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SPP-20 Plan Approval Requirements

Version 2 - 10/08/2021

This guide is intended as general information only. If you are uncertain of your rights or interests, please seek professional legal advice. Landgate staff are not able to give legal advice or to draft your documents. Please read our Terms of Use above.

1. Special Survey Areas (see also section 2)

Section 20(2) of the Town Planning and Development Act 1928 was amended in 1986 to allow Plans to be lodged with Landgate prior to receiving final Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) approval. This allowed the introduction of the ‘Early Issue of Titles’ land development process. This process is now encompassed within the processes developed for Special Survey Areas (guidelines for Special Survey Area subdivisions are available from the Land Surveyors Licensing Board website

Subdivisions within Special Survey Areas are verified both mathematically and legally whilst the developers organise construction, services, final marking of lots and collection of clearances.

Once the subdivision is cleared by the relevant authorities, the clearances are lodged with WAPC and a request made to Landgate to release the Plans to WAPC.

Landgate will forward Plans to WAPC on receipt of a release letter from the surveyor.

Providing all clearances are held by WAPC on receipt of the Plans from Landgate, WAPC will check the conditions of subdivision have been met then stamp and sign the original as ‘Approved by WAPC’. This procedure currently takes three to five days.

On return to Landgate the Survey Sheets will be added to the Plan (except where the ‘Deferred Final Marking’ option is used – see below) and if the FSC and eFB have been received the Plan will be placed ‘In Order for Dealings’ and computer records updated within 24 hours.

The FSC, eFB and survey sheets are required before the Plans can be made in order for dealings, unless the subdivision has been fully marked before the plan is lodged, and for which a survey sheet or, in the case of a Survey Strata, a final control field book has been lodged.

The guidelines for Special Survey Areas provide for a Deferred Final Marking option, subject to the approval of the Inspector of Plans and Surveys and compliance with any conditions specified in that approval. This option is normally only available where the servicing of a development is fully bonded or where other exceptional circumstances exist.

Refer to the SSA Guidelines published by LSLB.

2. Normal Process

The Normal process requires surveys to be fully marked at time of lodgement of Plans at Landgate however final Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) approval is not given until after Landgate has completed quality assurance processing and legal validation of the plan.

During validation the Plan clearances can be organised from the relevant authorities and subsequently lodged at WAPC.

A release letter (see chapter 20.3 below) must be lodged with Landgate before the Plan will be released to WAPC. Landgate will deliver the Plan to WAPC on behalf of the surveyor.

Surveyors are requested not to forward Release Letters to Landgate until the Deposited Plan has been lodged at the “planreg” email address.

Surveys that have no conditions imposed upon them can be lodged with a release letter attached stating that no clearances are required and on completion of the examination the Plan is to be sent to WAPC.

2.1. Example of the Release Letter

example 1

2.2. Example of Final Survey Certificate (FSC)

example 2

3. Plan Status

3.1. Certified Correct

A plan is ‘CERTIFIED CORRECT’ when a legal or full examination is complete and the Plan is legally and mathematically correct. At this stage the Plan is ready to be sent (if necessary) to Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

3.2. In Order for Dealings

Most Plans are endorsed ‘In Order for Dealings’ subject to particular legal constraints. In effect the notation indicates what restrictions apply to dealings on the subject land (e.g. pends approval of another document, ownership in multiple owners, etc.).

It is essential for surveyors to check for legal constraints that are likely to affect a Plan as there may be circumstances (e.g. road closures and inclusions) which may prevent the registration of dealings. Substantial delays can be avoided if early attention of these constraints is undertaken.

Section 146 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 places time limits on the Registrar of Titles for the Issue of new certificates of title, following approval of a Deposited Plan by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). (Refer Notice to Surveyors T2 on 2008).

Owners of land the subject of plans that were endorsed with the approval of WAPC before the commencement day (9 April 2006) will have 5 years after that day in which to lodge an application for new titles.  Owners of land the subject of plans that are endorsed with the approval of WAPC on or after 9 April 2006 will have 2 years from the endorsed date in which to lodge an application for new titles.

Landgate’s SmartPlan System Status Change

For deposited plans that have been endorsed by the WAPC (i.e. status of WAPC Approved) that have not been dealt on within the required time frames as stated above, SmartPlan will automatically update their status to “EXPIRED”.

Status of Expired Deposited Plan (DP)

If a plan has the “expired” status and the registered proprietor still wishes to proceed with the subdivision, then the owner will seek a new subdivisional approval from WAPC.

For Surveys Endorsed Before 9 April 2008

The owner has until 8 April 2011 to apply for new titles.  After that date the survey’s status will be “expired” and if the owner wishes to proceed with the subdivision, a new application approval must be sought from WAPC. The normal subdivisional process will apply and the previously approved survey will be Cancelled.


Contact Landgate’s Survey and Plan Consultant on +61 (0)8 9273 7317, or 1300 556 224 for regional Australia.

4. Approvals

The Transfer of Land (Surveys) Regulations 1995 require all necessary instruments, applications or dealings transferring or disposing of the land to be lodged for registration before a Plan can be ‘Approved’. Approval of Plans occurs on registration of the first dealing and that dealing must clear any constraints for titles to issue.

At the moment of registration of new certificates of title for land the subject of a subdivisional Plan, all automatic easements under section 167 of the Planning and Development Act 2005  (P & D Act) come into existence and nominated lots (including PAW’s and ROW’s) vest under section 152 of the P & D Act.

Roads dedicate either on Plan approval, under section 168 of the P & D Act or section 28 of the LAA.

Section 146 of the P & D Act states that:

1Section 146 of the P & D Act states (in part) that:

The Registrar of Titles is not to create or register a certificate of title under the Transfer of Land Act 1893 for land the subject of a plan of subdivision unless a diagram or plan of survey of the subdivision of that land has been endorsed with the approval of the Commission and —

  • in the case of a diagram or plan of survey endorsed with the approval of the Commission before the coming into operation of this section, the title application was lodged with the Registrar of Titles before, or is lodged with the

Registrar of Titles within 5 years after, the coming into operation of this section; and

  • in the case of a diagram or plan of survey endorsed with the approval of the Commission on or after the coming into operation of this section, the diagram or plan of survey has been endorsed with the approval of the Commission within the 24 months preceding the lodging of a title application with the Registrar of Titles.

1Section updated 10/08/2021