Maintaining Trees and Lawns

How Do You Know If It's Practical to Develop a New Plot of Land?

by Cherly Wheeler

If you own a large piece of land and want to develop it from a commercial point of view, you need to understand your options. You'll want to know if you can subdivide it and if so, how this can be accomplished, or you may need to work out what you can do with the common areas. Certainly, you will need to liaise with the local council to understand any restrictions, but you should make sure that you commission a proper land survey before you begin. What should this involve?


Often, a particular tract of land may be undulating in its nature. This may affect its commercial viability and especially when it comes to the introduction of services or accessibility. To begin with, therefore, you will need to survey the land so that you have accurate figures to reflect its overall size, shape and relevant slope. You can then talk with the local zoning office to see what they recommend. You can also talk with them about any existing trees or other mature features, to see whether these will need to be retained or can be modified.

Your Responsibility

If you intend to subdivide into commercial or residential plots, it will be your responsibility to ensure that utilities can be provided in every circumstance. You will not get permission to subdivide if you cannot guarantee water, drainage and sewerage, and while an electricity supply may not be a mandatory requirement, it will be crucial if you want to attract any tenants. After all, you will not be able to build a structure of any kind or expect others to do so on subdivided plots unless they can get working power.

Common Area Considerations

If your goal is to create a neighbourhood of some kind using your plot of land, then you may be responsible for common areas within. You may need to account for pathways, roads, landscape and other developments and will want to know if you face any restrictions here. Again, local government authorities will have their say from a legal perspective, and you may have practical issues to deal with.

The Best Approach

In every case, you should consider talking with land surveying services before making your final decision. Once they have gathered all the information, they will be able to help you fill out those complicated application forms and make sure that you have met the required standards for approval.