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Plan sealing

Electronic survey plan lodgement

The Titles Registry has released a new electronic approval process for subdivision of survey plans. City of Gold Coast now accepts this process in line with the Titles Registry alert dated 24 April 2020.

Note the execution of all legal documents is still required in hard copy format as per the current process. The Titles Registry has not changed this part of the approval process.

The City’s process for assessment of electronic survey plans is as follows:

Please visit Titles Office of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy for relevant forms and documents.

We are committed to streamlining and improving the plan sealing process for applicants. We are currently reviewing a new, online lodgement process for all survey plan applications.

Please note City officers will still continue to assess applications as per the current format. Over-the-counter lodgement for all hard copy applications will still be required until further notice.

Plan of subdivision application

If your development requires subdivision, you will need to submit a request for the City to approve the plan of subdivision.

Please refer to the forms section below for the application and checklists.

A plan of subdivision (also known as a survey plan) which creates new lots for titles, easements and/or covenants is required to be lodged with the City for approval prior to registration with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and Energy (DNRME).

Before the City will seal a plan of subdivision, an assessment is carried out and the development must be completed in accordance with the conditions of the development approval relevant to the reconfiguring a lot (ROL), material change of use (MCU) and operational works (OPW) applications.

If the development is the subject of an Infrastructure Agreement, compliance with the agreement must be demonstrated.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the payment of any outstanding rates, water and infrastructure charges prior to approving the plan of subdivision. Also, any approved offset credit to the infrastructure charges must be identified and agreed to by the relevant City officers (network owners).

Prior to lodgement of a request to approve a Plan of Subdivision

Before lodgement and subsequent approval of a plan of subdivision by the City, the applicant shall:

  • ensure there are no outstanding rates or charges levied by the City or expenses that are a charge over the land under any Act
  • reinstate survey marks and install new survey marks in their correct position in accordance with the plan of subdivision. Such work shall be certified in writing by a licensed surveyor
  • ensure all approvals or satisfactory security has been gained or consented to prior to lodgement
  • street names must be approved for all City, private and extension roads.

Upon compliance with the above, the City shall note its approval under seal on the original plan of subdivision and/or document in accordance with requirements of the registrar of titles and the relevant Act as soon as practicable after lodgement. The plan of subdivision and/or document shall be returned to the applicant (or person authorised by the applicant) for lodgement in the office of the relevant registering authority.

Submission of information with a Plan of Subdivision

The applicant must submit to the City a plan of subdivision and/or documentation where the City has:

  • issued a development permit, or
  • as a condition of a development permit, or
  • if the plan of subdivision requires City approval under another Act.

A plan of subdivision submitted in accordance with the above shall be:

  • accompanied by the prescribed form and fee of an amount in accordance with the City's fees and charges current at the time of payment, including payment of infrastructure charges and any monetary contributions required by the City's conditions of approval (if applicable);
  • accompanied by a concise submission indicating compliance with all conditions of the development permit (if applicable) plus one A4 copy of all relevant documents/ plans. A written explanation is to be provided to the City if deemed ‘not applicable’ in all submissions;
  • given to the City for approval before the end of the currency period (if applicable);
  • prepared in accordance with all development permit conditions
  • suitable for lodgement in the office of the relevant registering authority
  • an original plan certified by a licensed surveyor and signed by the registered owner(s) of the land and company seal affixed if required; and
  • accompanied by a copy of the City's formal 'On Maintenance' or 'Uncompleted Works' acceptance letter, whichever is applicable. Refer to the Land Development Guidelines section 6.9.6 - documents, procedures and compliance for more information in this regard.


We are committed to streamlining and improving the plan of subdivision approval process for applicants. The pre-assessment process aims to assist in reducing assessment timeframes for Standard Format Plan applications. The application kit is designed to guide applicants through the process for all plan of subdivision approval requests.

The pre-assessment process will focus on providing the applicant with as much up front information as possible for lodging Standard Format Plan Sealing applications and gaining compliance with conditions.

The process:

  • The applicant lodges the pre-assessment request that will be reviewed by the Plan Sealing team.
  • The Plan Sealing officer then creates a Compliance Report and lists all of the conditions of approval.
  • The report is forwarded to the applicant along with an Infrastructure Contributions quote and any other outstanding issues that may hold up Council’s approval of a plan of subdivision..
  • Contact details for the applicant to clarify any technical matters with the Internal Referrals will also be provided.
  • The applicant records how they achieve compliance with each applicable condition on the Compliance report.
  • Within 30 business days the applicant submits the completed Compliance report with the Standard Format Plan.

If you submit an application with all information identified in the Pre-assessment, the City commits to providing a decision within 10 business days.

Download the Example compliance report, high level end-to-end process flow and the plan sealing application kit from our Plan sealing resources page.


