A planning proposal to boost Sydney’s night-time economy and create more opportunities for creative and cultural activities has been approved.
Under the new rules, existing shops and businesses will be able to trade until 10pm without any additional approval and give businesses the potential to activate and diversify their activities in underused or vacant spaces.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said cutting red tape would also help the creative sector find accommodation, reuse space and create opportunities for artists to use existing spaces and non-formal venues for performances.
“It’s so important that we make and maintain space for artists in our cities,” Lord Mayor Moore said.
“By removing red tape we are making it easier for small businesses to open later, put on small-scale cultural events and set up maker spaces in the heart of our villages.
“I am also particularly excited to see the Erskineville Town Hall has the opportunity to host live music and performance.
“We’re creating a city where locals and visitors alike can stumble on to diverse and exciting cultural activity in unexpected locations all around Sydney.
“This groundbreaking policy work to bolster our night-time economy and support creative industries has been in development for some time, but will now help us to support our creative-led recovery from COVID-19.”
The new reforms detailed in the planning proposal are applicable across the whole of the City of Sydney area and include:
- allowing existing shops and local businesses to extend their opening hours without a further development consent from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week subject to meeting certain criteria
- allowing minimal impact small-scale cultural uses without development consent to take place in existing office, business, retail and community facilities subject to meeting certain criteria
- establishing new planning ruless specifically for cultural and creative uses that need assessment through the development consent process, to provide better planning guidance and greater certainty
- allowing creative and maker tenants and owners to operate in local centres
- extending the current community and cultural uses for Erskineville Town Hall to include theatre, cinema, music and dance.
The new planning reforms will be lodged with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for final approval.