The department is making it easier for farmers to use their land for agritourism to complement their existing businesses. This includes running activities on their farms such as farm experiences, cellar doors, cafes, retreats, roadside stalls, fruit picking and small wedding venues.
These additional income opportunities will help make farms more resilient to the economic impacts of natural disasters and other unexpected events.
Agritourism businesses already lawfully operating are not impacted by the changes.
We welcomed your feedback from 9 March until 19 April 2021. Thank you for your responses. We have now considered and reviewed them as well as recent feedback to refine the reforms.
Councils are currently working with the department to ensure agritourism is located in the right areas in their local government areas.
What are the changes?
The reforms introduce clear planning definitions for agritourism and allow activities to be done without planning or building approval (exempt development) or through a fast-track approval process (complying development) where specified development standards must be met, or under a development application.
The changes will make it easier for farmers to know how they can use their land for new income streams.
The new and amended terms include:
- Farm gate premises – where visitors interact with produce from the farm, such as fruit picking, sales, tastings, workshops and cafes.
- Farm experience premises – where visitors can experience life on a farm including tours, horse riding, weddings, functions and retreats.
- Farm stay accommodation – where visitors can stay in buildings or moveable dwellings, including tents and caravans, on a farm.
If an activity doesn't meet the development standards for exempt and complying development, speak to your local council about lodging a development application.
Full information about the changes can be found on our website.
The changes will come into effect on 1 December 2022.
- View the Agritourism Information Sheet
- View the Agritourism and small-scale agriculture development FAQs
Where are the new and amended terms for agritourism and farm stay accommodation defined?
The Standard Instrument LEP was updated on 1 December 2022 to include the definitions of the new land uses, ‘agritourism’, ‘farm experience premises’ and ‘farm gate premises’. Updates were made to the existing definitions for a range of other land uses, including ‘agriculture’, ‘farm stay accommodation’, ‘camping ground’, ‘caravan park’, ‘artisan food and drink industry’, ‘restaurant or café' and ‘cellar door premises’. Amendments were also made to certain mandatory provisions of the Standard Instrument LEP to alter the planning controls relating to farm stay accommodation, roadside stalls and intensive livestock agriculture. These amendments can be found in Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Agritourism) Order 2022. They commenced on 1 December 2022.
From 1 December 2022, local environmental plans that have adopted the mandatory definitions and provisions of the Standard Instrument LEP are taken to have adopted the new and updated provisions. This means any new development proposals must meet the new and amended definitions. It also means the new land uses, ‘agritourism’, ‘farm experience premises’ and ‘farm gate premises’, will be permitted with consent in zones where ‘agriculture’ is permitted with consent. This is because these terms are sub-terms of ‘agriculture’.
Documents exhibited during early 2021:
- View the Explanation of Intended Effect
- View the FAQs
- View the submissions report
- View the submissions received
If you have any questions, please contact the department via our online form.