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Glossary & Guides


Auction A public sale in which goods or property are sold to the highest bidder at or above the agreed price.

Ballot A method of land sales where interested buyers provide their details and receive a unique ballot number. The numbers are then individually drawn out via an electronic ballot draw system. Buyers are invited to purchase land in the order the numbers were drawn.

Block A parcel of land, whether or not the subject of a lease, within an estate. Each block of land has a unique identifying number, within a Section of a suburb. This number is not the same as the street number. You can check block numbers at In some parts of Australia, blocks are also referred to as ‘lots’.

Building approval Building approval is required for most developments to ensure the building complies with building laws, including the Building Code of Australia. Building approval is usually obtained after development approval has been granted. Building approval must be obtained before construction begins.

Buyer This means the buyer specified in the First Grant Contract or potential buyers of Blocks.

Code This means a code in the Territory Plan.

Cut and Fill The amount of topsoil and other soil material that is cut out of the land or is added to fill it in (e.g. to create even ground for building on).

Deposit A sum of money paid as an assurance the buyer is serious about the purchase.

Development application A formal request for consent to carry out development. This type of Development Approval is the most common way to getting development consent.

Estate An Estate is a new community for which Development Plan. A list of Suburban Land Agency communities is available on the Suburban Land Agency website at

Estate Development Plan This plan sets out how a proposed estate will be developed. The Suburban Land Agency will prepare Estate Development Plans for planning approval.

Exchange This is where the Buyer agrees to buy the block, signs the contract and pays the deposit.

First Grant Contract The contract between the Territory and the first buyer to be granted a lease for the land. This is a legal document. There are sample contracts available from the Suburban Land Agency.

Land-ready Land on a development that is complete and approved.

Lease A lease is defined in the Planning and Development Act 2007 (ACT).

Off-the-plan Land in an estate where the roads and services are still under construction.

Permeable paving A form of paving that allows stormwater to filter into the soil and groundwater, improving water quality and slowing down the rate of stormwater runoff.

Section A parcel of land that includes several blocks. Each section within a suburb has a unique identifying number.

Settlement The date on which the title documents and funds will be swapped between Buyer and seller. This process will transfer the property to the new owner.

Solar absorptance The effectiveness of a material in absorbing radiant energy from the sun (and the opposite of solar reflectance). Light coloured (low solar absorptance) material keeps cooler than darker colour (high solar absorptance) materials.


Block Fill Plan

This plan shows the amount of cut and fill (measured in metres) for different blocks of land. This is important for understanding what is in the ground on your block. The Block Fill Plan is available from the Suburban Land Agency.

Block Details Plan

This plan shows contours, easements and other information related to specific blocks of land. Each block has a ‘block number’ and a ‘section number’, which allows it to be uniquely identified compared to all the other blocks in the suburb. Your block number is not the same as your street number. The Block Details Plan is available from the Suburban Land Agency.

Block Details Table

This table summarises the information shown on the Block Details Plan so you can compare blocks of land. The Block Details Table is available from the Suburban Land Agency.

Deposited Plan

The Deposited Plan means the plan relating to the land and registered under Section 7 of the Districts Act 2002 (ACT). This defines the legal boundaries of land and often records subdivisions and easements. You can find your deposited plan by contacting Access Canberra.

Development Specific Requirements

This outlines the requirements that apply to a particular Suburban Land Agency community. This may include particular restrictions relating to certain blocks. The Development Specific Requirements may form part of your contract for purchasing land and are available from the Suburban Land Agency.

Estate Plan

This is the community plan. It shows the location of different blocks of land in relation to major roads, open spaces and other types of development such as shops and schools. The Estate Plan is available from the Suburban Land Agency.

Site Classification Report

Also referred to as a soil test report or geotech report, this is a report prepared by a qualified geotechnical engineer on the soil conditions of your site, assessed in accordance with the Australian Standard. A high-level site classification report will be available from the Suburban Land Agency once earthworks are complete.

Territory Plan

The Territory Plan is the ACT’s key statutory planning document. It was established under the Planning and Development Act 2007 (ACT). The Territory Plan is available at