Skip to main content
NSW Outdoor Dining Trial

The Codes SEPP

NSW Outdoor Dining

The NSW Government is streamlining outdoor dining planning approvals for food and drink premises to help rejuvenate the NSW economy.


Making the outdoor dining trial permanent

Our communities are ready to make up for lost time after months of being stuck indoors.

Following the successful dining trial, we are changing the planning rules to enable pubs and small bars across the state to implement outdoor dining permanently.

This means all pubs and small bars can apply to use the footpath and public spaces to serve diners alfresco under exempt development. These changes align bars and pubs with planning rules for cafes and restaurants.

Temporary alfresco dining measures

We are supporting councils and businesses to bounce back by changing the rules for alfresco dining on public and private land – to include parks, registered clubs and open spaces.

Hospitality providers will have an easier application process under exempt development, with council or landowner’s consent, from now until 18 April 2022.

What do these temporary measures mean:

  • Existing bars and pubs can use adjacent sites such as carparks or open space to serve food and drinks. 
  • Councils can setup popup outdoor venues to serve food and drinks on public land.
  • Registered clubs can temporarily repurpose their outdoor spaces such as car parks, bowling greens to serve food and drinks.

These changes will save time and money for businesses, so they can focus on recovering from the pandemic.

To find out more about the changes to the Codes SEPP for hospitality and arts industries, visit our website.

Image Courtesy of Destination NSW
Image Courtesy of Destination NSW

Applying for an Outdoor Dining Approval Online

The Department is facilitating this trial by enabling the online application for approvals under Sections 125 and 138 of the NSW Roads Act 1993 (Roads Act) and Section 68 of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 (Local Government Act) via the NSW Planning Portal. Most applications come in under the Roads Act.

Depending on the location of the site, the following approvals may be required:

  • Section 125 of the Roads Act approval is required if you are requesting a footway to be used for restaurant purposes  
  • Section 138 of the Roads Act approval is required for any site in which council is not the consent authority  
  • Section 68 of the Local Government Act approval will be required if you are requesting to engage in a trade or business on community land. 

Councils adopting the online services will be able to use the digital service to refer applications to Liquor & Gaming NSW, Roads and Maritime Service and NSW Police where necessary.

How to Apply Online

Please visit the following pages to see if your council is using the services and for directions on how to apply via the NSW Planning Portal.

Business owners wanting to apply for an outdoor dining permit in local government areas where an online service hasn’t been adopted should visit the NSW Government website page on the Outdoor Dining Trial.