The City of Sydney council is set to vote on new rules allowing city centre businesses, shops and restaurants to trade late into the night could take effect from next month after Sydneysiders overwhelmingly backed a major overhaul of the city’s late-night planning controls.

According to the council, some of the biggest changes to city planning in a decade will allow for:

  • 24-hour trading across the entire city centre shops, businesses and low-impact food and drink venues on major high streets to trade until 2am
  • New late-night trading areas in some of the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods, such as Barangaroo and Green Square and a new cultural precinct in an industrial part of Alexandria
  • Venues holding live performances and creative events in late-night trading areas to trade for an extra hour.
  • The development control plan will be considered by Council on Monday 13 May and If approved, businesses will be able to apply for the new trading hours through a development application process.

Lord mayor Clover Moore says the changes have been developed in response to feedback from thousands of residents, businesses and visitors.

“Our late-night trading development control plan is the result of an unprecedented call from the community for practical action to help boost Sydney’s nightlife and economy,” says Moore.

 “More than 10,000 people told us they want Sydney to have a diverse and exciting night-time economy with events and activities for people of all ages and interests. What they don’t want is a city that is unsafe or that shuts down as soon as the sun goes down.”

“The changes we proposed in response to this feedback strike a balance between supporting well-managed venues to continue to trade and thrive, and managing any impacts they may have on local neighbourhoods,” she says.

“They also respond to the very strong demand for a vibrant, late-night city, and set the foundations for Sydney to become one of the world’s best 24-hour cities.”

 “I’m pleased so many Sydneysiders have joined us in backing our city’s night-time economy, which employs over 35,000 people in 5,000 businesses and generates more than $4 billion for the NSW economy each year,” says Moore.

If the changes are approved by Council, they will take effect next month. Businesses will need to apply for the new trading hours through a development application process, which is notified to the community. They will be required to demonstrate how they will mitigate sound impacts on surrounding neighbours in its application.

This may involve noise assessments that can recommend soundproofing and other mitigation measures. Applications for extended hours will be assessed against new controls requiring venues to demonstrate 'good management’.

Changes will also be subject to the NSW Government’s lockout laws says the Council.