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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about consents and severances in the City of London.

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  • What is a severance?

    Typically, new lots are created through approval of a plan of subdivision. However, when five (5) or fewer new lots are proposed, and no new road is required, an application for "consent to sever" may be appropriate.  Dividing the land is therefore known as 'severing' or 'creating a severance'.  Permission to do so is known as consent to sever.

  • What is (a) consent?

    The Planning Act requires that consent (ie. permission) must be granted before a parcel of land can be divided to create a new lot. This process is referred to as severing land (see severance). Controlling the division of land through severance gives the City a procedure to ensure that the creation of lots is consistent with the planning policies as set out in the Official Plan; the lots meet provisions under the Zoning By-law; and all servicing requirements have been met. If six (6) or more severances are intended on the same property, or if a new road is required to service any new lot, a plan of subdivision is used to divide the property. In the City of London applications for consent are dealt with by Development Services who act on behalf of the consent authority.

  • Are there other types of consent that can be granted?

    Yes, aside from consent to sever, consent may also be granted to;


    1. Register or discharge a mortgage over part of a parcel of land;
    2. Register a lease over part of a parcel of land when the term of the lease is 21 years or more (inclusive of renewal options);
    3. Register easements for rights-of-way, and;
    4. Adjust boundaries of existing land parcels to enlarge or decrease the size of a property.
  • How are applications for consent to sever evaluated?

    In evaluating applications for land division, the Consent Authority considers:


    1. Conformity with the lot creation policies of the Official Plan;
    2. The availability of access to and frontage on a municipal road;
    3. The appropriateness of the size and configuration of the proposed lot for the land use;
    4. The adequacy of water and wastewater services;
    5. The location and characteristics of the property;
    6. The conservation and protection of natural resources and farmland, and;
    7. The impact upon the current and future use of surrounding properties.
  • How long does it take?

    Depending on the application, it takes approximately 60-90 days from the day the application is filed until the final decision of the Consent Authority. 

  • How much does it cost?

    The costs for the various consents are described in the City of London Fees and Charges By-law.

    There are different fees for different consents and the number of certificates required, etc.

  • How can I apply?

    Because each consent is unique, it is recommended that you speak with a Planner in Development Services to determine the need for, or appropriateness of, an application for any type of consent.  Each application for severance requires a site plan or survey showing the subject lands, dimensions relating to the retained and conveyed lot(s) and any existing or proposed buildings, if known.  The proposal must be assessed by a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer prior to application submission; this is known as a Zoning Referral Record.

  • What is a Zoning Referral Record?

    A "Zoning Referral Record" is a comparison of your proposal with the by-law(s) that govern land development in London. It is completed by a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer who will assess your proposal and inform you of how your project meets (or doesn't meet) the requirements of the Municipality regarding applicable by-laws. This record will also determine if any variances are required for your project to meet the regulations of the by-law.

  • How do I get a Zoning Referral Record?

    Take your detailed project proposal (survey, sketch, etc.) to the 7th floor of City Hall and request a Zoning Referral Record from a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer.  Make sure that you have spoken to a Planner in Development Services prior to doing this, to ensure that you include everything necessary for the Officer to do a thorough analysis of your severance.

  • What if I need a Minor Variance as well?

    Minor variances are often needed where the proposed severance does not quite meet the regulations of the pertinent by-laws.  More information is available about minor variances, or applying for a minor variance by clicking on the appropriate link.

  • What if I'm not happy with the outcome/decision?

    If you are disagree with the Consent Authority's decision or a condition of that decision you may appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  Details about, and resources for appealing a decision are available on the Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH) website and the Ontario Municipal Board website. Information is also available on page 2 (Note: Section 53...) of the Application Form itself.

  • What is meant by "Provisional Consent"?

    Decision of the Consent Authority speak of "provisional consent".  If a provisional consent is granted, applicants have one year to fulfil any conditions that have been applied.  If the conditions are not satisfied within one year, the consent lapses.  This is very important to note for applicants.

  • How long do I have to satisfy the conditions of the Consent?

    You have only one year to satisfy all of the conditions or the provisional consent lapses (reverts back).