Your development approval may require the City owned easements to be registered, particularly where the City owned infrastructure (i.e. stormwater, water or sewerage) is, or proposed to be located on private property. The easement is a registered title with the Titles Office of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

The following forms are required:


Your development approval may involve land transfer requests to be registered. The transfer is registered with Titles Office of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and must incorporate consistent community purpose types to that stated in Schedule 1 of the Land Titles Act 1994.

The following forms are required:


A covenant under the Land Titles Act 1994 (Division 4A) is a legal agreement which sets restrictions on a piece of land. The restrictions imposed by a covenant can be registered regardless of the property owner.

The City may set a covenant as part of the development approval conditions in relation to the use of land and/or construction including preservation of vegetation, native animals or any cultural significance relating to the lot.

The following forms are required:

For information on the new process relating to Planning Act 2016 please refer to the Assessment section below.

How to start


The City recommends that a qualified professional surveyor is engaged to draw up the survey plan. Generally, the surveyor will submit the survey plan application to the City on behalf of the owner.

Assessment officers will liaise with the nominated applicant in relation to the progression of a plan of subdivision application. The applicant is required to advise assessment officers in writing if other parties are to be included in any correspondence.

Survey plans

We require the original A3 plan of subdivision to be submitted for approval.


Once a request for approval of a subdivision plan is lodged (accompanied by the required application form and fee), assessment officers will determine whether the development is at a stage which is ready for approving the subdivision plan. This will be subject to the completion of works or other obligations related to any associated development approvals.

Depending on the material submitted, the City will issue either a Subdivision Acceptance Notice, or a Subdivision Incomplete Request Notice. The Subdivision Acceptance Notice will state that the City is happy with the material submitted, and the application will progress and be assessed by the City’s internal departments. In the event that a Subdivision Incomplete Request Notice is issued, the outlined items will need to be addressed prior to the City progresses the application. These items will be general in nature (such as outstanding pending approvals or works), and not related to specific development detail.

Once the application is accepted, the City will then commence the assessment, and will have a period of 20 business days (from date of lodgement) to issue the approved plan of subdivision. If any outstanding items or issues are identified by any internal departments, these items will be asked for in a Subdivision Compliance Request. The applicant will then need to provide a response to the request, demonstrating compliance. The City will then have a further period of 20 business days to issue the approved plan of subdivision.

Please note that if all documentation is completed correctly and all relevant information is provided to the City at the time of submission; and all outstanding works are completed prior to lodgement, this will assist in your application being processed sooner.

Legal documents

The City only requires working legal documents, for example Easement, Covenant or Transfer documents and Community Management Statements. Copies of any other legal documents for our records must be provided. The correct standard document number must be used for the relevant easements. The City recommends that you seek legal advice in relation to the preparation of legal documents; or from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Common definitions

Building Format Plan (BFP)

A survey plan that defines a subdivision of a building using the structural elements; floors, walls and ceilings, and may include common property, or private open space, e.g a private courtyard. Building Format Plans (BFP) are formerly known as a Building Units Plan (BUP) and do not require a Reconfiguring a Lot (ROL) development approval.

Standard Format Plan (SFP)

A survey plan that shows the subdivision of land. The plan is used to create individual lots and common property. The boundaries of lots are defined by dimensions and bearings, using horizontal planes and references to pegs/posts in the ground. Includes building and private open space on an allotment and has common property. Standard Format Plans (SFP) formerly included Group Titles Plans (GTP) and require a Reconfiguring a Lot (ROL) development approval.

Volumetric Format Plan (VFP)

A volumetric format plan (VFP) defines lots by three dimensionally located points; height, length and width and are fully defined by bounding surfaces (e.g. a cube). The lots may be above, below or partly above and partly below ground level. A VFP may divide a lot or lots and/or common property on a standard, building or volumetric format plan of subdivision.

Community Management Statement (CMS)

A CMS is required for a survey plan that includes common property and where a community title will be created (e.g. standard format or building format plan). The CMS is a document which identifies scheme land and complies with the requirements of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997. The document describes the scheme and any future development. It contains the By-laws, an "Interest Schedule" (previously Lot Entitlement) and a Contribution Schedule and discloses and defines any service agreement to the scheme for example management, care taking, letting, etc.

After City approval

After City have made their assessment and an approval has been issued, you then have six (6) months from the date of the approval, to lodge the plan of subdivision and relevant legal documents with Titles Office of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME).

If you do not lodge your application with DNRM within the six month period, the City approval lapses and you will be required to resubmit your application accompanied with new lodgement fees including all up to date rates, water and infrastructure charges.

Application fees

Application fees are to be paid at the time of lodgement. The current application fees are listed in the City's Register of fees and charges. Please note that the City will not deem an application ‘lodged’ until fees are paid.

The following options are available for payments

Contact us

To learn more about plan sealing, please contact us on 07 5582 9036 or email

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