Plans registered after 1919
Where a deposited plan has been registered in NSW LRS and bears a statement of intention to dedicate specified land as public road under s.9(1) Roads Act 1993, an owner of the land adjoining the road has a right to have the road shown as adjoining in any new deposited plan.
Section 6(1) Roads Act 1993 confirms that the owner of land adjoining a public road is entitled, as a right, to access (whether on foot, in a vehicle or otherwise) across the boundary between the land and the public road.
Plans registered before 1920
If a road is shown in a deposited plan registered prior to the commencement of the Local Government Act 1919, the right to show frontage is a question of law, or of fact or of both. This is usually ascertained by considering the creation of the road and possibly its subsequent history.
A road left in a subdivision of land effected before 1 January 1907 or in a plan of subdivision that was registered before 1 January 1920 may, by notice published in the Government Gazette, be dedicated by the local council as public road see s.16 Roads Act 1993.
A subdivider may show frontage to a road whether or not it is public road.
Local councils may formally claim land provided for as lanes or pathways in plans registered before 1 January 1920 by dedicating the land as public road.
Frontage to roads provided in Crown subdivisions
Where a deposited plan shows land with frontage to a road provided in a Crown subdivision and the road has not been shown or referred to in the relevant first title and has not been proclaimed and dedicated as a public road, NSW LRS will regard the owner(s) abutting on such road(s) as being entitled to use them.
Where there is doubt regarding the definition of a boundary abutting a Crown public road, consent should be obtained from Crown Lands Division.
Roads shown in O'Halloran Estate Plans
Mr Frank O'Halloran was a major property developer of the 1910's and 1920's who envisaged the creation of a number of new towns in various places along the New South Wales coast. Accordingly, he lodged for registration a number of very large deposited plans, each with hundreds of lots and with a large network of proposed roads, laneways etc. Examples of these O'Halloran Estate plans can be found at North Arm Cove on Port Stephens and at Culburra and Jervis Bay on the south coast.
As the plans were registered prior to the commencement of the Local Government Act in 1920 and as few of the lots were ever transferred into private ownership, there has been much debate as to whether in fact the roads were ever legally dedicated to the public.
Recent legal precedents (see The Council of the City of Shoalhaven v The Director General National Parks and Wildlife Service and Others - NSW CA 163 of 2004) have adjudged that these roads were dedicated to the public, however, any case involving the roads shown in an O'Halloran Estate type plan should be treated on its own merits and would require a determination by NSW LRS, Legal Services.