City of Sydney Announces New Plans to Improve the City’s Cultural Life

Play Bar in Surry Hills. Image Credit: Play Bar Website
Scarlett Di Maio
| November 6, 2017

City of Sydney has released a new discussion paper in an aim to strengthen Sydney’s cultural life, boost the night economy and support the live music scene.

The discussion paper proposes ways to make it easier for businesses to trade later, encourage small-scale cultural events and balance the impacts of live music venues on local neighbourhoods.

The proposals include:

  • retailers on the city’s main streets staying open until 10pm without needing to apply for extended trading hours
  • shops being used for small-scale cultural uses such as theatre groups for small performances
  • greater certainty for both live music and performance venues and residents when managing entertainment noise

These proposals have been informed by the action points stated in the Council’s Open Sydney Strategy, the Creative City Cultural Policy and the Live Music and Performance Action Plan.

The discussion paper explores how the Council can allow for more cultural activities to happen with minimal impact, such as allowing shops to host exhibitions and public talks without obtaining prior development consent. The paper also proposes new ways in which the Council can support people wanting to establish new cultural spaces within the City.

In relation to live music and noise impacts, the Council are proposing the ‘agent of change’ principle, a system already implemented in Melbourne and San Francisco. Under this system, any applications for new residential developments near existing entertainment venues would be required to put measures in place to manage noise impacts from the surrounding venues. In turn, entertainment venues would need to ensure that existing residential properties are not impacted by noise. If ‘agent of change’ goes ahead, it will change how the Council currently manages noise impacts in the City.

The Council welcomes feedback on the discussion paper. The consultation period ends COB 13 December 2017.

Have your say by:

Attending a free industry briefing on 13 or 16 November

Completing an anonymous guided submission form

Sending your submissions to [email protected] or:

Chief Executive Officer
Attention: Jen Guice, Senior Project Manager, Community Consultation
GPO Box 1591
Sydney NSW 2001

After the consultation period ends, the Council will draft new planning controls, which will require further feedback from the public.

Once the entire process is complete, the new planning controls will be submitted to the Greater Sydney Commission for consideration. The Council estimates this will happen in late 2018.

For more information on the discussion paper, head here.


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