Can Subdivision Covenants Be Changed?

If you have a property or are looking at one, you might be wondering can subdivision covenants be changed or lifted?

Max Fragar, our founder, Life Fellow PIA and Registered Planner, explains what it takes to change subdivision covenants.

Click on the “Play” button below to watch now:

Or for those that prefer to read, here is a transcript of the video…

G’day, I’m Max Fragar of the Council Approval Group.

I’ve been in this business for about 53 years. I started my career when straight subdivision was a fairly simple process. It’s no longer a simple process.

Why Do We Have Covenants?

Now in the old days, before really strong planning and New South Wales, they would put covenants on subdivisions. They might be setting a building envelope, saying that these trees can’t be removed, setting setbacks, or setting heights. There might even be an old thing that says you can only build a brick house here.

Can Subdivision Covenants Be Lifted?

Most of the time, the answer is yes, but it’s not a straight, simple process. If you’re going to replace the covenants, you need to go through a fairly obscure clause that planners know about that allows covenants to be lifted. But you can only lift those covenants, if you’ve satisfied the consent authority or the council, that the reason for the original covenant which was to set the standard of construction has been addressed. For instance, so that it doesn’t devalue the neighbourhood.
You can only lift that covenant, if you’ve gone through the process of satisfying them that your project satisfies the original reason for the covenant and then it can be lifted.
Generally, you have to show to the consent authorities that you’ve still achieved in a different way what the covenant said or the planning system has overcome the need for a covenant in the first place.

It is a funny clause a lot of people don’t know about. If you want to find out just book a consultation through our website, or give us a phone call, and we’ll talk about that. We’ll probably then do an investigation and if you want to go further, we’d put together your proposal. All the best.