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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The NSW Government is committed to improving the resilience of regional NSW and supporting economic recovery from impacts of COVID-19 and the 2019-20 bushfires.


The department is proposing to simplify the planning process for small business activities and low-impact agricultural development on NSW farms.


We want to help landowners implement innovative activities on their farms, including agritourism, by simplifying areas of the planning system and streamlining approval pathways related to agriculture.


These changes will deliver on actions in regional plans to enable opportunities for sustainable tourism, particularly regarding agritourism.


Proposed changes

We will make it easier for farmers to establish new complementary businesses on their land, which includes:

  • supporting more farm stays by amending the existing definition of ‘farm stay accommodation’ in the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006 and introducing an optional clause councils can choose to adopt in their local plans to manage any impacts
  • enabling events on farms by introducing a new definition for ‘farm events’
  • facilitating farm gate businesses by introducing a new definition for ‘farm gate activities’ and an optional clause councils can choose to adopt in their local plans to manage any impacts
  • introducing fast-track approval pathways, known as exempt and complying development, for these types of agritourism, provided certain development standards are met
  • allowing other low impact agricultural activities as exempt or complying development such as small processing plants where certain development standards are met
  • making minor changes to existing planning controls to make them more effective, such as increasing the separation required for rural dwellings from intensive livestock agriculture, if carried out as complying development.


Consultation and feedback

The proposed changes are detailed in an Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) that was on public exhibition from 9 March 2021 until 19 April 2021.


The department welcomed your feedback during the public exhibition. This feedback helps us better understand the opinions and concerns of all stakeholders, which help inform our decision making.


View the exhibited documents


Read the EIE


Once we have considered the feedback and finalised the changes, we propose to implement the changes in stages.


Stage 1 will include the following:

  • The existing definition of farm stay accommodation would be amended.
  • Farm stay accommodation would continue to be permissible where it is currently permitted under council local environmental plans (LEPs).
  • ‘Farm gate activities’ and ‘farm events’ would be introduced as a form of ‘agritourism’.
  • Agritourism would be included in the Standard Instrument LEP dictionary as a subset of the existing land use term ‘agriculture’.
  • The exempt and complying development pathways for agritourism would be available.
  • The changes relating to agriculture development, such as farm dams and farm infrastructure, would commence


Stage 2 will involve the department working with councils that have expressed an interest in making changes to their LEPs. The department will facilitate these changes through an amending SEPP, saving councils the time and resources required to progress individual planning proposals.


We thank you for your feedback on this proposed implementation approach.


More information

For more information about the proposed changes you can read the FAQs.


If you have any questions, please contact the department via our online form.


Image banner: Family enjoying a campfire during sunset at a Fairview Off Grid camp site in Temora, NSW. Photo by Destination NSW


Agritourism case studies

Agritourism case studies

Read our case studies and find out how the proposed changes will make it easier for farmers to establish new complementary businesses on their land.

Old farm shed that could be converted for agritourism use.

Virtual ideas wall

Virtual ideas wall

Tell us what you think and help us understand what types of agritourism or other agricultural activity landowners are interested in developing on their property.

Aerial view of farm land. Photo by Ryan Spencer on Unsplash