- Revising the ‘extended’ hours for Category B venues in Local Centre Areas from 8am to 12am to 7am to 2am.
- Identifying new Local Centre Areas such as Chippendale, Danks Street, East Zetland, Green Square, Llankelly Place, parts of Surry Hills, Walsh Bay and the area around the new Waterloo metro station.
- Identifying new City Living Areas such as Barangaroo.
- Identifying new Late Night Management Areas such as the entire Sydney CBD, Haymarket and parts of The Rocks, and (perhaps most excitingly, North Alexandria).
I would like to comment on two aspects of the plan however, which I feel are too conservative, or perhaps incorrect.
The vast majority of King Street is identified as a Local Centre Area (trading permitted for Category A venues until 12am and Category B venues until 2am under the revised late night trading), with only the area immediately adjacent to Newtown Station identified as a Late Night Management Area. This is inconsistent with the public’s perception of Newtown as ‘the place to be’ after hours, as a result of lockout laws and last drinks in other parts of the City of Sydney LGA.
Several existing late night venues are located in a part of King Street classified as a Local Centre Area. These existing late night venues, including Kuleto’s, the Marlborough Hotel, Tokyo Sing Song and Istanbul on King, already trade until at least 3am on multiple nights each week. Identifying this part of King Street as a Local Centre Area is inconsistent with their current trading hours.
Therefore it is recommended that the western side of King Street (between Missenden Road and O’Connell Street) be identified as a City Living Area or a Late Night Management Area in order to better reflect the existing situation, and to protect these late night businesses moving forward.
The review of late night trading does not propose any extension to outdoor seating at night for Category A or Category B venues. As a result, outdoor seating in City Living Areas and Local Centre Areas for Category A and Category B venues must cease by 10pm (with the exception of Category B venues in City Living Areas, which must cease outdoor activity at 12am).
This is a missed opportunity for several reasons:
- The review of late night trading should consider more flexibility for the hours of outdoor seating/activity throughout a typical week. For example, why are the same hours of outdoor seating/activity enforced on a Friday or Saturday night as a Monday night?
- New developments, such as Central Park, have generated pedestrian friendly public spaces that are suitable for outdoor seating/dining. Kensington Street is dominated by bars and restaurants, several of which open until midnight. However, customers are not permitted to sit outdoors beyond 10pm, despite the street being vibrant and exciting space, and it is not located in immediate close proximity of residential buildings.
- Existing food and beverage operators on Llankelly Place in Potts Point have previously called for an extension of hours for outdoor seating/activity to further enhance their business, and to further activate a vibrant and exciting public space.
Therefore it is recommended that the City of Sydney be less prescriptive for outdoor seating in City Living Areas and Local Area Centres for Category A and Category B venues. Good venue management should be rewarded with more flexible hours for outdoor seating/activity on Friday/Saturday night, in areas that have generated pedestrian friendly public spaces and/or where small business has previously indicated a willingness to trial an extension hours of outdoor seating.