A severance is the act of severing a piece of land from a larger tract of land. The severed parcel of land becomes a separate lot.
In many jurisdictions, land use laws require that severances of land occur in an orderly fashion by way of plans of subdivision, especially when multiple lots are being created. In order to avoid the sometimes complicated and lengthy subdivision process, some jurisdictions allow severances of a minor nature to proceed without a plan of subdivision, as long as other criteria are met. The approval of such minor severances are often referred to as "consents", and the authority to grant consents is usually given to local planning bodies such as committees of adjustment or land division committees.Colloquially, the term "severance" is often used to solely refer to such minor land divisions rather than to divisions undertaken by way of the more complicated subdivision process.