Subdivision Construction Works - Administrative Issues

Note 5 in the Design Notes series covering subdivision construction works administrative issues, issued in August 2012 and revised in August 2017.

The following is a series of administrative procedures which the City of Greater Geelong (the City) has introduced to improve the efficiency of the review and approval of subdivision construction works.

1. Submission of plans to Council – IDM Section 6.2

  1. The first set of detailed design plans for a proposed subdivision, are to be submitted, in hardcopy, through to the Statutory Planning Department – do not make them to the attention of a staff member. The postal address is:

    Statutory Planning
    Greater Geelong City Council
    PO Box 104
    GEELONG VIC 3220
  2. Subsequent/amended plans can go direct to a Council engineer as electronic files.

2. Approval of drawings

Consultants should note that as from the start of September 2017, statutory timeframe for the checking of drawings will not start until all of the following have been complied with and/or submitted:

  1. Planning Permit issued 
  2. Completed IDM Checklist D2
  3. Pavement Design
  4. Hydraulic Design
  5. Functional Layout Plan
  6. Safety Audits for Roads and Major Drainage infrastructure
  7. Construction Management Plan

Council staff will continue to be available to discuss and provide comment on proposals and designs, however, the start of the formal checking period will not commence until all of the above have been complied with and/or received. 

It is anticipated that this will significantly reduce the time required for the formal checking of drawings and therefore much quicker turnarounds for approvals.

3. Changes to approved drawings

Consultants should note that as from the start of September 2012, any changes to approved drawings are to be properly documented.  This means that, even for relatively minor changes (such as relocation of driveway laybacks), each page of the construction drawings that is effected by the proposed change is to be resubmitted for review/approval.

It is not enough to have an email or verbal exchange between consultant/contractor and officer/inspector - all parties involved are to have formal advice of any change.

This advice applies also to site management changes.

4. As-constructed drawings – IDM Section 7.5 and 7.6

The IDM requires that As Constructed drawings be submitted to the City as part of the Acceptance of Works (Statement of Compliance) process.

As constructed drawings are to be provided to the City in hardcopy, DXF format and TIFF format.

5. General notes on construction drawings

General notes to include:

  • a note to the effect that CCTV coverage of all drainage pipes and pits is required for Statement of Compliance.

6. Certification of Plan Of Subdivision prior to approval of detailed design plans.

Section 17 of the Subdivision Act. States that:

  • Works must not start until the Plan of Subdivision has been certified

Therefore, if Engineering Plans are approved without a certified plan of Subdivision,

  • Works must not start without a certified Plan of Sub and
    • The submitted Plan of Subdivision must match the approved plans or
    • The engineering drawings shall be resubmitted to match the Plan of Subdivision

7. Minimum road widths - 7.5 metres or 7.6 metres back to back – IDM Section 12.3.2

To comply with CFA requirements, Consultants should note that the minimum road width is 7.3m between kerb inverts.  In Geelong, where B2 Kerb profile is the norm, this means a minimum of 7.6m between Backs of Kerb.

8. Stormwater and drainage issues

  1. Priority of Drainage Issues
    It should be noted that the City regard the proper management of drainage as a fundamental requirement of any development and that resolution of the method(s) for the management of stormwater relating to any development should be of high priority and is/are to be determined as early as possible and certainly prior to the presentation of the Functional Layout.
  2. Contamination of WSUD elements during construction
    The timing of the construction of WSUD elements, especially bio-retention basins, may be able to be delayed to avoid contamination with silt run-off from blocks under development. 
    This needs to be highlighted as early as possible and a formal agreement entered into – possibly involving temporary works and a bond.
  3. Use of Grated Pits – SD475
    The use of grates on pits is discouraged other than in exceptional circumstances.  Their use is to be approved, in writing, prior to the submission of drawings.

9. Bio-retention basins and bio-retention swales in Council reserves – IDM Section 20.2

Consultants are advised that the City will not accept Bio-retention swale drains or Bio-retention basins within land which is, or will become, Council managed land, unless the proposal is agreed to by the City in writing prior to the issuing of a Planning Permit for the development.

This advice is to be effective on Planning Permits issued after 1 August 2012.

10. Proving for existing utilities at the design stage

An important aspect of design is to ensure that appropriate clearance is provided between proposed underground infrastructure and any existing underground infrastructure/utilities.  An all too common occurrence is for contractors and/or consultants wanting Council to approve design amendments because something underground wasn’t where it was assumed to be and there is a conflict.

Not only do these issues impact on construction costs and timeframes but also on Council staff workload as the issues are usually urgent and require Council officers to delay approvals to other projects.

Consultants must prove and depth all existing services and show the services on the submitted design drawing for approval.

Where location and depth of existing services have not been physically proved on site, the consultant will be asked to have the work undertaken and revise the design accordingly prior to any approval.

11. Site Management – IDM Section 7.4

Consultants are reminded that they are the site managers and (as the developers representative), together with the Contractor, are responsible for the proper management of the site particularly with respect to ensuring:

  1. Proper liaison with adjoining properties and the effected community
  2. Proper liaison with utilities
  3. Appropriate traffic management particularly on roads abutting but external to the works
  4. That site management plans are adhered to
  5. That Planning Permit conditions are adhered to
  6. That all the proper testing is conducted and that the results are available to Council if requested.  Section 12.7 of the IDM details pavement compaction testing requirements. Testing of other construction elements may be required.

It is generally not the role of Council (and certainly not the role of Council inspectors) to organise and manage these issues. 

Council Inspectors are present to ensure that any infrastructure that will become a Council asset is constructed to the appropriate standards.

Council Inspectors will however, provide as much guidance and assistance as possible to assist the construction program.

12. Issue Statement of Compliance / Start of defects liability period – IDM Sec 7.5-7.7

Consultants should note that the City Planning Department will only issue Statement of Compliance (SOC) after all the relevant referral authorities have each given their releases. 

The the City Engineering Department, acting as an internal referral, requires, as a minimum, for the Engineering SOC release, all of the following:

  1. That the inspector agrees that the works are to Council standard and has been provided with copies of test results as requested.
  2. All test/inspection records are available, for example:
    1. CCTV of all drainage pipes and pits
    2. Pavement Compaction
    3. Fill/backfill compaction tests
    4. Filter media test results (where Bio-retention elements have been approved)
  3. That any outstanding issues be documented and sent to the Senior Development Engineer
  4. That any bonds are paid/arranged
  5. That the calculations for the subdivision fees have been submitted for checking, agreed and the fees been paid
  6. That As-constructed drawings have been provided to the City

13. Assessment and delivery of cheques and bonds

Prior to lodgement of any fees and/or bonds, the consultant must provide a copy of the Schedule of Rates for the works, along with the Urban Development/Subdivision Works Payment Form (attached below) to the Council Engineer for approval. 

Consultants / developers shall note that all cheques for the payment of fees and bonds and documents following approval related to the provision of bank guarantees must be sent/delivered to the Statutory Planning department.

All cheques and documents must be attached to a letter clearly referencing the basis for the payment/bond/guarantee. 

As a minimum, the information will include:

  1. The name of the development (if applicable)
  2. The address of the development
  3. The planning permit number
  4. The stage number of the development (if applicable)
  5. Any relevant Council reference number
  6. Urban Development/Subdivision Works Payment Form

Page last updated: Tuesday, 6 August 2019