Note: this guideline is issued by the Surveyor-General under section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 about the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 and is not legally binding.

The following information relates to the use of a permanent structure boundary to define the horizontal extent of a parcel or to limit the vertical extent of a parcel.

A permanent structure is a building or recognisable physical structure that is likely to remain undisturbed for 50 years or more (rule 2 definition). Structures of this nature are substantially anchored in place and made of a durable material.

A permanent structure boundary does not necessarily follow the physical shape of the permanent structure but must have some description that unambiguously relates the boundary to the permanent structure. 

Historically, wooden fences have been used to define the extent of some non-primary parcels.  Unless there is some permanence associated with the fence (eg a concrete footing) such examples will generally not comply with the definition of permanent structure in rule 2.

Unit to be defined in relation to a building

A principal unit must contain a building or part of a building or be contained in a building.  Note, the unit does not need to be bounded by the physical shape of that building (s 7 of the Unit Titles Act 2010).

This requirement contrasts with the former Unit Titles Act 1972 where a unit could be a defined envelope of air space.

An exception to this is a principal unit that is a car park.

Where a permanent structure boundary coincides with primary boundary

Where a permanent structure coincides with the underlying primary parcel boundary, the boundary of the new non-primary parcel is to be the same form of boundary as the primary parcel (this means that the primary parcel boundary is used to define the new non-primary parcel).  In this case, the relationship between the permanent structure and the new non-primary parcel boundary must be clear and unambiguous [r 9.6.15(a) and r 10.4.10(a)].

Note, a permanent structure boundary must not be used to define the extent of a primary parcel [r 6.9].

Reduced levels for unit development only for stratum boundary

Historically, a reduced level was required to define the upper or lower limit of a unit in a unit development.  A reduced level is now only required where the vertical extent of a unit is defined by a stratum boundary [r 6.8(a)].

A reduced level must not be used where the boundary is a permanent structure boundary [r 9.6.15(a) and r 10.4.10(a)].

Note, a CSD may include both permanent structure boundaries and stratum boundaries, but they must be for different boundaries.

Where a new unit or easement boundary is to coincide with an existing stratum boundary, this existing stratum boundary must be used.  In most cases, this existing boundary may be adopted.

Refer to accuracy of adoptions when 'defining by adoption'

Refer to form of boundary where boundaries coincide or are in common

Easement using a permanent structure boundary

The use of a permanent structure boundary for an easement is appropriate only where the use of the right is related to the structure [r 6.9(a)(iv)].

Examples include a sewage or water easement that runs from a permanent structure (building) to a manhole or to the road boundary and when the structure is removed, the easement becomes redundant. In these cases, the permanent structure may define the horizontal extent and/ or the vertical extent.

A permanent structure within a parcel must not be used to define an easement that serves another parcel.

Using an existing lease boundary for new parcel boundary

In the case of a subsequent stage of a cross lease development or where part of an existing cross lease development is being changed, the following may be applied:

  • A boundary of a new lease parcel may be an adopted boundary where it is in common with an abutting existing lease parcel.  This is providing the abutting lease parcel, its appellation, and its land transfer registration is being retained.
  • The new CSD must depict the boundary in the same manner as the original CSD and reference this CSD.
  • A new restrictive area parcel may also adopt an abutting existing lease parcel boundary in similar circumstances.

In respect to parcel identifiers in staged developments:

Refer to appellations on staged cross lease developments

Refer to appellations for 'common area' on a cross lease development

Using an existing restrictive area boundary for new restrictive area parcel

In the case of a subsequent stage of a cross lease development or where part of an existing cross lease development is being changed, the following may be applied:

Where the boundary of a new restrictive area is a permanent structure boundary, rule 6.9(b) (how this boundary type can be used), rule 9.6.9 (Diagram of Survey detail and accuracies) and rule 10.4.7 (Diagram of Parcel detail) are particularly specific.

In respect to existing boundaries:

  • a boundary of a new restrictive area parcel may be an adopted boundary where it is in common with an abutting existing restrictive area parcel and that boundary complies with the relevant Rules.  In this case, the new CSD must reference the source CSD.  This is illustrated by the wooden fence in the example in Figure 1 below.
  • where the existing boundary does not comply with the Rules, the boundary must be re-established in the same position and be in terms of the relevant Rules [r 6.2(a)(vii)].  In this case, the survey report must outline the decisions made and information used to define this boundary [r 8.2(a)(ix)]. This is illustrated by the offset dimensions shown in blue in Figure 1 below.
  • where the surveyor decides not to re-establish the boundary in the same position, the boundary becomes a new boundary.  Where it is not obvious that the boundary is either a new or a re-established boundary, the survey report must clarify the situation [r 8.2(a)(ix)]. 

Note: that an abutting existing lease boundary may be used as a new restrictive area boundary (refer Using an existing lease boundary for new parcel boundary above).

In respect to parcel identifiers in staged developments refer to Appellations on staged cross lease developments and Appellations for 'common area' on a cross lease development as above.

Diagram showing the use of existing restrictive area boundaries
Figure 1: Use of existing restrictive area boundaries

Where permanent structure boundary follows permanent structure

The boundary may follow a described part of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(i)].

Diagram showing where a boundary follows various parts of a permanent structure
Figure 2: Where a boundary follows various parts of a permanent structure

Where permanent structure boundary is between points

The boundary may be a straight line between clearly identified points on the interior or exterior of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(ii)].

Diagram showing where a boundary is a straight line between points
Figure 3: Where a boundary is a straight line between points

Where permanent structure boundary is between offset points

The boundary may be a straight line connecting boundary points located from clearly identified points on the interior or exterior of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(iii)]. This is illustrated in Figure 4 below.

These boundary points must be no more than 20 m horizontally from the permanent structure.

Where boundary is horizontally offset from structure

The boundary may be:

  • at a constant offset from a clearly identified interior or exterior part of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(iv)], or
  • a surface unambiguously located from clearly identified points on the interior or exterior of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(v)].
Diagram showing where a boundary is offset horizontally from a permanent structure
Figure 4: Where a boundary is offset horizontally from a permanent structure

Where boundary is vertically offset from structure

The boundary may be:

  • offset from a clearly identified interior or exterior part of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(iv)].  An example of this is the use of vertical offsets above or below a permanent structure. 
  • a surface located from clearly identified points on the interior or exterior of a permanent structure [r 6.9(b)(v)].
Diagram showing where a boundary is offset vertically from a permanent structure
Figure 5: Where a boundary is offset vertically from a permanent structure
Last Updated: 30 March 2017
Authority: Surveyor-General - Section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002
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