City of Sydney planning reforms to open up new creative spaces and support small business and performance venues

Sydney VenueLater trading for shops and businesses, more small-scale cultural activities and better sound management of nightlife and live music venues are on the way – with the City of Sydney announcing a suite of planning reforms.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the planning changes were part of the City’s ongoing work to diversify and energise Sydney’s night time economy, which will be crucial to post-pandemic recovery.

“While we’ve been working on these reforms for some time, they’ve become more important than ever – making it easier for businesses to open longer and with a more diverse offering that will help our community get back on its feet as we recover from the pandemic,” said the Lord Mayor.

“The City’s $4 billion night time economy has faced many challenges over the last decade, including lockouts and the unprecedented impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. In that time we’ve been working with the community to establish our shared vision for a safe, diverse and lively night time economy.”

“We know that venue owners and managers want more certainty when presenting live music and performance, but also that residents who live in the city deserve a bit of peace and quiet – these planning changes will provide greater certainty for both venues and residents, encouraging entertainment while supporting communities.”

“Applying for development consent to extend trading hours or put on small performances and events can be difficult, so our new planning controls reduce the current red tape and make life for our businesses and creative sector a lot easier.

“We want to see cultural activity in unexpected locations – stand-up comedy in bookshops, or live music in hairdressing salons. With 1.30am lockouts lifted from the city centre and along Oxford Street, we are looking at what a post-coronavirus night time economy could look like. We have an opportunity to reimagine Sydney at night and put in place new planning controls to to realise a more diverse and exciting nightlife.”

““I encourage anyone interested in Sydney’s night time economy to tune into our Committee Meeting on Monday and, when the plans go live on public exhibition, give us their feedback.” said the Lord Mayor.

The Open and Creative Planning Reforms and the new Draft Sydney Development Control Plan will be considered by the Transport, Heritage and Planning Committee on Monday 22 June. They will then be voted on by the City of Sydney Council on Monday 29 June for public exhibition and then forwarded to the NSW Government for approval. For more information, visit: for details.