Australia: Making room for hipster development: Expanding retail development into industrial and rural zones in NSW

Last Updated: 2 August 2018
Article by Breellen Warry, Peter Holt and Georgia Appleby

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

The NSW retail landscape is undergoing a shift with consumers now seeking closer and more personal relationships with producers and manufacturers, especially those making locally produced goods. This is coupled with an increasing demand for interesting and often 'hipster' food and drink experiences, outside of your standard restaurant or café.

In response to this, the NSW Government has introduced changes to the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006 (Standard Instrument LEP)1 in order to permit land uses which would ordinarily be prohibited in industrial or rural zones.

This article looks at the introduction of two new definitions which have been inserted into the Standard Instrument LEP, namely the definition of 'artisan food and drink industry', and 'garden centre'.

Artisan food and drink industry

NSW is increasingly becoming proliferated by new 'boutique' venues, often hitched onto the side of large industrial spaces, offering craft food and drink experiences. From microbreweries, to cheese makers and charcuterie workshops, local manufacturers are now expanding their services and inviting the public into their factories.

The new definition

To adapt to this changing retail landscape, the Standard Instrument LEP now includes the following definition:

"artisan food and drink industry means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the making or manufacture of boutique, artisan or craft food or drink products only. It must also include at least one of the following:
  1. a retail area for the sale of the products,
  2. a restaurant or café,
  3. facilities for holding tastings, tours or workshops."

'Artisan food and drink industry' is a type of 'light industry'. This means that 'artisan food and drink industry' will be a permissible land use wherever light industry is listed as a form of permissible development under a Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan.

For example, the Standard Instrument LEP mandates that light industry is permitted with development consent on land zoned IN1 General Industrial and IN2 Light Industrial, meaning that artisan food and drink industry will also become permitted with development consent in those zones. Many rural zones also allow light industry as development permitted with consent.

In essence, this new definition assists manufacturers of craft products by making it easier to lawfully operate retail and other pseudo-tourism uses in industrial and rural zones where previously such development was prohibited.

Notable restrictions

The drafting of the definition limits the scope of this new land use, prescribing various restrictions. Most obviously, the definition restricts the type of ancillary activities that can be carried out to retail sales, a restaurant or cafe, and facilities for hosting tastings, tours and workshops.

There is also a restriction on the gross floor area that may be occupied for the purpose of retail sales (not including any café or restaurant area). For example, it must not exceed a maximum of 67%2 of the gross floor area of the industry or not more than 4003 square metres, whichever is the lesser. A State environmental planning policy made at the same time as the amendments to the Standard Instrument LEP prescribe varying maximum floor areas for each local government area that has adopted the Standard Instrument.4

Garden Centre

Garden centres have evolved into places which provide consumers with more than just landscaping and gardening supplies. Increasingly, consumers are looking to garden centres for complementary services, including outdoor furnishings, pets and pet supplies, cafes and fresh produce.

Garden centres are a type of retail premises. The Standard Instrument LEP mandates garden centres as permitted with consent in the following zones: B5 Business Development, B6 Enterprise Corridors, B7 Business Park, 1N General Industrial and IN2 Light Industrial.

New definition

In order to accommodate this change, the Standard Instrument LEP will now include the following definition:5

"garden centre means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the retail sale of plants and landscaping and gardening supplies and equipment. It may include a restaurant or café and the sale of any of the following:
  1. utdoor furniture and furnishings, barbeques, shading and awnings, pools, spas and associated supplies, and items associated with the construction and maintenance of outdoor areas,
  2. pets and pet supplies,
  3. fresh produce."

This new definition clarifies, and to some extent expands upon, the principal and complementary uses that may be carried out in a garden centre. Notably, it also removes the term 'ancillary' which was a key term under the old definition and instead, lists the uses that may be associated with a garden centre. In doing so, the new definition hopes to minimise any potential issues with ambiguity.

This revised definition does not amend the land use tables in a local environmental plan and, therefore, it does not impact upon where garden centres are permissible or prohibited. However, the listed associated uses may be broad enough to now capture larger scale retail developments that would otherwise be prohibited in a zone. For example, an LEP may state that hardware and building supplies stores are prohibited in the B1 Neighbourhood Centre zone. However, because a garden centre is permitted with consent in that zone, a hardware store may seek development approval under the guise of operating as a 'garden centre'.

Impact of amendments

The introduction of these two new definitions into the Standard Instrument LEP is illustrative of a deliberate attempt to update and expand upon retail land uses in zones which otherwise expressly prohibit such uses.

On the one hand, this demonstrates how minor amendments to planning instruments can enable the NSW planning system to adapt to new development demands and consumer trends.

However, conversely, it also presents an opportunity for some zoning controls to be interpreted in a manner that may allow otherwise prohibited development.

It will be interesting to see the impact of these amendments on the value of land in industrial and rural zones, as the ability to incorporate retail uses may increase the economic potential of certain sites.


1 Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Artisan Food and Drink Industries) Order 2018.
2 Depending on the local government area, this can range from 1% (Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009) to 67% (Standard Instrument and others such as Balranald Local Environmental Plan 2010).
3 For example, under the Cessnock Local Environmental Plan 2011 it is 10% and 100 square metres.
4 State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Artisan Food and Drink Industries) 2018.
5Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Garden Centres) Order 2018.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Peter Holt
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions