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Vineyard development

A change in the use of land relates to the conversion of a current land use, to horticulture or viticulture. It does not relate to viticulture growing.

Any change in the use of land from grazing or cropping to horticulture or viticulture, such as vineyard developments, requires development approval. You'll be required to lodge a development application through the PlanSA Portal, and consent to be granted in accordance with the Planning Development & Infrastructure Act 2016.

Required documentation

When lodging your application through PlanSA, you'll also be required to provide documentation to us to support your application, so that it can be assessed accordingly.

You can find a list of required documents below:

  • a copy of your Certificate of Title for the subject land
  • a detailed property plan, to an appropriate scale, showing the location of:
    - existing buildings and structures on the site
    - access points
    - existing native vegetation
    - bores, dams and waterways
    - contours
    - area of the proposed vineyard planting
  • evidence that the land is capable of sustaining the growth of vines, in the form of a soil report or similar
  • details of any significant earthworks that will change the natural contours of the land. Please note, a soil erosion and drainage management plan may be required.
  • a vineyard management plan including the following details:
    - the types of chemicals to be used and the frequency and method of chemical application, including the likely distance and area of spray drift
    - the type of pasture or ground cover to be established between the vine rows in order to prevent soil erosion, and in particular on sloping sites
    - evidence that the vineyard shall be established and maintained by minimum tillage
    - proposed hours of operation for machinery within the vineyard
  • details of native vegetation clearance to be undertaken and an indication if an application has been lodged with the Native Vegetation Council
  • the source and volume of water to be used for the vineyard and a copy of a permit or licence
  • the variety of vines that are planned to be planted in the vineyard
  • the type, method and location of audible bird scaring devices and/or frost fans

Setbacks and buffers

Setbacks from adjoining property boundaries should be included in the property plan. The distances will vary and will be assessed on a site-by-site basis. In certain instances, where there is an interface between various land uses or zones, a greater setback may be required to mitigate against the possible impacts generally associated with spray drift, dust, noise, etc. In circumstances where there is the need to ensure impacts to adjoining properties are minimised, it may be necessary to provide to Council specialised advice from a meteorologist, acoustic engineer, or similar.

It may also be necessary to establish a vegetation buffer and/or appropriate acoustic mound/s as part of the vineyard establishment. Buffers are generally considered to be more effective and a lesser distance required if they are vegetated. Advice from appropriate experts may again be required by Council to satisfy the
requirements of the Planning and Design Code.

Where there are no recognisable impacts associated with interface issues, setbacks should generally be established within the following parameters:

  • 9 metres for headlands
  • 10 metres for rows on properties at the intersection of two roads, to provide appropriate sightlines for motorists
  • 15 metres from a watercourse
  • 10 metres from the drip line of native vegetation to be retained

Spray drift (chemical trespass)

Chemical sprays must be contained on the property. Drifting sprays can contaminate groundwater, watercourses (and associated flora and fauna) and rainwater tanks, damage adjoining crops, pastures, and native vegetation, and cause health problems if inhaled. Buffers of between 10 to 40 metres wide should be established, depending on the nature of adjoining land uses and provision of expert advice.

Chemical storage

Chemicals used within the vineyard operation may be stored on-site. Council approval may be needed to construct the chemical storage shed. Details pertaining to the location of the shed, ventilation and any bunded areas should be provided as part of the development application.


The potential for erosion on sloping land is considerable, and whilst erosion may not be a severe problem in the flat and gently sloping plains of the Valley floor, there is the potential for gully erosion. It is important to establish a permanent groundcover of local species between rows of vines.


We may refer the development application to any relevant government department or agency for advice.

For more information get in touch with our Development and Environmental Services team on 8563 8444.

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