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NSW Outdoor Dining Trial

The Codes SEPP

NSW Outdoor Dining Trial

The NSW Government is streamlining outdoor dining planning approvals for pubs and small bars as part of a new 11-month trial to help rejuvenate the NSW economy.


The Department has temporarily amended the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to allow outdoor dining as exempt development for small bars and pubs across NSW.

The trial – which means these businesses will not be required to submit development applications for outdoor dining - is running in NSW between 1 December 2020 and 31 October 2021.

It provides an opportunity for councils to streamline the approval pathway for the operation of outdoor dining in their local government area and aims to help businesses to recover from the impacts of the bushfire, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 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 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 approval in local government areas where an online service hasn’t been adopted should visit the NSW Government website page on the Outdoor Dining Trial.