A NSW Government website

Outdoor dining in The Rocks

The NSW Government has opened outdoor spaces outside approved food and drink venues for drinking and dining just in time for the summer months with a 12-month trial in The Rocks.

The global pandemic means it can be more amenable to socialise outdoors and Sydney has the perfect climate for alfresco dining, which brings life and vibrancy to our streets and public spaces.

Approved food and drink venues including cafés, small bars, restaurants and pubs will be able to apply for an outdoor dining licence and extend their seating outside by using the public spaces and walkways without needing to get a planning approval, making it easier and faster for business owners.

The department has streamlined the approvals process through an amendment to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP).

The department has been working closely with Place Management NSW, the landowner for The Rocks, to shorten what was previously a three-month process involving multiple agencies, into a single application that takes a week.

An amendment to the Liquor Regulation will also allow venues with an existing liquor licence to quickly expand their liquor licence boundaries to be approved in as little as three days - a process that previously took up to 51 days.

Venues will need to comply with their usual liquor licence conditions in the outdoor dining area.

Place Management NSW have identified appropriate public spaces for use and are working with eligible businesses on approving their participation in the trial.

For more information about the trial in this area and application process, contact Place Management NSW.

The trial started on 16 October 2020 and will end on 31 October 2021.

For more information on outdoor dining, visit the NSW Government website.