Outdoor Dining and Footpath Trading
Better Practice Guide
Attractive and vibrant town centres create communities that make a statement about a place.
Berrigan Shire Council is committed to improving the local economy by encouraging the use of footpaths in town centres in order to contribute to their attractiveness and vibrancy while maintaining community access and safety.
As part of this commitment, the Council has made it easy for businesses wishing to trade on the footpath. Put simply, if your business meets a few straight-forward principles, then:
- No formal approval is required from the Council for use or occupation of footpaths, approval will be deemed to be granted;
- No application is required to made to the Council for use or occupation of footpaths;
- No rent or other charge will be applied by the Council for use or occupation of footpaths
This guide will help you and your business comply with the principles and trade on the footpath in a safe, equitable and sustainable manner.
Use common sense
Using your common sense will address many of the issues that may arise with footpath trading. While the footpath is there for you to use, it is still a public area and the public need to be able to use it safely.
When trading on the footpath, you should not:
- Impede access to street furniture;
- Impede access to pedestrian crossings and bus stops;
- Impede access to car parks on the road; or
- Disrupt sight lines on intersections – i.e. make sure drivers can see around the corner.
First and foremost, the footpath is there to allow pedestrians access – including access to your shop. You need to leave space for pedestrians to use the footpath; this includes the vision-impaired and people using mobility aids such as scooters and wheelchairs.
You need to:
- Maintain a 1.8m wide clear path on the footpath; and
- Where possible, do not place furniture or items along the front wall of the business. If it isn’t possible, ensure that items are placed in a consistent manner to allow for a predictable pathway for the vision impaired.
Compliance with this principle is easier if you co-operate with your neighbour to create a clear, straight path for pedestrians rather than asking them to zig-zag.
The Council's intent with footpath trading is to create activity that benefits all businesses. You can help by working co-operatively with neighbouring businesses to make the street an attractive and vibrant place.
Ensure that any items or trading activity on the footpath does not compromise or impede neighbouring businesses.
Even when everyone does the right thing, sometimes accidents happen. That’s why it is important that you and the Council are both covered if and when there is an incident.
Before trading on the footpath you must hold public liability insurance to a minimum of $20m. This insurance needs to note that you intend to trade on the footpath and also note Berrigan Shire Council as an interested party.
You don’t need to provide the Council with a Certificate of Currency unless we ask for you for one specifically.
Food safety is important for you and your business. Food displayed or offered for sale on the footpath must be:
- Restricted to non-potentially hazardous foods;
- Pre-packaged; and
- Appropriately labelled
Where you intend to serve food on the street, you need to follow safe food handling standards. Specific advice is available from the Council.
While signs and noticeboards are welcome, there are some limits in place to ensure there is room for everyone on the footpath.
You are limited to one (1) sign per business entry. This sign must be no larger than 600mm wide and 1200mm high.
For everyone's safety please make sure all items you place on the footpath are secure. Furniture, signs and display units should be sturdy enough to remain in place in normal weather conditions. If high winds or storms are occurring or are likely, you will need to remove all items from the footpath.
You must also remove all items from the footpath outside your trading hours.
If you propose to permanently fix any items to the footpath or conduct other works on the footpath you will need to contact the Council to request permission in advance.
Better Practice diagrams
These diagrams demonstrate best practice only and are not mandatory. That said, Council will refer to these diagrams if public concerns are raised about street trading impacting on the footpath.
The Council is committed to making it easy for local businesses to trade on the footpath where possible. If you are unable to meet the guidelines above, the Council may still be able to assist.
Further information on these guidelines and regarding trading on the footpath in general is available by contacting the Council administration office:
Phone: 03 5888 5100
In person: 56 Chanter St Berrigan.