Rural Workers Accommodation

The Victorian Farmers Federation would like to inform its members that the new changes to the Victorian Planning Scheme, in regards to Rural Workers Accommodation, have now been gazetted. 

The amendment introduces a new land use term and definition for Rural Worker Accommodation.  The definition reads “Land used to accommodate a person engaged in agricultural production, away from their normal place of residence”.  It is important to note that this use is not suitable to accommodate someone permanently as their main place of residence. 

The changes also listed the use in section 1 of the Farming zone, meaning that a planning permit is not required for use if the applicant can meet the following conditions:

  • The number of persons accommodated at any time must not be more than 10.
  • Must be used in conjunction with Agriculture on the same land or contiguous land in the same ownership.
  • Must be used exclusively for accommodating workers engaged on the same land or contiguous land in the same ownership.
  • Must be the only accommodation other than a dwelling on the same land or contiguous land in the same ownership.
  • Must be on the same lot as an existing dwelling.
  • The lot must be at least the area specified in a schedule to this zone for which no permit is required to use land for a dwelling. If no area is specified, the lot must be at least 40 hectares.
  • Must meet the requirements of Clause 35.07-2.

It is important to note that if the conditions cannot be met it does not mean you can’t have rural workers accommodation, it just means that you will have to apply for a planning permit for the use through your local council.  A building and works planning permit and a building permit may also still be required to the construction of rural workers accommodation and the VFF encourages members to speak to their local council to find out exactly what is required. 

VFF is continuing to lobby the Government for sensible planning controls that recognise the right to farm and avoid land use conflict.