Plans for 24-hour Trading to Boost Sydney's Nightlife Economy


Proposed changes to the City of Sydney's late-night trading planning controls reveal some of the biggest changes to red tape in a decade.

The proposal includes extending 24-hour trading across Sydney’s entire city-centre and would allow shops, businesses and low-impact food and drink venues on high streets to trade until 2am.

The draft planning controls also include new late-night trading areas in growing inner-city neighbourhoods, such as Barangaroo and Green Square.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the proposed changes were the result of "unprecedented community response" to the first review of planning controls in over 10 years.

"More than 10,000 people gave us their feedback and the overwhelming majority said they want Sydney to have a diverse and exciting night-time economy.

"The changes we are proposing to our controls manage the balance between allowing well-managed venues to continue to trade, and any impacts on local neighbourhoods," the Lord Mayor said.

Clover Moore said Sydney's night-time economy was critical to Sydney, employing more than 35,000 people and worth more than $4 billion to the state annually.

Related: North Sydney’s Tallest Commercial Tower Tops Out

The existing and proposed extended trading areas in central Sydney
The existing and proposed extended trading areas in central SydneySupplied

Key proposals in the draft development control plan include:

  • A 24-hour city centre: The zone where businesses can trade 24 hours a day would stretch from darling harbour in the west to Hyde Park in the east and Central Station in the south. Most venues in this area can currently trade until 5am.

  • Later hours in local centres: Trading hours for businesses along village main streets such as Crown Street, Redfern Street, Union Street and Glebe Point Road would be extended from 12am to 2am, to align with recent changes to NSW small bar laws.

  • New areas for new communities: New late night trading would be established in some of the city's fastest-growing neighbourhoods including Barangaroo, the Green Square town centre, Danks Street in Waterloo and around the East Village shopping centre in Zetland.

  • A new cultural precinct: A new 24-hour trading area with and arts cultural and entertainment focus would be encouraged in a heritage warehouse precinct in north Alexandria, between McEvoy Street to the north and Alexandra Canal to the south.

  • Expanding existing areas: Existing late-night trading in areas Chippendale, Redfern, west Surry Hills and Llankelly Place in Potts Point would be expanded to include nearby streets with a similar character and businesses that have opened since the controls were last reviewed.

  • Extended hours for unlicensed businesses: A new category of trading hours would be established for unlicensed shops, like bookstores and clothing shops, and businesses, like banks. This would allow them to trade up to 24 hours a day in the city centre and other busy inner-city areas, until 2am on village high streets, and until midnight in other areas.

If the proposals are adopted, businesses would need to apply for the new trading hours through a development application process.

"They respond to the very strong demand for a thriving, late-night city and set the foundations for a truly 24-hour Sydney into the future,” the Lord Mayor said.

Changes would be subject to the NSW government's lockout laws where they apply.

The draft planning controls will be considered by council on 19 November.

If approved, they will be on public exhibition from 27 November to 8 February.

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