Date/Deadline: 31 Dec, 2023

It’s now easier for councils and businesses to offer outdoor dining.

Food and beverage businesses have greater ability to expand their footprint to new outdoor space giving customers across the state more opportunities to dine outdoors.

The Alfresco Restart Package, announced late last year, supports food, beverage, entertainment, arts and cultural businesses as part of NSW COVID-19 economic recovery.

The initiatives rolled out include:

• rebates of up to $5,000 for hospitality businesses to establish or expand their alfresco settings
• temporary alfresco measures for outdoor dining on public or private land (for example bowling greens and carparks), with the landowner’s consent
• the Festival of Place in Your Streets – events, activations and placemaking across the State
• permanent outdoor dining as exempt development for pubs and small bars state-wide. This is now active and follows the successful trial that started in 2020.

NSW Government processes now ongoing

In 2020, they made changes as part of the Alfresco Dining Trial to streamline the approval process for licensed venues applying for outdoor dining.

These changes supported food, beverage, entertainment, arts and cultural businesses to expand their outdoor dining onto footpaths and public spaces.

The trial introduced measures to fast-track the outdoor dining approval process for a licensed premise wanting to change their licensed boundary to include new outdoor space.

These changes included:

• a fast-track approval process for premises wanting to temporarily change their liquor licence boundary to include new outdoor space. Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) approved applications within three days and application fees were waived.
• the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) was amended launch so that pubs and small bars could use exempt development for their outdoor dining areas. This is consistent with existing arrangements in place for cafes and restaurants.
• improvements to the NSW Planning portal so that councils could use the service to further streamline the approval process. Councils could also choose to use their own application systems, if preferred.

The NSW Government has made these measures permanent.

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