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Footpath trading permit

Businesses wanting to use footpaths for commercial activities - such as displaying items for sale, and placing dining tables and chairs on footpaths - must hold a Footpath Trading Permit. Footpaths less than 2.5m wide may not be used for footpath trading.

Permit conditions

There are a number of conditions that must be met when using the footpath for trade, including:

  • Displays must be placed in the Trading Activity Zone of the footpath during the normal trading hours.
  • Any structures must be safe and have an acceptable appearance.
  • A-frame, 'sandwich' or other advertising boards must not be placed outside the business.
  • All food for human consumption must be raised above ground level.
  • Reasonable care must be taken to prevent injury.
  • No touting, spruiking or soliciting is allowed.
  • Up to 10 chairs with tables are allowed to be placed on the footpath or pedestrian area (for more than 10 chairs with tables, you will need a Planning Permit - see below).
  • Tables and chairs and any other objects, such as umbrellas or heaters, must be moveable and placed in a way that allows pedestrians to move past with being obstructed.
  • Access to other businesses or services must not be blocked.
  • Barriers, windbreaks, trees and pot plants cannot be used without permission from one of our local laws officers.

Remember that alcohol cannot be served unless you also have a licence issued under the Liquor Control Act 1987.

Our local laws officers can remove or impound any goods or structures that do not meet these conditions.

Planning permits

In some cases, you will also need a planning permit under the Whittlesea Planning Scheme to use the footpath for commercial activities.

These include:

  • where liquor will be sold, consumed or served within the Trading Activity Zone
  • where you plan to construct permanent fixtures within or above the footpath area
  • where more than 10 chairs with tables will be placed on the footpath or pedestrian area

For more information, see Apply for a planning permit.

If you are unsure whether you need a planning permit, phone 9217 2236 to check with our Planning Services department.

Apply for a permit

Complete the following steps to apply for a Footpath Trading Permit:

  • download and read the Footpath Trading Policy below
  • download and complete the permit application form.
  • prepare a proposed site plan and details of what will be displayed
  • arrange public liability insurance cover for at least $10 million and name Council as an interested party on the policy
  • organise the permit fee of $170 (includes GST) - we accept cheque, cash, credit card or EFTPOS, but mailed applications can only be paid by cheque or credit card

Applying for a permit

You can lodge your application in person or by mail.

You must include the following in your application:

  • a clear copy of your current public liability policy
  • the $170 annual permit fee

To apply in person, bring the above items to our Local Laws counter at the Civic Centre.

Alternatively, you can mail your application and payment details to:

City of Whittlesea
Locked Bag 1
Bundoora MDC VIC 3083

Application approval process

We will respond to your application within 7 days to arrange an inspection of the site before approving the permit.

Renewing your permit

You must renew your permit before it expires. The permit expiry date is based on the period of time that your public liability insurance is valid.

You must submit a new copy of your public liability insurance with your renewal application. You can renew your permit in the following ways:

  • by mail to:
    City of Whittlesea
    Locked Bag 1
    Bundoora MDC VIC 3083
  • in person at our offices

A-Frame permit

Businesses can apply for one A-Frame per ground floor property. Applications for an A-Frame for businesses located upstairs, downstairs or to the rear of the property will be considered. It is unlikely more than one A-Frame per premises where multiple tenants share common access will be approved unless exceptional circumstances allow. The cost of this permit is $85.00.

Properties located at intersections can apply for one A-Frame for each street frontage, at the cost of one application fee.

Businesses applying for a permit to place an A-Frame on the footpath/nature strip must adhere to the following conditions:

  • Can only be placed in the Trading Zone of the footpath or the nature strip during the trading hours of the business
  • Must not exceed 0.75m wide and 1.0m high
  • Must be removed during unsuitable weather conditions (e.g. windy weather)
  • Cannot be permanently affixed.

Footpath Trading Policy

Our Footpath Trading Policy guides the management and use of footpaths by the community and businesses.

All retailers that operate a business beside Council-controlled footpaths must abide by the Footpath Trading Policy.

Our policy aims to:

  • balance local business activities with the need to provide clear, safe access for all pedestrians of all abilities
  • encourage footpath trading that contributes to the vibrancy of commercial areas including shopping centres
  • provide clarity for traders about appropriate use of local footpaths

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