Proposed development application exemption for al fresco events in Cathedral Square

The City of Sydney and the NSW Government are working together to allow events without planning approval, provided they meet certain criteria and follow our outdoor events process.

Project Status: Under review

Public consultation period to

Why we’re doing this

The City of Sydney and NSW Government are jointly funding a $20 million partnership to boost the city centre economy, support businesses and creatives and invite the public safely back into the city, particularly during the summer months. The NSW Government will commit up to $15 million and the City of Sydney will provide a further $5 million towards the al fresco city project.

The project includes transforming the city into an outdoor summer cultural experience by funding a performance stage and curating artistic performances. The stage will be in Cathedral Square and is expected to run between early January and the end of March 2021 with performances from Wednesday to Sunday. 

The NSW Department of Planning is amending the City of Sydney’s planning rules to allow the event without a planning approval provided it meets criteria and follows our outdoor events approval process.

Our outdoor events approval process covers issues such as noise, access, security, safety, amenities and traffic. We’ll provide and operate the venue and a cultural producer will manage the performances.

Related projects

Our community recovery plan outlines how we’re supporting economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

How you can give feedback

Consultation period ends on Monday 7 December.

Read the proposal at the the NSW Department of Planning’s website and give your feedback at the NSW Planning Portal.