Outdoor dining

Council encourages existing local hospitality businesses to expand their dining and table services and apply for an outdoor dining approval to use adjoining public footpaths and outdoor spaces to serve food and beverages.

Businesses must first seek approval from Council though the submission of an Outdoor Dining Application. 

An Outdoor Dining Approval is required to ensure:

  • The safety of customers, pedestrians and local traffic;
  • the suitability of the outdoor space for the intended business use;
  • the expansion of service is in line with any relevant health restrictions or industry licenses. 

Applying for outdoor dining

Please read the application form and Guidelines for Business Use of Public Footpath Policy.

To apply you will need to follow these three steps:

Step 1 - Find out if you are eligible

Businesses are eligible if they:

  1. Are an existing hospitality business operating from a premises located within the Central Coast Local Government Area.
  2. Have registered the business with Council or the NSW Food Authority under the Food Act 2003 and if serving alcohol hold a relevant Liquor Licence under the Liquor Act 2007. 
  3. The proposed outdoor area for the service of food and beverage borders the main place of business, and meets the Outdoor Dining Approval conditions as outlined Council’s Outdoor Dining Policies* (Outdoor Eating Area Policy for the former Wyong Shire LGA or Business Use of Public Footpath Policy for the former Gosford LGA).

Please read the Guidelines for Business Use of Public Footpath Policy.

*Council is undertaking an ongoing program to review and consolidate all former Wyong Shire Council and Gosford City Council policies following the amalgamation.  Until a region-wide related policy is finalised and adopted, Central Coast Council will continue to implement and manage activities in line with the former policies.

For any questions relating to your businesses eligibility please contact Council by email ask@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au or phone 1300 463 954 or in person at a customer service point.

Step 2 - Prepare your application

You will need to submit the following with your application:

1. A site plan. This is an illustrative diagram of the proposed outdoor dining area and how it will be used.   This site plan can be illustrated by hand or computer program, but it must be to scale (min ratio of 1:50) and include:

  • location and size of proposed outdoor dining area, with proposed furniture 
  • pedestrian zones and width of access 
  • relevant street and names
  • business premises and frontage dimensions 
  • location of existing fixed street furniture, fixtures, obstructions in or immediately adjoining the proposed site (eg. trees, rubbish bins, hydrants, benches, bus stops, traffic lights etc.)

For set back and other important information, please read the Guidelines for Business Use of Public Footpath Policy, which also includes a diagram of Pedestrian Movements along Public Footpath (item 4.4).

2. a colour image of the proposed site to support the site plan

3. a colour image showing proposed outdoor furniture and fixtures

4. certificate of currency for Public Liability Insurance showing a current expiry date, providing a minimum indemnity of not less than $10million (tip:  your insurance broker will be able to provide a copy if you don’t have readily available). The insurance policy will require notation of Central Coast Council’s interests and indemnifying Central Coast Council for the licensed area. On renewal of the businesses insurance policy each year, a copy is to be forwarded to Council and attached to the Outdoor Approval Agreement.

5. Evidence that your business is registered as COVID safe with NSW Government. For more information on COVID Safety visit the NSW Government website.

Serving alcohol? Businesses with a current Liquor Licence (Liquor Act 2007) must also include the following details with their outdoor dining application:

6. registered business name

7. liquor licence number

8. licensee name

9. proposed hours of service

Businesses are advised to contact NSW Liquor and Gaming before submitting their outdoor dining application to check if their current Liquor Licence extends to the proposed outdoor space. If necessary, you may need to seek an extension to the licenced area from NSW Liquor and Gaming.

Other considerations

In addition, when preparing the application, ensure you have considered the following:

  • Will your outdoor dining area still allow adequate access for pedestrians, residents and essential vehicles? 
  • Will your outdoor dining area have any negative impact on local residents and neighbouring non-hospitality businesses?
  • Where will outdoor furniture and temporary fixtures be stored outside of trading hours, and how easily and safely can they be moved by staff?
  • Will you require any fixed shade structures for your outdoor dining area? Fixed structures may require development approval, and you should seek advice from Council’s duty planner by phoning 1300 463 954.

Have more questions before you apply? See our FAQ's below or contact Council.

Step 3 - Apply for an Outdoor Dining Approval

After you have the items listed in Step 2 and you have filled in the Business Use of a Public Footpath Application form, you are ready to apply for an outdoor dining approval.

You can submit your application by email, by post or in person:

  • email (preferred) - email a copy of your completed application and all required documents to ask@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
  • post - post a copy of your completed application and all required documents to PO Box 20, Wyong NSW 2259 or PO Box 21 Gosford NSW 2250
  • in person - bring a copy of your completed application and all required documents to Council’s Gosford administration office (49 Mann St), Wyong administration office, or one of Council’s customer service points.

Important! To avoid delays with your application assessment, ensure all required fields on the application form are filled and that all relevant items listed in step 2 are provided at the time of the application.

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 and policies.

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. 

Fees and charges

The outdoor dining application fee is $376 per application for 2020-21 financial year payable on submission of your application.

The business will then be liable for footpath hire fee of $2 per square metre per week for the 2020-21 financial year. You will be invoiced for these fees annually. Fees are in accordance with PDF icon Council’s Fees and Charges and may change each financial year.

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.  

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.

Frequently asked questions

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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. 

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. 

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.


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Last updated : Wed 30 Jun 2021