The Servicing Cost to Subdivide Land in WA

Want to know what is it going to cost to supply services to new lots in a subdivision or development? You will discover that when you are trying to find out what the cost to subdivide land in Perth is for your preliminary feasibility studies, one of the hardest things to assemble is a comprehensive breakdown of scope and costs for utilities and services. What will you be required to do and what will the costs be? This article will explore the land servicing requirements (utility headwork’s) for small lot infill developments and subdivisions in Western Australia. This is a poorly understood aspect of the site-works component for most amateur developers, particularly the variable in cost between Survey Strata and Green title developments. This is important for you to be able to calculate for your feasibility studies and project costings; getting it wrong will leave you out of pocket and potentially means your development will cost a lot more than you thought!

As a minimum, the blocks of land you create must have access to or paid future access made available for power, reticulated water and sewerage disposal. The provision of access to gas and telecommunications is not currently mandatory for small lot subdivisions in WA, and thus a mandatory project cost. To subdivide land in WA all you are currently required to do is provide access to power, reticulated water,and sewerage. If you are building it is sensible to consider supplying gas and telecommunications however to meet end user needs and expectations. If you are supplying land only to the market in your subdivision project the provision of dormant cables and conduits to allow ease of future access to these services should be considered for functionality and marketing purposes.

Subdivision Cost – Power Supply

Once you have submitted a form 1A application to the WAPC, you will receive a decision letter back after 3 months. One of the conditions of this decision letter will be a requirement for you to enter into a servicing arrangement with western power to provide points of underground power supply for the new proposed lots. So your first job is to submit a service agreement request with Western power to arrange payment for access to a sufficient number of points of consumer mains supply for the development- this is the major component of electrical cost to subdivide land. Proposed freehold ( Green title ) lots receive an individual point of connection. Strata developments ( Built or Survey) receive a single point of consumer mains supply that must be sub metered.

As part of your electrical headwork’s scope after you have lodged a service agreement request with Western Power, you will be required to:

  • Pay for the installation of a Western Power Pillar if there is not one already servicing the lot or available nearby to access for servicing of the lot ( ie. On a neighbouring boundary)
  • Pay to convert overhead to underground any retained dwellings in the subdivision (including laying dormant cable from the meterbox of the dwelling back to the pillar location, including any necessary meter box upgrades for safety/compliance)
  • Pay for future access to domes of created lots (if accessing existent domes)
  • Provide sub metering site mains distribution boards (SMSB) for all strata arrangements

Indicative costs (correct from the 19-20 financial year) are as below:

  • Each additional lot in a subdivision (up to 4 lots) charged at $496 per KvA draw for each lot. Standard lots draw between 4.9 -6.4 KvA each
  • Site Mains Switch Board $2000-3500 approx. (depending on draw requirements)
  • Cost of internal consumer mains runs to meter board or meter board upgrades (retaining dwellings). Cost would be variable job to job.

Remember that internal headwork’s (work on your side of the pillar on your property) are your responsibility. All Western power will do is install pillars, energise them, connect dormant cables to them or attend to overhead to underground conversions. If you need help determining the access to or availability of a pillar and the costs involved, contact Subdivision Experts and we can help with this.

Subdivision Cost – Water and Sewer

The other major servicing cost to subdivide land is Water and Sewer, administered by Watercorp. Similar to Western Power, Watercorp will provide servicing agreement offers and quotes only once a form 1A has been lodged and conditionally approved by the WAPC. Once you have your decision letter back, you will be required to enter a land servicing agreement with watercorp. They in turn will provide you with a quote for future access to reticulated water and sewerage for all the proposed lots. The cost will be much the same until looking at more than 4 lots, at which point sub metering arrangements for water meters may present some cost savings.

As part of your water and sewer headwork’s scope after you have lodged a land servicing agreement request with Watercorp, you will be required to do some of the following:

  • Pay a service contribution for each lots future access to reticulated water and sewerage
  • Pay for an engineer to design and oversee the process of new sewer junction mains connections for each additional lot (if doing green title lots). In some instances a licensed plumber may be able to complete all necessary works in the watercorp process manual for freehold lots without an engineers involvement.
  • Pay for Watercorp for attendance and installation of the mains sewer junction (for green title lots only)
  • Engage a licensed plumber to perform excavations and internal headworks installations by way of dormant pipework extensions in to each lot so each lot has access to a sewer riser ( for strata developments) or water without the need to intrude on neighbouring lots when buildign commences later
  • Engage a licensed plumber prepare the site for watercorp attendance and installation of a junction to the sewer main for each additional lot ( for green title developments).

It is important to note that for Strata developments (Built or Surveyed ) a single sewer mains connection is shared- an internal extension of the existing sewer main into all lots is all that is required. There is no engineering or watercorp attendance/involvement; all that is required is a licensed plumber. This can save significant time and cost compared to the process of supplying new individual sewer cutins to the sewer main as required with green title developments.

Indicative costs (correct from the 18-19 financial year) are as below:

  • Land servicing contribution (water and serwer) per added lot $6300 approx.
  • Engineers design and attendance for new sewer main $4-5000 approx
  • Watercorp fees for new freehold sewer connection starts at $1500 approx
  • Plumbers headworks fees for green title cut in begins at $2500-$5000 depending on depth of sewer main (can cost more)
  • Plumbers headworks fees for Strata development internal run extension $2000-$3000 approx typically
  • Excavation in clay/rock can incur added fees from the plumber.

internal sewer extension

Dormant internal sewer extension example for strata lot (diagram courtesy of watercorp)

There are some proposed changes where providing access to telecommunications/data (fibre to premises) may become mandatory in western Australia, this is not yet legislated however. This will add to what the costs involved in subdividing land in Perth are, and will be explored in a future article. Get in touch to discuss your project costs, help with feasibility or servicing requirements for your development by filling out a contact form and one of our consultants will get in touch with you.

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