the development has been carried out in accordance with the Conditions of Approval and once satisfied they will endorse and ‘seal’ the Survey Plan.
- The sealed Survey Plan and all relevant documents must now be lodged with the Titles Office for registration within six (6) months.
Once the Survey Plan has been registered, the new titles are created.
The entire Plan Sealing process can be lengthy and difficult if not managed efficiently from the beginning. This can result in untimely delays to issue of final titles and settlements. Notwithstanding each project is different, in our experience there are a number of key factors that can assist in ensuring a smoother process.
- Understanding the Approval – Once the Development Approval has been obtained from Council, review the Conditions carefully to ensure that each Condition imposed is reasonable and relevant. This also allows for an understanding of what material will be required from all phases of the development from prior to site works commencing, during construction, prior to endorsement of Survey Plan and prior to Certificate of Classification/Final Inspection Certificate or commencement of use.
- Involve the entire project team – It is important to involve the entire project team throughout the entire development process to ensure a collaborative approach to the development.
- Make appropriate changes to the Approval – When constructing the approved development, it is expected that changes may be required to the design. During the Plan Sealing process, Council will check that the constructed development aligns with the approved plans. Therefore, any changes to the approved plans should be assessed by a Town Planner and the Approval should be updated where required. This minimises the risk that any inconsistencies identified by Council will not hold up plan sealing due to a last minute Change Application or other negotiations.
- Communication – Communication is vital throughout the entire process. Engage with the project team and Council to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Fast Tracked Plan Sealing Applications
For low risk, straight forward developments, various Councils offer a fast-tracked plan sealing approval process. This service is offered by the following Councils:
- Brisbane City Council – SealSMART
- Logan City Council – ExpressSeal
- Moreton Bay Regional Council – MB+ Assessment
These services involve a streamlined plan sealing process which saves time and costs for the developer on eligible projects. In order to facilitate the fast-tracked plan sealing process, Council rely on assistance from accredited consultants to assess the projects for compliance against the lodgement criteria and Development Approval. Typically, these applications are decided within five (5) business days from the date of payment of application fees.
Bennett + Bennett have extensive experience with Plan Sealing on a range of different projects across multiple Local and State Authorities. We are accredited consultants with SealSMART, ExpressSeal and MB+. We can provide expert knowledge and assistance to ensure that your development is managed and delivered in a timely manner when it counts the most. With our combined surveying and planning experience, we are able to assist you to move through to plan sealing and titles in an efficient manner at this critical stage of the development.
If you would like to know more or would like assistance on your project, please contact us on (07) 5631 8000