A NSW Government website

Bringing fun back to NSW

We’ve made changes to bring more live music, arts venues and artisan food and drink businesses to the streets of NSW. We are ready to get out and enjoy our incredible cities, towns and villages.

The arts and hospitality industries have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. We want to help them get back on their feet, easier and faster, and bring people joy through local music, dance, arts, food and drink. We want to bring back the connections and creativity we’ve missed in our streets, towns and villages.

We have made changes so creatives and councils can use a faster, easier and cheaper planning process.

These changes help us to support small businesses to deliver a 24-hour economy that is vibrant, diverse, inclusive and safe.

New changes to support small arts venues

On 1 September, we made changes to the Codes State Environmental Planning Policy (Codes SEPP) to make it easier to change a shop or food and drink premises to a small arts venue. We’ve added add two standard instrument land uses – ‘entertainment facility’ and ‘information and education facility’ – to the exempt change of use table. This allows shops (up to 300 m2 floor area) to change to an art gallery or small venue (or the like) without needing a development application, and keep their existing Class 6 building classification.

We also changed the State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 (Transport & Infrastructure SEPP) so public authorities and councils can authorise temporary structures on their land as exempt development. This permits larger structures than the Codes SEPP currently allows, such as stages for temporary events.

Fun SEPP progress update

We have made the following staged changes to the Codes SEPP that:

We are working on:

  • guidance for councils to authorise events on public land without further planning approval
  • a filming amendment which will be developed with the Office of Local Government.

Contact your local council to learn more about these changes and to understand how you can use these new measures in your area.

Exhibition closed – Fun SEPP

To support hospitality and arts industries, we proposed reforms to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP).

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the proposed changes to the Codes SEPP to:

  • make permanent the trial that allows pubs and small bars to have outdoor dining on the footpath as exempt development
  • increase the number of days that events can be held at major event sites
  • make COVID-19 emergency measures for food trucks and dark kitchens permanent
  • make a complying development pathway to allow a change of use of premises to artisan food and drink industry in certain circumstances, including development standards
  • make a complying development pathway to allow a change of use of retail premises to small live music or arts venues, including developments standards and amendments to the Building Code of Australia
  • clarify the exempt development standards for events
  • extend the number of days for filming as exempt development.

We welcomed your feedback from 29 October to 30 November 2021. All submissions received were considered to help refine our final proposals. We have prepared a submissions report that summarises the feedback we received. Visit the NSW Planning Portal to read the submissions and submission report.

What is exempt and complying development?

The Codes SEPP standards for exempt and complying development apply state-wide:

  • Exempt development is minor and low-impact development that can be carried out without the need for approval, as long as it meets predetermined criteria.
  • Complying development is a fast-tracked approval process for straight-forward development where planning and building standards can be signed-off by council or an accredited certifier.
  • Learn more about exempt and complying development in NSW.

For more information about these changes refer to the Codes SEPP, phone the Codes team on 02 8289 6620 or email [email protected]