Rural activities
Rural activities information
Change of use
Cellar doors, wineries and function centres
Environmental Covers (bird netting) Policy
Buffers Policy
Checklists and fact sheets

Intensive animal keeping is a change of land use requiring Development Approval. Intensive animal keeping means the keeping of husbandry of animals in a broiler shed, chicken hatchery, feedlot, kennel, poultry battery or other like circumstance, but does not include horse keeping.

If you are unsure if your proposal is considered a similar circumstance please contact planning staff on (08) 8408 0400 to discuss.

Changing the use of rural land from agriculture to horticulture/viticulture does require development approval. Click here to download a useful fact sheet on this topic.

A cellar door is a building to be used predominantly for the tasting and retail sale of grape wine. Whilst all cellar doors require Development Approval, they are a common form of development and are envisaged in rural areas, subject to certain criteria. They generally should be established on the same allotment as a winery or vineyard, are subject to floor area restrictions, and specific setbacks to watercourses, bores and dams apply. All new cellar door proposals require public notification.

A winery is a building or buildings for grape crushing, grape juice fermentation and/or wine maturation and require Development Approval, even if the grape crush is under 50 tonne per annum. Wineries are envisaged in rural areas, subject to certain criteria. Generally a winery should be located on an allotment with a vineyard or adjacent to an allotment with a vineyard. Specific setbacks to watercourses, bores and dams and dwellings apply.  Different requirements apply when the site is located in Watershed Area 1 or 2 of the Mount Lofty Ranges.  All new winery proposals require public notification.

A function centre is a building or change of use of an existing building and/or land that is to be used predominantly to regularly host functions or events. In all cases a function centre requires Development Approval and is a non-complying form of development within the rural area, namely the Watershed (Primary Production) Zone. Whilst non-complying, a function centre may be considered if it is associated with primary production activities on the subject land and will contribute to the development of a sustainable tourism industry. Further any potential amenity (noise, increase in traffic) and environmental impacts must be minimised. Support of a function centre development is often dependent on the proposed capacity (patron numbers) of the facility and which Watershed Area the subject land is located within. A proposal for a function centre of any size or capacity is unlikely to be supported within Watershed Area 1 if it is not connected to mains sewer, a common effluent disposal scheme or to a specialised fully contained waste water system.

All new function centre proposals require public notification.

In the wake of the hail storms which affected orchardists and vineyards last year, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) worked with local councils to make it easier for farmers and growers to erect netting structures over their orchards and vineyards. Click here to see a copy of the recently introduced legislation and new rules.

These new regulations, which came into operation from 8 April 2018, enable commercial producers to install netting without the need for planning consent through councils subject to meeting specific requirements, and thereby protect their crops from damage incurred by birds, flying foxes, hail, sun, and wind burn.

This change will save time and money for businesses, as it is recognised that netting systems are now considered a fundamental part of modern horticulture production.

Horticulture netting will be exempt from planning consent as long as the conditions - as outlined in the regulations - are met. These include reducing visual impact, minimum setbacks from road reserves and dwellings and minimum conditions for fire truck access and more.

Building rules consent for netting is still required and the reforms also create a consistent set of building consent fees across councils for horticultural nets, providing certainty to growers.

South Australia's horticulture industry was worth $3 billion in gross food revenue last year (2017) and we want to ensure our crops are protected and the fruit quality is second to none.

If you have any further queries about this regulation, please call our Duty Planner on (08) 8408 0400.

The Adelaide Hills Council district comprises major areas of watershed, and diverse rural and urban land uses. Council is committed to planning strategically, and to establishing policies that support rural land-uses, and protect residential, native vegetation and other sensitive land-uses.

Buffer areas are required between a variety of land-uses and surrounding rural activities which generate, for example, airborne sprays, animal and machinery noises, dust and/or odours. The primary responsibility for the buffer provision is on the new land-use, and not the existing land owner. Applicants for a change in land-use are required to identify relevant issues by submitting a site plan and supporting information to enable an assessment of any potential impacts from the proposed development.

View the Council's Buffers Policy here.

Wind farms
Farm buildings
Vineyards (horticultural land)
Watershed (Primary Production) Zone

Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
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