An outdoor wedding set up.

Agritourism is a form of tourism that connects people to produce or experiences on a farm. The NSW State Government introduced reforms in December 2022 that allow small-scale agritourism activities to occur on commercial farms without planning approval (exempt development) or through a fast-tracked approval process (complying development).

These activities include:

  • Farm gate premises – which involves visitors interacting with produce from a farm, including through fruit picking, sales, tastings, workshops and cafes/restaurants
  • Farm experience premises – which involves visitors engaging in farm experiences, such as tours, horse riding, weddings, functions, retreats and other events
  • Farm stay accommodation – used to provide temporary accommodation to paying guests on the farm in buildings or moveable dwellings
  • Roadside stalls – a temporary structure for the retail sale of agricultural produce and/or hand-crafted goods

Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) has been updated so that agritourism is now permissible with consent in the RU1 Primary Production and RU2 Rural Landscape zones. This means that where a proposal does not meet the criteria for exempt or complying development, applicants can lodge a development application (DA) with Council instead.

Council has created a Rural and Nature-Based Tourism DCP chapter that provides controls to help guide agritourism use in the local area, so that commercial farms have increased flexibility to pursue agritourism opportunities while ensuring that rural amenity is protected.

The controls include setting the allowable number of farm stay accommodation structures, the number of people allowed at farm experience and farm gate premises, hour of operation restrictions and the number of events that can be held each year.