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Does a sloping block mean money down the drain for a potential development site?

Monday, 1st Sep 2014

When assessing a potential development site, one of the major considerations should always be the slope of the land. The slope is important because it can significantly impact on the feasibility of a project. Some developers will instantly dismiss a sloping block, but is this strong aversion warranted? Let’s look at some of the potential impacts of developing on a sloping block.

Drainage

Drainage is perhaps the biggest area of concern for developers considering a sloping block. Generally speaking, a block that slopes towards the road, where the sewer line is located, shouldn’t have a problem with drainage. But one that slopes away from the road can cause all sorts of expensive headaches, depending where the sewer line is located.   It’s worth noting that, when it comes to drainage, a flat block isn’t always straight-forward either, as it may need to be built up in certain parts.

Excavation

When building on a sloping block, you generally need to do some retaining of the land, which can be rather expensive. There are also likely additional excavation and filling costs to consider.

Building height

Depending on the state residential planning codes and local council policies in regards to the measurement of building height, this can impact the development potential of a block.

An opportunity?

Can a sloping block offer any unique advantages for the astute developer? When developed correctly, some sloping blocks can provide outstanding views, prized by buyers and tenants. By forcing the developer to work with the natural restrictions of the land, a sloping block may also result in a better design and more interesting development. This could potentially improve profitability.

Conclusion

Does a sloping block mean money down the drain? It certainly presents some unique challenges, but it is often possible to work around any potential issues.  The fact that it is sloping may deter other developers and leave a potential great opportunity on the table.

The important thing is to always approach a potential development with your eyes fully open, factoring in any additional costs that may result from having a sloping block. But if you do your sums and it all stacks up, there’s no reason why a development couldn’t be a success.

If you are looking for more information about developing an investment property please contact Momentum Wealth at info@momentumwealth.com.au. or 08 92216399.