Steffan Harries

How to (accurately) measure the frontage or width of a property

When considering property subdivision, one crucial factor to verify is the width of the resulting lots that you aim to create.

Typically, achieving a specific width (e.g., 10 meters) for each lot is essential, and it is not uncommon to find conflicting information on various online resources. For instance, one source, like Pricefinder, might indicate a site width of 20.2 meters (resulting in each new lot being 10.1 meters wide), while another source, such as PropertEASE, might suggest a width of 19.5 meters.

So, how can you determine the accurate measurement?

To begin, it is important to examine the subdivision scheme and establish whether the minimum requirement pertains to the frontage width or the average lot width. The disparity between the two can be substantial, depending on the shape of the allotment. Here’s an illustrative example:

[Insert example illustrating the difference between frontage width and average lot width]

Understanding this distinction is crucial in accurately assessing the width of the lots you can create through subdivision.

In this hypothetical scenario, it becomes evident that whether the planning scheme specifies “average width” or “frontage width” can determine the feasibility of subdividing a site.

If the requirement is based on the “average width,” only the green subdivision depicted above would meet the criteria, thereby ruling out the possibility of the red development.

Conversely, if the requirement focuses solely on the “frontage width,” the green subdivision would no longer comply, and other considerations would come into play.

Once you have determined the specific requirement (feel free to reach out to us for confirmation), you may wonder where to find the accurate lot dimensions.

While manually measuring the property and consulting sources like Pricefinder, RPData, PropertEASE, or Street-Directory can provide a good estimate, the most reliable method is through a surveyor.

Engaging a surveyor to physically measure the property can be costly. However, you have the option of purchasing a copy of the Registered Plan from the Titles Office, which will provide the formal surveyed dimensions. You can obtain this document for under $30 directly from Titles Queensland using the following link: https://www.titlesqld.com.au/title-searches/.

Here’s an example illustrating the process:

It’s important to note that measurements of lot dimensions may not always be in meters. They could be in feet or, more commonly depending on the age, indicated in chains/links. Fortunately, numerous free measurement converters are available on the internet, allowing you to easily convert and determine the EXACT width of a property.

If you enjoy learning about topics like this, the Urban and Regional Planning Education Centre (URPEC) offers excellent courses on-site finding and town planning. These courses are designed to be simple and user-friendly while providing a wealth of knowledge to ensure informed decision-making when purchasing a property. By using the code ‘Alex20discount’ during payment, you can enjoy a 20% discount on any of the site-finding courses. Explore the available courses here: https://learn.urpec.com.au/all/developers/

Bonus tip:

Wondering how to calculate the average width of a lot? The simplest approach is to measure the narrowest and widest sections of the allotment, then divide the sum by two. For instance:

In the provided example, we observe that despite the frontage measuring 8 meters and the rear measuring 25 meters, the average width of the lot is 16.5 meters. Therefore, if you were to subdivide the property, each resulting lot would only have an average width of 8.25 meters (i.e., 16.5 meters divided by 2). Consequently, if you require 10-meter wide lots, this configuration would not be compliant.

Calculating the average width can become more complex when dealing with irregularly shaped allotments. However, as a general rule, taking the average of the narrowest and widest points can provide a good indication of the lot’s average width.

If you find yourself uncertain or have any doubts, it is always advisable to email the site details to one of our planners for further clarification and guidance.

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