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Made and Finalised

NSW Outdoor Dining Trial


The NSW Government streamlined planning approvals under a trial of outdoor dining to support local venues and rejuvenate the economy.

The trial provides existing pubs and small bars across the State the opportunity to use the footpath and public space outside their venues for eating and drinking.

Amendment to the Codes SEPP

The department amended 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. It aims to facilitate the outdoor dining trial by extending the existing exempt development pathway for outdoor dining that is already in place for restaurants and cafes to small bars and pubs.

The amendment removes the need for these venues to obtain planning approval for outdoor dining. Venues that wish to operate outdoor dining still need to lodge an application for an outdoor dining permit with their local council.

Councils will assess applications against their outdoor dining policy and issue approvals under the Roads Act 1993 (Roads Act) and the Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act). Venues would also need to have their licences amended under the Liquor Act 2007 (Liquor Act).

The amendment enables venues to obtain approval for outdoor dining more quickly and at a lower cost than through a development application. Venues must operate consistently with any existing approvals granted under the Roads Act and LG Act and any licence conditions under the Liquor Act.

The amendment does not include the City of Sydney local government area or The Rocks, which have been subject to separate processes.

The amendment will end on 31 October 2021.

The Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) was on exhibition from 26 October until 8 November 2020.

View the Explanation of Intended Effect

Thank you to everyone who made a submission. The department and Liquor and Gaming NSW will review and consider all submissions received.

View the Submissions received during the exhibition period

To find out more:


The Office of Local Government  has published guidance and information to support councils to make the outdoor dining approval process simpler and easier for business owners.  

The Small Business Commissioner’s Outdoor Dining Policy and User Guide also contains useful information to assist councils with the considerations surrounding outdoor dining.

If your council is interested in the trial, please contact the Office of Local Government.

Local business:

If you have questions about how your business can apply, please contact your local council for details of their requirements.

For more information on the amendment, please call our information centre on 1300 305 695. If English isn't your first language and you prefer an interpreter, please call 131 450. Ask for an interpreter in your language and then request to be connected to our information centre.

View the FAQs

Project Details

Notification start-end date
Relevant legislation
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
Exhibiting agency or agencies
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Exhibition location

NSW Planning Portal