We frequently get asked this question about subdivision and the intention of this blog post is to provide a general overview of the things that we look for and some next steps for you.

How early should I get some concept plans developed?

Getting plans drawn up is a critical step to any development. Our team can generally tell if your site is suitable for subdivision though without a set of plans. In fact, we would recommend getting a civil engineer to assess your site before plans are developed as a means of due diligence, this will allow you to make an informed decision on your development.

Here are some of the things that we look at when assessing your site for subdivision.


In order to subdivide your property you will need to be able to service it with respect to water supply, firefighting water supply, stormwater and wastewater. This list is not exhaustive but is generally a good starting point for the development. Our engineers can help you to determine the specific way your site would be serviced in an initial feasibility assessment, which we refer to as a land development report. We recommend this as a great first step in understanding what is possible with your site.


We can help you to determine how the new lot is going to be accessed. General the key constraint with access is topography, as constructing a driveway on the side of a steep hill presents more challenges than building on flat ground.

Flooding Risk and Coastal Inundation Risk

We can help you to determine if your site is subject to flooding or coastal inundation. Both flood risk assessments and coastal inundation assessments are tailored specifically to your site to get an understanding of the potential for water to enter the site and to quantify the effects of this.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Through an assessment of the above factors we will be able to give you an overview of the potential risks and opportunities that are presented to your development site. The initial land development report will highlight certain areas that may need more investigation. For example, we might find that your house requires a connection to the reticulated stormwater network, where more detailed engineering plans will be required in order for this to work.

Once you have an understanding of what is possible on your site, this will also help your architect get an understanding of their constraints for the design of your house.

If you have a question about whether your house can be subdivided, then email aidan@chester.co.nz and we can talk you through the process.