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Environment & Food Production Areas

Protecting and preserving our vital food and agricultural lands from urban sprawl is a key outcome of the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act), which is realised by the introduction of the Environment and Food Production Areas (EFPAs) surrounding metropolitan Adelaide.

What is an EFPA and what does it mean?

EFPAs have been introduced to help protect our vital food and agricultural lands and contain the threat of urban sprawl by reducing the ability to subdivide land for housing development. The EFPAs work in a very similar fashion to the Character Preservation Areas in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, which have been successfully in place since 2013.

Importantly, EFPAs only affect land division for residential purposes and do not affect development proposals for new buildings, structures or land division for other purposes.

Unless you intend to apply to divide your land for residential purposes, the EFPAs will not have any effect on you.

If you are within a rural living area within an EFPA, and you intend to divide your land for residential purposes, then from the 1 April 2017, you will have a two year period in which to lodge an application.

Any application made during this period must adhere to the land division rules that were in place as at 1 December 2015 within the local Development Plan (i.e. if your land is not large enough to support a subdivision, it may not be approved).

After the two year period (1 April 2019), land division creating additional allotments to be used for residential development will not be permitted within the EFPA.

Why are EFPAs important?

There are several reasons why the EFPAs are being introduced, but primarily they are being put in place to:

  • protect our valuable food producing and rural areas, as well as conserving our prized natural landscapes and tourism and environmental resources
  • encourage the building of new homes in our inner and middle suburbs where supporting public infrastructure and services already exists
  • provide more certainty to food and wine producers as well as developers as to the direction of future development in metropolitan Adelaide, which will enable a more transparent and open process when considering new development on the urban fringe.

Protecting our important agricultural areas has economic benefits as well as providing future food security for South Australia and avoiding the food bowl pressures. These areas are also important environmental assets that promote South Australia as a great tourism destination.

Public information sessions

In May and June 2017 public information sessions on EFPAs were held in Elizabeth, Mount Barker and Adelaide.  Approximately 45 people attended (with the Elizabeth session attracting the most interest).

Additional resources

Further information

Should you wish to speak to someone in further detail about the impacts of the EFPAs on land division in rural living areas, please contact one of the following affected Councils:

  • Adelaide Plains - 08 8527 0200
  • Alexandrina - 08 8555 7000
  • Light - 08 8525 3200
  • Murray Bridge - 08 8539 1414
  • Playford - 08 8256 0333