Meeting election promises, the NSW Government is looking to continue the COVID exemptions and is simplifying the process for venues to have outdoor dining spaces.

During the pandemic it was ruled that foodservice businesses in NSW could offer outdoor dining on private land and some public spaces, such as laneways, bowling greens, and open spaces. This superseded the regular process of having to submit a development application.

The move was temporary and was due to end on 31 December 2023.

A simple planning pathway has now been proposed to make the system permanent, with some additional standards to maintain patron safety and amenity.

Councils can identify outdoor dining areas as exempt at: licensed premises or other lawful food and drink premises; entertainment, arts or cultural venues; parking spaces, and on temporary roads closures.

The government has also proposed changes to encourage new music venues by offering floorspace and density bonuses for suitable developments.

For more information on changes to the night-time economy, see Planning NSW’s policies.  

For more information on the changes to the outdoor dining regulations and to apply, see Planning NSW’s page on Outdoor Dining.

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