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Draft SEPP and planning reforms

The agricultural sector is vital to the NSW economy as it provides food and other products for local consumption and export, and is a major employer in regional areas. The NSW Government is proposing changes to the planning system to further support sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and rural development. These changes will help ensure planning proposals affecting rural land are properly assessed and provide greater certainty to farmers on the types of activities that will require development consent.


The Department of Planning and Environment sought your feedback until 15 January 2018 on a package of reforms to update and improve the planning framework for primary production and rural development. These are discussed in the Primary Production and Rural Development - Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE).


The proposals outlined in the EIE will help industry and the community respond to existing challenges. Simpler and more streamlined processes will allow us to adapt to emerging economic opportunities as they arise. They also support commitments in the NSW Right to Farm Policy.


Changes proposed include consolidating the following five existing SEPPs:

  • State Environmental Planning Policy (Rural Lands) 2008 (Rural Lands SEPP)
  • State Environmental Planning Policy 30 - Intensive Agriculture (SEPP 30)
  • State Environmental Planning Policy 52 - Farm Dams and Other Works in Land and Water Management Plan Areas (SEPP 52)
  • State Environmental Planning Policy 62 - Sustainable Aquaculture (SEPP 62)
  • Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 8 - Central Coast Plateau Areas (SREP 8)


The EIE outlines provisions to be included in a new SEPP. It also highlights proposals to transfer existing plan making requirements to the Ministerial Planning Directions under section 117 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and to amend the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan.


View key documents


Download the whole EIE document

Planning guidelines for intensive livestock agriculture development

Draft guidelines have been prepared to support the proposed planning reforms. These are intended to assist applicants and planning authorities to understand the assessment requirements for new intensive livestock developments, such as feedlots, poultry farms and pig farms.


Download the draft guidelines

Engagement is now closed and feedback is being considered.

Submissions are now available for viewing.


Published submissions will include your name and the organisation on whose behalf you may be writing. Contact details such as email and postal addresses, and telephone numbers are not published. The Department reserves the right to not publish selected submissions (in full or part).


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Where can I find out more about the Draft Primary Production and Rural Development SEPP reforms package?


  • For further information please see the Frequently Asked Questions, or phone 1300 305 695.
  • If you require translation assistance, please call 131 450.


You can also subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates from the Department.


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Page last updated: 11/10/2018