The subdivision of any land is considered “development” under the Town and Country Planning Act Ch.35:01 Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 35:01. Hence, the subdivision of land to create lots for residential uses requires planning permission. The following guidelines outline key factors that influence the choice of minimum plot sizes, and provide relevant site development standards related to undersized and small lots in residential subdivisions.
“Both State and privately developed housing layouts have been allowed to provide small or undersized lots. Where these lots are permitted they should be a minimum of 300m2, with corner lots required to be a minimum of 400m2.”
1. Factors Influencing Minimum Plot Size
The minimum size of plots that will be permitted in subdivision layouts typically varies with:
- The general character of the surrounding area within which the plot is located (i.e. urban or rural);
- The use which is to made of the plot;
- The intensity of development that is desired for the site and surrounding areas;
- The physical characteristics of the land including its natural slope;
- The existence and capacity of infrastructure and utilities in the area;
2. Minimum Plot Size and Dimensions
- In new subdivisions, the width of the plot should not be less than 40% of its length;
- The standard width and length for residential plots should not be less than 15 meters and 30 meters, respectively;
- The standard minimum size of a residential plot is 465m2
3. Small or Undersized Lots
Both State and privately developed housing layouts have been allowed to provide small or undersized lots. Where these lots are permitted they should be a minimum of 300m2, with corner lots required to be a minimum of 400m2.
- The type of system utilized for the disposal and treatment of sewage, would influence acceptance of undersized lots. Generally, small lots are permitted when there is a central sewer system within the development or where the houses in the neighbourhood are connected to the public utility sewer system. Approval from the WASA would be required for the proposed sewer system.
- Undersized or small lots are not permitted in a residential subdivision layout where on-lot septic systems are utilized.
4. Small Lots Standards – Number of Floors
Two floors (i.e. ground and upper floors) may be approved for buildings within State and privately-developed, approved layouts with small or undersized lots.
- All relevant site development standards (i.e. building setbacks, building coverage, and site coverage) must be satisfied.
- Exceptions would apply to existing approved layouts where the addition of a second floor to existing buildings, would significantly impact the privacy of residents. Such cases will require a comprehensive redevelopment of the layout, to permit the addition of a second floor.
- Exceptions would also apply to sites that are affected by airport activity, and where building heights are restricted to one floor only.
Disclaimer: These Spatial Planning Guidelines are intended to guide applicants for planning permission. They do not constitute legal advice. Persons are cautioned to seek professional advice and refer to the relevant planning legislation, where necessary, before taking action in relation to any of the issues addressed above.