NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Agritourism planning changes

What is changing?

The department is introducing clear planning definitions for agritourism in NSW. Simplifying these planning terms 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 – including camping.

Other changes to planning rules include:

  • New planning pathways will allow these activities to happen with either fast-track (complying development) or no planning approval (exempt development) with development standards that will minimise impacts on neighbours, rural roads and the community. If an activity doesn’t meet the standards for exempt or complying development, speak to your local council about lodging a development application.
  • Landowners will be able to rebuild farm buildings destroyed by natural disasters without planning approval to help future proof their farms.
  • Minor change to increase the distance between homes and poultry and pig farms to protect the industry from biosecurity threats.
  • Minor changes to contain livestock during natural disasters to minimise impacts on the environment and waterways.

The department is currently working with councils to determine the zones that are appropriate for the new agritourism land uses in their local areas.

The changes commenced on 1 December 2022.

Where can I find the definitions for farm stay accommodation and the new agritourism land use terms? 

The Standard Instrument - Principal Local Environmental Plan (Standard Instrument) was updated on 1 December 2022 to include the definitions for the new land use terms, ‘agritourism’, ‘farm experience premises’ and ‘farm gate premises’. Updates were also made to the existing definitions for a range of other land use terms, including ‘agriculture’, ‘farm stay accommodation’, ‘camping ground’, ‘caravan park’, ‘artisan food and drink industry’, ‘restaurant or café' and ‘cellar door premises’. Changes were also made to certain mandatory provisions of the Standard Instrument 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 2022and are reflected in the current in force version of the Standard Instrument.

All council standard Local Environmental Plans align with definitions and provisions of the Standard Instrument. This means any new development proposals must address the new and amended definitions and updated provisions. 

Agritourism is a type of “agriculture” (which is separately defined in the Standard Instrument) and this means the new ‘agritourism’ land uses terms are now permitted with consent in zones where the group term ‘agriculture’ is permitted with consent. 

More information

For more information about the proposed changes, you can:

Page last updated: 01/02/2023