NSW Department of Planning and Environment

All of NSW would benefit from outdoor spaces being opened up for alfresco drinking and dining as part of proposed changes to planning rules to help the hospitality industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Group Deputy Secretary of Planning and Assessment Marcus Ray said consultation opens today on plans to slash red tape statewide to allow pubs and small bars to expand onto the footpath and public spaces.


“The changes will make it easier for local business owners to take advantage of our unbeatable summer climate and set up outdoor areas for patrons to enjoy, keeping our communities safer, supporting the hospitality industry and boosting the economy,” Mr Ray said.


“We’re doing everything we can to breathe life back into businesses doing it tough with the pandemic, bushfires and drought right across the State.


“An outdoor dining trial for small bars and pubs in The Rocks in Sydney kicked off earlier this month and has been a great success. Creating safe and more diverse entertainment options will be a fantastic opportunity not only for Sydney but for all of NSW.”


The exhibition coincides with the NSW Government’s recent easing of restrictions for hospitality venues, allowing one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas.


Venue owners should contact their local council for details on how to obtain approval for outdoor dining. Development and licensing conditions will remain enforceable by councils and Liquor and Gaming NSW.


Proposed changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to allow outdoor dining as exempt development for small bars and pubs in all NSW local government areas are on public exhibition for community feedback until Sunday 8 November 2020.


If approved, the trial would run between 1 December 2020 and 31 October 2021.


For more information and to have your say on the extension of the trial across the State visit the Statewide outdoor dining webpage.