Sub-Divided Block Issues

Want to build a new house in an established suburb? …..Well one way is to look for a subdivided block, or even buy a house on a big block and sub-divide yourself.

I see quite a lot of blocks sub-divided and one extra house added. In a number of cases the original house the original house is demolished and 3 houses are built on the block.

If you want to build the available block will normally at the rear. A Battle Axe Block

So what do you need to think about when considering a subdivided blocks?…..Well here are some issues to consider:

Vehicle Access

Any shared vehicle access can be a cause of contention so a separate driveway is much the preferred option.

If you have the rear block and put a gate near the front this can provide extra play space for young children. That can be very useful as the backyard area will be fairly limited.

Adequate Off-Street Parking

With two properties sharing one frontage and the loss of parking if there are two crossovers On-Street parking will be at a premium. I would recommend having space to park at least two vehicles off the street (this can include the garage)

Privacy

When you are squeezing a house on a small block windows are going to be closer to your neighbours on all sides, so overlooking, and being overlooked, is a potential issue.

Orientation

A South facing block with living rooms to the rear (North) is going to give the best results if you are looking for a passive solar house to minimise heating and cooling costs.

Costs

For a rear block you could be hit with extra costs for:

  • 15m or more of driveway.
  • Utilities due to distance from existing services.
  • Builders charging a restricted access fee in addition to the typical/normal advertised price.

Sewer and Drainage Easements

Easements are often run along the back fence of the original block. A typical 2-3m easement can severely limit what you can build on the block, particularly when you might also have an easement for the front block running through your block. I have heard of sewer lines on subdivided blocks running down the middle of the block, so its important you check this before you buy!

Planning

As part of arranging the subdivision the sub-divider will often get planning approval for a house. If that’s not what you want make sure you get the owners written agreement to the design you want before you buy. It might even be worth making an offer subject to planning permission.

As I haven’t personally built on a subdivided block I may have have missed an issue you have experienced. If you think so why not leave a comment?
 

To better understand what you can build see Restrictions in the Blocks section