Outdoor dining

COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Support Package

To help hospitality venues recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19, Central Coast Council is offering an Outdoor Dining Expansion Package. The Package enables businesses to expand their outdoor dining areas by up to 50 percent without paying any additional fees for the extra space until 30 April 2022.

For businesses that already have an existing outdoor dining area

You will not need an amended approval to participate. However, you will need to meet the criteria outlined in the  Temporary Expansion Checklist.

For businesses that do not currently have approval for outdoor dining

You will first need to apply and pay the associated fees for an outdoor dining area in front of your business premises only. We have streamlined this application process, allowing you to get approval within 14 days, provided there is no fixed furniture.

  1. If you do not require approval for fixed structures, please complete the online Outdoor dining application.
  2. 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.

After obtaining approval, you may also take up the expansion option, provided you meet the criteria outlined in the  Temporary Expansion Checklist.

Important information

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

All venues need to have a current COVID-19 safety plan in place, electronic check-in facilities and follow the latest public health orders.

If the Council receives complaints from the community, compliance checks may be performed, and if any evidence of safety hazards or non-compliance is found, you will be required to revert to using only the approved outdoor dining area.

The expansion is approved until 30 April 2022, after which you may choose to revert to the approved outdoor dining area or formally apply to make the expansion permanent. Regular fees are applicable.

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.

Frequently asked questions

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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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.  

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. 

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Last updated : Wed 20 Oct 2021