Land Surveyors, Consultants and Town Planners Across Melbourne

Land Surveys Explained

All You Need to Know About Land Surveys in Melbourne or anywhere in Australia.

What is a Land Survey?

Land surveys are a precise measurement of land. It is also the ­act of using these precise measurements to produce a detailed document that mathematically presents your land on a map, detailing important information which are critical to any proposed design or construction.

A land survey is the crucial first step of any instance of property development. Without it, any proposed design or construction will be based on assumptions only and will run into plenty of issues such as non-compliances when dealing with authorities, infinitely increasing the cost of property development in the latter stages.

Due to the above, a land survey is also highly recommended prior to selling or purchasing land. This enables any transaction to be done with confidence as to the land that is being dealt with and its development potential.

How is Land Surveyed?

A land surveyor measures land in a number of ways, with a number of measuring tools. These tools include:

  • GPS equipment.
  • Electronic theodolites.
  • Aerial and terrestrial scanners.
  • Robotic total stations.
  • Electronic handheld distometers
  • Digital Levels

The parts of your land that are measured include:

  • Its slope.
  • Its various levels of height.
  • Its vegetation.
  • Its total area.
  • Its bordering perimeter/boundaries
  • Its unique features (such as ponds, trees).

Why is a Land Survey Necessary for Property Development?

A land cannot be developed unless your land has been surveyed. A land survey provides with the facts that are needed to properly plan, design, renovate and build structures upon your land.

The measurements taken by your land surveyorwill go on to inform the plans and designs of engineers, architects, town planners, geologists and builders. These professionals all depend on your land reports being accurate.

Amateur-level or only approximate measurements of land are not good enough for design and construction and, if allowed, may lead to design and construction that doesn’t work or is illegal.

Why is a Land Survey Necessary for Council Permits?

All property development projects are strictly controlled and guided by government laws, whether they are subdivisions, renovations or rebuilds.

The council will not approve your land development unless it is proven that your land development falls within the relevant laws.

The difference of a square metre or two can change the zoning laws, permits and rules that apply to your land, governing which plans you are able to make and which projects you are able to pursue.

When space on your land is tight (which is a common situation when you have subdivided your land, or when you are seeking to renovate a property) you will not know if your development project is abiding by government laws unless you know the exact dimensions of space that you are working with.

You certainly will not be able to prove that your development project is legal without the area being surveyed.

There is more!

The distance between your land’s border and any wall that is on your land must be of a certain minimum number, what that number is will depend on the zoning law that apply to it.

When it comes to gaining council approval, you may also need to take into consideration fire risks, heritage sight(s), protected vegetation or protected wildlife that is on your land. Many of these are wrapped up in distance-related laws – for instance, a protected tree must maintain a certain distance from all structures.

When you are asking your council for permission to develop, a professional land survey is simply going to be mandatory.

Why Do You Need a Licensed Land Surveyor?

The law states that cadastral (property boundary/title) surveys MUST be conducted or supervised by a practicing Licensed Surveyor under the Surveying Act 2004.

Surveys performed by unlicensed practitioners do not have any legal standing and can compromise the future development of your property.

Always check that the surveyor defining any boundaries of your property is licensed in Victoria and legally entitled to do the job.

If a surveying firm is engaged, confirm that the company uses a practising licensed surveyor to perform and/or supervise its cadastral surveys.

The Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria investigates and prosecutes unauthorised people who undertake cadastral surveys. To check if a licensed surveyor has practising registration status, go to or telephone (03) 9194 0258.

Why is a Land Survey Recommended for Buying or Selling Land?

The measurements provided by a land survey will give you an idea of your land’s true value.

Having a professional land survey ready to go will ensure that potential buyers will have all of the information they need, you will not keep them waiting and risk the possibility of them moving on.

Potential buyers who intend to develop the property absolutely will require a land survey so they can see the true potential for development.

How Much Does a Land Survey Cost?

The cost of a land survey depends on the size, shape and nature of the land in question.

Things that can bump up the cost of your land survey include:

  • The available old survey information: As determining your title boundaries involve perusing available old survey information in the area, any lack of will result in more complexity and time cost to complete the survey.
  • The obstacles of the land: If your land contains thick foliage, a running stream or some stumbly rocky or hilly terrain, the difficulty of navigating that land will be reflected by the cost of its measurement.
  • The equipment and tools required: The more complicated the survey, the more modern and expensive equipment is required to complete the task.

Why Should You Choose Prime Land Consultants?

We are a passionate team, professional in not only land survey but also in town planning and land development consulting.

At Prime Land Consultants, we always place the customer first. We understand that for many of our customers, it may be their first time engaging a land surveyor, so we pride ourselves in going above and beyond to provide a first-class service and consultation when catering to your land surveying needs.

Besides quick turnarounds and comprehensive survey inclusions, we also constantly monitor the market and ensure that we charge a very competitive rate.

For an affordable, thorough and well-drawn land survey, alongside comprehensive land development consulting, do not hesitate to contact us today!