Have you seen a ‘Battleaxe Block’ advertised and wondered what it is?………….Well it is a block that only has a 3-4m frontage on the street.
Often these blocks are as a result of subdividing a long block with the rear block then becoming the ‘Battleaxe block” – coloured red, as in this plan.
In the plan the existing house has been retained.
You will also often find cases where the original house has been demolished to allow 2 blocks to be sold at the same time.
Another way of splitting a large block is a ‘Small Strata’ Development. (see this link: Small Strata)
What are the issues with Battle Axe Blocks?
To get access to the site you will require at least 20m of driveway and perhaps a turning area. This will have a substantial costs. I would allow at least $600/m run of driveway for a temporary gravel driveway during construction and for final concrete at completion.
You may save on this cost by going for a Small Strata Development with a common driveway, instead of a Battle Axe Block but:
- Getting agreement from your neighbour to use the access for the construction can be difficult.
- In my experience the best way to have good relations with neighbours is minimise causes for dispute. Sharing a driveway means that your parking options are limited.
- Looking after the shared driveway is like some of the ‘Community Title’ issues (see this link: Community Title )
An advantage of that long driveway is if you put a gate with a childproof lock at the front it gives a safe area for toddlers to play.
Additional Service Costs
You will be need to bring in some if not all of the following service for an extra 20-30m.
- Water, could be two services if you want recycled water.
- Gas, if it is available.
- Storm water drainage, can be a problem if inadequate fall and property drains to road.
- Sewer, usually this is at the back of the block but check before you buy.
Additional Building Costs
I have heard additional building costs of more than $15,000 for battleaxe blocks because of a restricted site (see this link to find out more: Restricted Site)
I am not saying don’t buy a Battleaxe Block, just make sure that you think carefully about the implications.
What issues have you found with Battleaxe blocks?
Lots more information in the anewhouse Guide to Buying a Block for only $4
See Blocks for more information on buying land.