NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Amendments to Retail Land Use Definitions

We sought your feedback on five potential amendments to the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan (SILEP) to improve planning for retail formats in NSW.

The (exhibition) consultation period ran from 3 April to 18 May 2018.

The proposed amendments were:

  • a new definition for 'artisan premises'
  • an amended definition for 'garden centres'
  • a new definition for 'local distribution premises'
  • a new definition for 'neighbourhood supermarkets'
  • an amended definition for 'bulky goods premises', to be known as 'specialised retail premises'.

Download the Proposed amendments to the Standard Instrument LEP – Better planning for the NSW retail sector (PDF, 1.8 MB) to view the details of the proposed amendments.

Submissions closed on 18 May 2018 and you can view the submissions received at Retail in NSW on the Department's Plans Policies website.

New definition for ‘artisan food and drink industry’

The new definition of ‘artisan food and drink industry’ has been introduced to provide clarity for the growing artisan and craft food and drink industry.

Boutique, craft or artisan food and drink products are increasingly popular among consumers who want an alternative to mass-manufactured offerings. Craft and locally produced goods support industries such as tourism and hospitality as well as providing local employment.

The new land use term will provide clarity for the growing artisan and craft food and drink industry. ‘Artisan food and drink industry’ will be permitted wherever ‘light industry’ is permitted. Councils can also amend local environmental plans (LEPs) to permit ‘artisan food and drink industry’ in additional zones if considered appropriate.

The changes to the SILEP will allow artisan producers to also offer complementary services such as a restaurant, tours, workshops or tastings.

Read the planning circular

Amendment to the 'garden centre' definition

The definition of 'garden centre' has been amended to clarify the mix of uses that better reflect the contemporary garden centre format.

Garden centres have evolved into places where customers can shop for their gardening and outdoor improvement needs, as well as a variety of complementary uses.

The amendment simplifies the definition of 'garden centres' and clarifies that while the principal purpose of a garden centre remains the sale of plants, landscaping, gardening supplies and equipment, a garden centre can also include:

  • a café or restaurant or
  • the sale of any of the following:
    • outdoor furniture and furnishings, barbecues, shading and awnings, pools, spas and associated supplies,
    • items associated with the construction and maintenance of outdoor areas,
    • pets and pet supplies,
    • fresh produce

Read the planning circular

New definition for ‘local distribution premises’

The increase in online shopping and demand for faster, cheaper delivery has created a need for smaller distribution centres closer to centres where purchases can be picked up and delivered to the local surrounding area.

The new land use term will allow councils to plan for smaller scale distribution centres which may be located in a wider range of zones, closer to centres. Until then, ‘local distribution premises’ will be permissible wherever a ‘warehouse or distribution centre’ is permissible.

The new land use term is not intended to encompass the pick up of goods by customers such as click and collect, but to cater to the last-mile delivery by couriers and other delivery agents.

Read the planning circular

New definition for ‘neighbourhood supermarket’

A new definition of ‘neighbourhood supermarket’ has been introduced to provide convenient daily shopping for consumers, rejuvenate smaller neighbourhood centres and encourage people to walk rather than use their car.

‘Neighbourhood supermarkets’ are a subset of the land use ‘shop’ and are permissible wherever a ‘shop’, ‘retail premises’ or ‘commercial premises’ are permissible.

‘Neighbourhood supermarket’ has been included as a mandated permissible use in the B1 Neighbourhood Centre zone, allowing a supermarket larger than what is generally permitted as a ‘neighbourhood shop’.

The new land use will be subject to a 1000m2 GFA limit. The Department commissioned an independent consultant, Leyshon Consulting Pty Ltd, to recommend an appropriate gross floor area for a neighbourhood supermarket. Read the Review of the proposed retail definition.

Read the planning circular

New definition for ‘specialised retail premises’ (replacing ‘bulky goods premises’)

The land use term ‘bulky goods premises’ has been replaced by a new term ‘specialised retail premises’ to reflect changing business models in the large format retail industry.

The new definition of ‘specialised retail premises’ differs from the previous definition of ‘bulky good premises’ in that:

  • It is no longer a requirement that the goods be of such a size or weight as to require both a large area for handling, display and storage AND direct vehicular access to loading facilities for members of the public. Only one of these requirements needs to be met.
  • Retailers that stock a large quantity or range of products may be characterised as ‘specialised retail premises’ if the quantity or range of goods requires a large area for handling, display and storage or direct vehicular access to loading facilities for members of the public.

The new land use term has replaced ‘bulky goods premises’ wherever the term occurs in a Standard Instrument LEP and other environmental planning instruments.

Read the planning circular

Next steps

We are currently reviewing submissions received in relation to the Discussion Paper "Planning for the Future of Retail", which will inform the next stages of the project.

We will keep stakeholders informed of any future changes.

More information

  • phone the Department's Information Centre on 1300 305 695 or
  • if English is not your first language, call 131 450 and ask for an Interpreter in your language and ask to be connected to the Information Centre on 1300 305 695.

Page last updated: 08/11/2022