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What is a contour survey?
A contour survey (also known as a detail and level survey) is the starting point of any design process. This survey picks up all existing features including trees, adjoining neighbours, visible services, easements and takes levels over the land. This survey also determines the location of the property boundaries and the existing buildings in relation to them.
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What can C&A Surveyors do for you?
C&A Surveyors is fully insured and have Registered Surveyors employed to carry out and sign your contour survey. We pride ourselves on our three tier quality control process and providing exceptional customer service to all our clients.
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Contour Survey Additional Information
Before you can begin the design phase of your new development, you need to engage a registered land surveyor to conduct a Contour Survey. This is the starting point where you gather all the necessary information about the property that will affect the design of your new structure.
With a Contour Survey, you will gain a complete overview of all features of your property. For example, it will note trees, existing structures, adjoining properties, visible services and more. This enables you to design your development to suit the property while preventing problems later on.
If you’re looking for Contour Surveys in Sydney, look no further than C&A Surveyors. Our team of highly skilled Contour Survey experts can conduct your Contour Surveys to ensure you have everything you need to move forward with your development.
Detail & Level Surveys, also known as Contour or Topographical Surveys, note all the horizontal and vertical details of a property, and indicate all of the important physical features within a lot.
The survey will include important features adjacent to the lot, such as adjoining neighbouring windows as they face the subject property.
These physical features include both natural landscape features and existing man-made structures. For example, measured natural features could include vegetation and lakes . Man-made features are things like buildings, roads and fences.
Other measurements in a Contour Survey include the orientation of the lot in relation to the cardinal directions, or the elevation of the land in relation to sea level.
At C&A Surveyors, we measure and detail all features in 2D or 3D models. Conducting a Contour Survey like this is essential for a development application to be lodged with Council. However, these measurements also benefit you as the landowner, as they provide useful information that can dictate design and construction decisions.
There are three instances in which you would need to conduct Contour Surveys:
1. you want to construct a new structure or extend an existing structure on your property;
2. you need to pinpoint and record the physical features of your property for future reference; or
3. you need to showcase all the features of your property for land valuation purposes.
When it comes to new developments on your land, a Contour Survey is a mandatory requirement for architects and designers to begin the design process.
Mandatory requirement for architects and designers
All engineers, architects, and designers use Contour Surveys to draw up plans and documents.
The physical features of the landscape hugely influence important design decisions like:
• how much space a new structure can take up;
• the place where the proposed structure will have the greatest structural integrity;
• the orientation of the new structure (which will determine wind protection, light exposure, etc.); and
• what features you will need to plan around (e.g. a protected tree).
Design and construction that is not tailored to the unique physical features of a lot can result in costly mistakes. For this reason, any design, building, land development or subdivisions must be preceded by a Contour Survey.
Local Council Compliance
Before any new development can occur on a lot of land, you need to lodge a Development Application (DA) with the local council.
The council must review the application and ensure that all developments are compliant with local planning instruments such as the Development Control Plan (DCP) and the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) as well as state planning and zoning laws.
A Contour Survey is an essential component of a DA. No council will consider a lodgement without one due to the importance of the information for successful design and construction.
Once you have submitted a DA, your local council will review your application, along with your survey and construction plans. Then, they will issue one of three verdicts:
2. approved subject to conditions; or
No construction can take place without the local council approving your lodged DA.
The most common features measured in Contour Surveys include:
- Title information
- Ground level (metres above sea level or a level benchmark to Australian Height Datum (AHD) when required)
- Spot levels
- Site coordination relative to true north
- Location of existing man-made structures (including ridge and gutter heights, window position, and heights on the wall facing subject site)
- Location of existing adjoining man-made structures and ancillary structures (e.g. sheds, parking and pergolas)
- Visible services (e.g. telecommunications pits and electricity metres)
- Major vegetation (height, width, and sometimes diversity measurements)
- Kerb level and other important kerb features
- Proposed ridge and gutter heights for the subject building
C&A Surveyors include all important and additional features unique to the site that might impact development, such as water bodies. Additional features required by your council or architect/designer can be added on request.
C&A Surveyors will help you understand exactly what is included in a Contour Survey depending on your requirements. Once the survey is completed, we provide you with a drawing file (DWG) for you to submit to your architect/designer to begin the design process.
Your DA submission to Council may also include:
• Engineering plans (stormwater) and Easement design (if applicable) Statement of Environmental Effects
• Specialised reports from such consultants as an arborist, Geotech Engineer or Acoustic Engineer
An easement is necessary when the design of the stormwater management system requires pipes to run along a portion of the neighbouring property.
If your development requires an easement, it is vital to engage a hydraulic engineer to design the location of the easement and submit the plans as part of the DA submission to Council.
Once approval has been obtained from Council, the easement can be registered with Land Registry Services one of two ways; a Plan of Easement or a Transfer Granting Easement.
There are certain criteria which determines which method of registration is necessary. C&A Surveyors will assess your approved stormwater plans and provide advice on the way forward.
Don’t feel daunted by the paperwork. We can talk you through the whole process and help you evaluate all your options to make this process as simple and stress-free as possible!
Fully Insured and Registered Contour Surveying Services
At C&A Surveyors, we have skilled and highly experienced Registered Surveyors that will carry out, calculate and sign-off on your Contour Survey.
We are industry experts who understand the ins and outs of the surveying industry in relation to the Development Application process in and around Sydney. We will ensure that you are updated and know what to expect every step of the way. At C&A Surveyors, we pride ourselves on exceptional customer service with a one-to-one communication channel.
So, if you are interested in inviting the very best surveyors to join you on your construction journey, contact us now for more information and a free quote.
A Contour Survey is required in order to commence design of a Torrens Title Subdivision.
The Contour Survey, often referred to as a ‘contour’ or ‘topographic’ survey, maps out the physical structures on a property. It includes all the natural physical features and man-made structures within and surrounding a property.
An Architect and/or Town Planner will then need to be engaged to investigate Councils planning controls and design the subdivision for you in accordance with such things as minimum lot sizing, driveway requirements and your future plans for the property. A Preliminary stormwater design will also be required to be prepared by a qualified hydraulic engineer.
More information about a contour survey
Once all the relevant information is collected when conducting a detail and level survey, it is then calculated and drafted into a survey plan. After going through a three tier quality control process, it is then provided to you in DWG and PDF file formats for use by your designer.