Outdoor dining

Outdoor dining areas, as a form of activity on the street, can make a significant contribution to the quality of public places and urban life, while also providing opportunities for local businesses to increase their trade and provide a better experience for their patrons. Council approvals are designed to enhance the community through the appropriate and safe use of public footpaths.

Applying for an outdoor dining area

To occupy a footpath without fixed structures you will need to secure an approval by following these steps. 

  1. Read Councils Guidelines for Business Use of Public Footpaths 
  2. Ensure that your business is appropriately registered with Council. More information on this can be found here.  
  3. Submit your application and pay the associated fees. Ensure that you submit both a detailed site plan, and Insurance Certificate of Currency (ensuring the certificate includes a statement of indemnity for Council) with your application. Missing or incorrect information may delay the approval of an application. 
  4. We will notify you of an outcome as soon as possible. 

If you intend on having fixed furniture as part of your outdoor dining area (such as awnings, planter pots, umbrellas, or any furniture that is not stored off-street at close of business), a more detailed assessment is required. Apply via the Business use of a public footpath application. Please note that the application process can take up to 40 days.

Important information

All venues need to have development consent to serve food for eating at the premises.

All venues must comply with the latest COVID-19 public health orders.

When creating your outdoor dining space, please consider how your venue will be able to accommodate patron safety and physical distancing, allow adequate access for all pedestrians, residents and essential vehicles, and the impact on local residents and other businesses.

For more information on outdoor dining, including fees, call us on 1300 463 954 and ask to speak to the Public Health Team.
 

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What happens once an application is submitted?

Once you submit your application and it is received by Council you will be contacted within 14 days by Council’s Environmental Health Officer to discuss your application.

Your application will be reviewed and assessed for approval in line with Part 9, Section 125 of the Roads Act 1933 and according to related Council Guidelines for Business Use of Public Footpath Policy.

The timeframe for an outcome of your application varies as each application is unique and differs in its complexities and is dependent on the number of applications submitted at any one time. As a general guide an assessment is made within 2 to 3 weeks.

Council may contact you if more information is needed, or if there are further requirements in order to assess or approve your application. 

Renewing an existing outdoor dining approval

Upon renewal of your insurance policy you must submit a copy of your certificate of currency to ask@centralcoastcouncil.nsw.gov.au with reference to your approval number. Council will then renew your approval providing all fees are paid in full.

I want to install a shade structure over my outdoor dining area.

You will need to seek advice from a Town Planner to determine if development consent is required for the structure.

Customers who want to discuss planning matters can visit a Town Planner at the Gosford or Wyong offices between 8.30am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively, customers who wish to seek clarification regarding planning matters can contact Council by phone 1300 463 954 or email ask@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au to register any enquiry.

Fees and charges

The outdoor dining application fee is $382 per application for 2021-22 financial year payable on submission of your application.

The business will then be liable for footpath hire fee of $2.10 per square metre per week for the 2021-22 financial year. You will be invoiced for these fees annually. Fees are in accordance with Council’s Fees and Charges and may change each financial year.

Can I have outdoor dining in front of the business next door?

No – Council’s Policies only allow for outdoor dining to be located directly in front of the business premises. You cannot extend into neighbouring frontages, even if they don’t use it. 

Are approvals transferable to new Owners of Businesses?

No - once a business is sold the new owner will be required to lodge a new application for outdoor dining as detailed above. Approvals are not transferable. 

Applying for adjustment to an existing outdoor dining area

For alterations to an existing outdoor dining area you should lodge a new application for outdoor dining, noting reference to your existing approval number.  

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Last updated : Fri 5 Aug 2022