General principles

In the relocation of title boundaries, a surveyor employs a mixture of fact and law, together with experience and commonsense. The facts are obtained from a search of the title deeds and associated plans, later supplemented by field work when marks, monuments and improvements on the ground are related to this search information. The surveyor then applies the relevant principles of law, and assisted by experience makes a decision on the fixation of the boundary.

There are certain basic principles associated with title boundary location which are constantly referred to and applied by surveyors however, due to some particular feature or circumstance the location of a boundary could rest on a matter of opinion.

It is difficult to give any hard and fast rule as to which features may be of more importance than others in the fixation of boundaries, as these could well vary from case to case. However, a rough guide would be:

  • Natural features
  • Original Crown marks of grant boundaries
  • Monuments
  • Original undisturbed marks in private surveys
  • Occupations
  • Measurements

It is acknowledged that with advances in technology affecting measurement and the application of co-ordinates to accurately fix land parcel corners, a gradual shift in the relative importance of this hierarchy can be expected.

The dimensions of each lot or parcel of land in a deposited plan of survey must mathematically close to the tolerances specified in Clause 26 of the Surveying and Spatial Information Regulation 2012.

When differences of opinion occur between surveyors (each believing they have sufficient reasons to support their respective fixations) the matter may be resolved by an Application for determination of a title boundary lodged with the Manager, Cadastral Management Unit, Cadastral Integrity Group, NSW LRS for investigation.

There is a general accepted division of boundaries into two categories - linear and natural.

It is not proposed to deal at length with the principles of boundary definition in these Directions as the requirements are clearly established in other publications including:

  • Legal Aspects of Boundary Surveying - Hallmann, 1997
  • Notes on Survey Investigation - RW Willis, 1991
  • Some Aspects of Title Boundary Location in NSW - Hamer,1967
  • Rural Boundary Surveys - WA Searl, 1991
  • Surveying and Spatial Information Regulation 2012