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Environment and Food Production Areas

Protecting and preserving our vital food and agricultural lands

The introduction of Environment and Food Production Areas will help protect vital agricultural lands, surrounding metropolitan Adelaide, from the threat of urban sprawl by reducing the ability to subdivide land for housing development.

The protected areas work in a similar way to the Character Preservation Areas in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale which have been successfully in place since 2012.

The Environment and Food Production Areas have been introduced to:

  • Protect our valuable food producing and rural areas as well as conserving our prized natural landscapes, and tourism and environmental resources
  • Support our sustainable growth and encourage the building of new homes in our existing urban footprint where supporting infrastructure already exists
  • Provide more certainty to food and wine producers as well as developers on the direction of future development in metropolitan Adelaide. 

The new protection areas cover the rural areas of the Adelaide Plains, Alexandrina, Light and Murray Bridge Councils. They do not overlap with the already protected rural areas within the Barossa Character Preservation Act 2012.


South Australia’s food producing and agricultural areas are one of our primary and premium industries which we are all immensely proud of and which we want to preserve and protect.

Protecting these areas, in turn, protects our food security, economic growth, local jobs, prized tourism areas and our state’s global reputation as a premium producer of food and wine.

To help preserve and support rural areas which are vital to South Australia’s success, new protections only affect development proposals for land division for new housing and do not affect development proposals for new buildings, structures or land division for other purposes.

The establishment of these new protected areas will have no effect on regular home and land owners in these areas, unless they intend to apply to divide land for new housing.

Those who intend to divide land for new housing on land zoned as rural living within an Environment and Food Production Area, have been given a two year period in which they may receive approval for land division for the purposes of housing.

Any application made during this period must adhere to the current land division rules that were in place from December 2015 within the local Development Plan which require land to be large enough to support subdivision. After the two year period – from 1 April 2019 – land division creating additional allotments to be used for residential development will not be permitted within the these important protected areas.

During April 2017, property owners of rural living zoned land within these protected areas, were directly informed of the changes and what it means for them.



January 2013
The Barossa and McLaren Vale Character Preservation Acts came into operation

April 2016
Environment and Food Protection Areas introduced

April 2017
Beginning of the last two year period in which to lodge a land division application in rural living zones

May to June 2017
Public information sessions
April 2019 Land divisions creating additional allotments used for residential development no longer permitted within rural living zones


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

To talk about land division generally, please contact DPTI on (08) 7109 7060.

Page last modified Friday, 15 June 2018