Environment and Food Production Areas

Environment and Food Production Areas (EFPAs) were introduced to protect vital agricultural lands surrounding metropolitan Adelaide from urban encroachment.

The EFPAs operate in a similar way to the Character Preservation Areas in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

Map of the EFPAs

About this instrument

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 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.

At the time the EFPAs were introduced, landowners within certain rural living areas (defined by General Registry Office Map G17/2015) were advised that while subdivision for residential purposes is prevented within EFPAs, a transitional period would allow for the assessment of land division applications proposing the creation of one or more additional allotments.

This transitional period ended on 31 March 2019. Since 1 April 2019, land division applications to create one or more additional allotments within EFPAs are no longer permitted.

The EFPAs do not affect the development of new buildings or structures, only subdivision. Applications for these proposals can continue to be lodged with council.


A record of public consultation relating to this planning tool is listed below.

The State Planning Commission is undertaking a statutory review into the Environment and Food Production Areas (EFPAs) which were established in 2017 as part of South Australia’s new planning system.

The EFPAs were introduced to help protect our prime food and wine regions from urban encroachment by supporting sustainable growth in Greater Adelaide’s existing urban footprint where supporting infrastructure already exists.

The Commission’s review will initially focus on the statutory tests including consideration of the suitability and adequate supply of land to support urban renewal and consolidation within Greater Adelaide, followed by a review of the EFPA boundaries.

The EFPA review is planned to be delivered via a staged program from April to September 2021 with Stage 1 of the review involving an internal analysis of Greater Adelaide’s 15-year land supply and Stage 2 providing opportunities for external stakeholder and community engagement. Stage 2 will include a submissions period and public hearing in mid-2021.  On completion, the Commission will deliver its ‘Findings Report’.

Local Government Areas currently covered by the EFPAs include the Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Alexandrina, Burnside, Campbelltown, Light Regional, Mitcham, Mid-Murray, Mount Barker, Murray Bridge, Playford, Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully, Victor Harbor and Yankalilla. Barossa and Onkaparinga are covered by the Character Preservation Districts.

The outcomes of the Character Preservation Districts Review, completed in 2018, will be an important input into the EFPA review.

The EFPA is required to undergo statutory review every 5 years under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 with the first review due to be completed by 2022.

Consultation closed 28 February 2018

The Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012 and the Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012 were reviewed in 2018 as required by legislation.

This legislation provides that the special character of the two districts is recognised, protected and enhanced while providing for the economic, physical and social wellbeing of the communities within the districts. It restricts the creation of additional residential development in the rural areas of the districts to halt urban sprawl to the north and south of Adelaide’s built-up area, thereby seeking to provide for continued viable farming and primary production activities.

The scope of the review involved an assessment of:

  • the family, social, economic and environmental impacts of the Act
  • the impact of the Act on the Councils within the district
  • any changes to the district as a result of the Act
  • any actions that have may have been undertaken to address any negative impacts of the Act.



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