Sydney’s late-night trading – draft planning controls

Sydney’s late-night trading – draft planning controls

Under review

Contributions to this consultation are closed for evaluation and review. The project team will report back on key outcomes.

We are proposing changes to the planning controls for late-night trading in Sydney.

These include new and extended trading areas, changes to hours and encouraging more diverse trading. This will attract a wide range of people and help create a more balanced and safe night-time economy.

The proposed changes are shown in the draft development control map and late-night trading plan. We would now like to hear what you think about these proposals.

We consulted with the community in early 2018 about their views on where and when late-night trading should happen. This feedback helped inform these proposed changes to the planning controls for the City of Sydney local area.

The proposed changes do not affect the NSW Government’s liquor licensing laws.

5 key changes are proposed to the late-night trading planning controls:

  1. A 24-hour city centre – extend the late night management area along George Street across the city centre and increase maximum trading hours from 5am to up to 24 hours.
  2. Increase hours for low impact venues in local centres – align the controls with NSW Government rules and allow lower impact venues, including small bars, to trade until 2am. This will apply to venues where entry is on a main street and not in a residential laneway or area.
  3. New areas for new communities – identify late-night trading areas in suitable urban renewal precincts. These include Barangaroo, Walsh Bay, Green Square town centre, Danks Street, East Village shopping centre and an arts focused industrial heritage warehouse area in Alexandria. 
  4. Extend existing areas – recognise venues in Chippendale, Redfern, Surry Hills and Lankelly Place in Potts Point, which have emerged since the planning controls were reviewed in 2007. 
  5. Encourage performance, culture and unlicensed businesses
    1. Allow unlicensed shops and business, such as bookshops, clothing stores, drycleaners and hairdressers to trade up to 24 hours in city living or late night management areas and up to 2am in local centres.
    2. Describe dedicated performance venues, such as theatres, concert halls and cinemas with up to 250 patrons, as lower risk premises and allow these venues an additional trading hour at closing time.
    3. Allow venues that host performance 1 additional trading hour at closing time on the night of the performance. 

Other changes include providing guidance on appropriate trading hours for low impact venues outside of the precincts, consolidating plan of management requirements and earlier start times for morning service at pubs, bars or cafes.

Development control plans

A development control plan is prepared by Council to provide detail for applicants and the community about how development is to be carried out. Development control plans apply to specific types of development or areas of land and provide detailed development guidelines and controls (or rules).  

The late-night trading development control plan is part of the wider Sydney Development Control Plan 2012. It provides specific guidance and rules for business that trade late.

It encourages diverse late-night trading in the city to meet the social and cultural needs of the community, while managing the effects on local neighbourhoods.

The development control plan identifies the maximum trading hours for a business depending on its type and location. The development control plan promotes continued good management of late-night trading businesses through ongoing trial periods.

The draft development control plan late-night trading 2018 includes:

  • definitions of late-night trading activities referred to in the provisions
  • objectives for late-night trading in the city
  • matters Council will consider when assessing applications for late-night trading businesses
  • rules about trading hours and trial periods, including the hours for different areas and business types
  • rules about increased trading hours for late opening shops and businesses
  • rules that allow additional trading hours for hosting performance
  • plan of management requirements
  • a description of late-night trading areas
  • maps of late-night trading areas.

How to give your feedback

You can view the draft planning controls and provide your feedback by completing the online form by 5pm on Friday 8 February 2019.

Online form

Printed copies of the draft planning controls and the Council papers are available for inspection at our customer service centres in:

We will consider all submissions and report the results to Council.

The proposed changes are shown in the draft Sydney development control plan: late night trading 2018. The changes to the current controls are shown using bold and strikethrough text. If the proposed changes are approved they will be incorporated into the wider Sydney Development Control Plan 2012.

Please note, your feedback may be published in publicly available reports at the end of the consultation period. Names and addresses of individuals will be withheld.

If you have any enquiries about this consultation, please email

Other ways to give your feedback

We want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to provide ideas and feedback.

If you prefer to talk to us in person, please contact the City of Sydney officer listed in contacts.

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us through the National Relay Service. You will need to provide our phone number 02 9265 9333.

If you need an interpreter you can contact us through the Translating and Interpreting Service  on 131 450. You will need to provide our phone number 02 9265 9333.

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Key dates

Public consultation period
27 November 2018–8 February 2019


Julie Prentice
Specialist Planner

02 9265 9333

Maria Pavlides
Senior Project Manager, Community Engagement

02 9265 9333


Online form

Last updated: Friday, 8 February 2019