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Plan sealing

Developments creating new titles, require the approval of a survey plan, easement and/or covenants.

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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:

  • Applicants lodge their electronic survey plans (form 21B version 2), signed form 18A and all related documents via email to, accompanied by a signed Form 18A. For payments using a Business Partner account, you must nominate this option when completing the Plan Sealing Kit, Fees Summary section.
  • City officers will log the application into the system and send to plan sealing for review.
  • A plan sealing officer will issue an incomplete lodgement notice and provide details of the application fee payment options with a request for any other required information.
  • When the applicant receives the notice they can choose from the below two options:
    • pay online and mail all hard copy legal documents including a cover letter and clear reference to the application number to:
      Chief Executive Officer
      City of Gold Coast
      PO Box 5042
      GOLD COAST MC 9726, or
    • lodge all the relevant required hard copy documents over the counter at one of our customer service centres.
  • Assessment will begin upon submission of the application and payment of the application fee. Once compliant, officers will sign the form 18B and application documents, and email to the applicant.
  • For the return of hard copy documents the applicant can choose from the below two options:
    • We will post all hardcopy signed documents back to the applicant by regular post. Note that we take no responsibility for the time taken by Australia Post to get the documents back to the applicant.
    • You can collect all documents from the City as per the current process.

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

Related information

Jump to key information
  • Who can help me prepare my plan of subdivision?

    The City suggests that you make contact with an appropriately qualified professional. As a starting point, the City recommends you liaise with a qualified surveyor who has experience with working in the City of Gold Coast.

  • What forms are required to lodge a plan of subdivision application?

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

  • What do I do after City of Gold Coast endorses my plan of subdivision?

    If there are no further requirements to satisfy your conditions of approval (i.e. there may be bonding agreements in place), City of Gold Coast suggests you make contact with the Titles Office, which is part of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME).

  • When can I start building a house on my newly-created block?

    The plan of subdivision is required to be endorsed by the City of Gold Coast and the titles registered by the Titles Office – which is part of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy – before the newly created allotment can be built upon.

  • How and when do I pay the application fees?

    The application fees are payable at time of lodgement. Please refer to the current Register of fees and charges.

  • How long will it take for my plan of subdivision to be finalised by City of Gold Coast?

    Under the Planning Act 2016 an application has 20 business days from lodgement of application for assessment to be completed. If the development complies with the relevant conditions then the request will be approved.

  • What is bonding?

    A bond is the payment of security by the owner to the Council of the City of Gold Coast to secure compliance of certain development requirements prior to approving a plan of subdivision. An “owner” is the owner of the land or their authorised legal representative.

    Bonds may be used in the following circumstances:

    • to secure compliance with a condition of a development approval in accordance with The Planning Act 2016
    • to secure completion of uncompleted conditions of a development approval for operational works and/or reconfiguring a lot in accordance with The Planning Act 2016
    • to ensure public works infrastructure dedicated to the City has been correctly constructed and installed, has been properly maintained, is free of defects and is fit for its intended purpose
    • to mitigate the risk of damage to City infrastructure or the degradation of environmental quality.

    Please refer to section of the City Plan.

  • What are ‘As Constructed’ drawings?

    All reticulated and drainage systems must indicate the existing services to which the subdivision is connected.

    The ‘as constructed’ information will be used by the City to ensure that the completed works satisfy the following:

    • provide an accurate record of the ‘as constructed’ completed works for location, level and attribute information in accordance with City requirements and specifications
    • ensure that the finished product is in accordance with the approved Engineering Drawings and Council standards and specifications
    • ensure an inventory of contributed assets is handed over to the City for asset recognition purposes.

    Please refer to section of the City Plan.

  • What do I do if the conditions in my permit require a plumbing and drainage approval?

    A submission to the City for approval is required before starting work. Once work has commenced, please contact a plumbing and drainage inspector to arrange an inspection. For a complete list of all plumbing and drainage requirements please visit the Plumbing and drainage page.

  • Do I need to pay infrastructure charges?

    The issuing of an Infrastructure Charges Notice may be triggered by: assessable development; a change to application approval; or an extension approval. The types of development that may trigger the issuing of an Infrastructure Charges Notice are:

    • reconfiguring of a lot
    • material change of use
    • carrying out building work.

    Refer to the Infrastructure contributions page for more information.

  • When do I need to pay my infrastructure contributions?

    Infrastructure charges are required to be paid before approval of plans of subdivision. For further information regarding infrastructure contributions please call 07 5582 9030 or email

  • What do I do if I have any other questions?

    Please email the plan sealing team with your enquiries to


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