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Where’s my title?

Where’s my title?

March 2021 in Construction

Kade Friedberger, Peppercorn Hill Senior Project Manager, explains what happens once you buy your lot and before your title issues, and also how residential land developments come to life.

Ever wondered about how residential estates come to life? Or what actually happens between the time you purchase your lot off a plan until your title finally issues? Well, we thought we’d ask an expert to provide some answers to these questions and more.

Kade Friedberger is the Senior Project Manager at Peppercorn Hill. And the qualified civil engineer is definitely an expert, with over 13 Years’ experience in residential land developments doing everything from consulting on estate design to construction management to managing greenfield sites for developers. He’s worked with Dennis Family Corporation for 18 months, overseeing the day-to-day management of the 5,000-lot Peppercorn Hill Estate.

So, Kade, where do you currently live?

“At the moment I live in Newport, which is a 40-minute drive away from Peppercorn Hill. But luckily, I am going against the traffic!”

Tell us about your role as Senior Project Manager at Peppercorn Hill and what that entails.

“As the Senior Project Manager, I have oversight of pretty much every aspect of the Peppercorn Hill project. At its most fundamental, that translates to a lot of phone calls, emails, spreadsheets, and meetings. While this might all sound a little boring, in reality my role can vary significantly from day to day as my key remit is basically to keep the project moving.

“Essentially, it’s my job to ensure that we’re able to release appropriate stock (lots) to market, that we stay on top – and ahead of all our deadlines – for all designs and approvals, so the development gets built how and when it should be. Sometimes on a project of this scale, this can feel a little like herding the cats when you’re dealing with so many different stakeholders – everyone from engineers and planners to landscape architects and builders, to landowners and government authorities.

“Plus, I need to know enough about each of these disciplines so I can give the best directions and instructions on to best move the project forward.”

How does a masterplan design for a residential development like Peppercorn Hill come to life? Who is involved? Who determines things like how big the estate will be, how many lots will be of sale, how the estate will be laid out and what amenities will be included?

“Generally, the location and size of each residential land development is determined in accordance with the relevant Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) for that area developed by the Victorian Planning Authority. Each PSP sets out a lot of the high-level requirements for the entire municipality where an estate is proposed to be developed, and the Victorian Planning Authority works closely with a wide number of stakeholders including municipal councils, local communities, other government agencies, landowners and developers to plan for strategically important precincts and decide where to place schools or town centres and sporting reserves etc.

“Once all major components are agreed and finalised in principle per the PSP, a land developer will then bring together its own stakeholder network including urban designers, planners, engineers, landscape architects, selling agents, marketing teams to determine what goes where and why. For example, where different precincts are located .

“While lot sizes are driven by mandatory targets prescribed in the relevant PSP, ultimately, consumers are the ones that determine lot sizes as developers will offer lots which are most likely to appeal to potential purchasers.”

What is special about the Peppercorn Hill masterplan and what sets it apart from other residential developments in the area. What future amenities, open spaces can people expect to see, what transport options will be available etc? 

“Well, for a start, there aren’t too many 4,000 – 5,000-lot master planned communities in the development space. Most land developments in and around Melbourne’s northern corridor tend to be much smaller, which may mean they can provide only some or limited access to the level of amenity that a large-scale master-planned estate can.

“For example, Peppercorn Hill will offer a range of amenity that smaller developments simply can’t match including: future government and independent secondary schools; wetlands and a conservation area along Darebin Creek; local town, convenience community centres; two sporting reserves; the Hayes Hill Reserve; and extensive parklands and open space.”

A significant part of your role involves overseeing the roll out and development of each stage. Can you walk people through what happens from the time they buy land in their stage to the time their title issues and their contract settles?

“By the time a purchaser has bought land in a specific stage, we’ve already prepared and lodged plans with all relevant statutory authorities for approval including the local municipal council, electricity company, water authority etc.

“The approval of stage plans typically takes around 6 – 8 weeks to be processed assessed and can often require multiple submissions and adjustments over that period to secure the final greenlight from each relevant authority.

“Once the approval process is underway, our next task is to start tendering out a range of works to civil construction companies which we then review and award for construction. The civil construction phase is usually longest and most intensive in the development of each stage, and generally takes around 32 – 38 weeks to complete. Works carried out during this phase include:

  • Earthworks – cutting or filling the ground to correct levels;
  • Sewer installation – installing sewage pipes for all lots, which can be up to 5m deep in some instances;
  • Drainage – installing both lot and road drainage throughout the development, including concrete pipes;
  • Water – installing potable and non-potable water to each lot;
  • Excavating road subgrade – digging out roads;
  • Road bases – building up multiple layers of crushed rock for road bases;
  • Kerbs and channels – installing literally hundreds of metres of concrete kerbing and channels throughout each stage;
  • Electrical and optic fibre installation;
  • Footpath/crossovers
  • Top-soiling – adding topsoil to all nature strips and trimming lots;
  • Asphalting – lastly, laying multiple layers of asphalt on roads and line-marking. 
  • Compliance generally takes place now and this involves all the authorities coming out and checking the work or performing tests.

“Once all these tests are complete, our next step is to apply for a Statement of Compliance that confirms all the works have been carried out appropriately, which generally takes about 4 weeks to issue. Around this this period, we’ll commence landscaping works, including planting trees and grass on the nature strips.

“Once we receive the Statement of Compliance for each Stage, we can then lodge subdivision plans at the State Land Titles Office for registration, so that titles can issue.

“Typically, this process takes around 2 weeks, following which each purchaser in that stage can finally settle on their block of land and start building.”

Finally, what are your 3 favourite things to do in and around Peppercorn Hill Estate?

For nature lovers, a walk around the Yan Yean Reservoir is a fantastic way to embrace the Great Outdoors.

When I need a sporting hit, I always enjoy a round of golf at the nearby Growling Frog Golf Course.

And for great food and wine, I head to Marnong Estate Winery just down the road. My favourite dish on the menu is the woodfire pizza, washed down with a glass of excellent Marnong Estate Shiraz.



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