Planning permits for pig and poultry farms

All pig and poultry farms currently require a planning permit in the:

  • Farming Zone
  • Rural Activity Zone
  • Green Wedge Zone.

All pig and poultry farms meet the definition of 'intensive animal production' in the Victoria Planning Provisions as pigs and poultry require most of their food to be imported from outside their enclosures.

Pig farms and poultry farms are currently a section 2 (permit required) use in the Farming Zone, Rural Activity Zone and Green Wedge Zone.

For more information on permit requirements across zones in Victoria, download:

Changes for pig and poultry farms

The reforms introduced in 2018 included a simplified permit application process for small-scale pig and poultry farms that meet certain conditions.

The reforms also enable pig and poultry farms to establish with a planning permit in certain zones where they are currently prohibited (Green Wedge A Zone, Rural Conservation Zone, and Rural Living Zone).

Why a planning permit is required

The planning permit process is necessary because even small, free-range pig farms can have significant environmental and amenity impacts if not sited and managed correctly.

The planning permit application process allows local government to consider whether the siting and size of a proposed farm, or an expansion of an existing farm, is compatible with the specific location.

The process allows potential environmental and amenity risks to be identified and mitigated through the siting, design and operation of the farm. It also provides proponents the opportunity to consider with council the ability of the land to accommodate future expansion.

Planning permit process for pig farms

All pig farms require a planning permit. The reforms introduced a simplified application process for farms that meet certain conditions. All other pig farms continue to require a land use planning permit.

The 2018 reforms were the first step in developing a graduated approach to planning controls based on risk. Opportunities to further simplify planning regulation for other scales of farming will be explored as part of the development of the general code of practice for animal industries and industry-specific technical guidelines.

The Broiler Code and large-scale poultry farms

The Victorian Code for Broiler Farms was developed to ensure high environmental standards of large-scale broiler farms.

The 2018 reforms included an amendment to the Broiler Code so it also applies to free-range broiler farms. This is because the environmental and amenity impacts of both types of farms are comparable at a large scale. This change provided greater certainty and a clearer and more consistent assessment framework for free-range broiler farm applications.

Consideration is being given to whether the Code should apply to small-scale free-range chicken meat farms.

Conventional broiler farms converting to free range

The Victoria Planning Provisions allows an existing, lawfully established conventional broiler farm to convert to a free range system, provided that:

  • the number of chickens is not increased
  • there are no more than 150,000 chickens.

This permit exemption exists because:

  • most existing broiler farms have established in line with a planning permit where the siting of the broiler sheds has been considered
  • there are no significant new amenity and environmental impacts introduced as a result of a conventional system's conversion to free-range.

Download the fact sheet

Page last updated: 23 Apr 2021