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Footpath Trading Permits

We aim to ensure footpath trading is undertaken in a safe and well-regulated manner. Latrobe City Council and local traders must comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, which ensures equal access for all, regardless of age or ability. This means that everyone, including people with vision impairment or limited mobility and parents with prams, must be able to travel safely along footpaths without being impeded by merchandise stands, furniture or advertising signs.

Before you start any outdoor trading activities for your business such as outdoor dining, displaying an A-Frame etc. you should review the guidelines (below).

Are you starting a new business we can provide information on the requirements of your business including Planning, Building, Local Laws, or Health requirements you need to consider. 

We encourage you to book a time with our Business Approvals Officer who will organise a meeting with the required Council business units to discuss your requirements.

Related Documents

Guidelines and Permit Conditions for Footpath Trading

Footpath trading involves the use of public footpaths for commercial purposes.

The footpath is the area between the property boundary and the kerbside of a road that is provided for use by pedestrians. Commercial purposes typically include the placement of portable/temporary advertising signs, display of goods, tables, chairs, and ancillary equipment such as umbrellas, heaters, planter boxes, and screens.

A permit is required under the provisions of Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2016 for all portable/temporary footpath trading items, including:

  • Outdoor eating facilities (which may include)
    • Tables and chairs
    • Umbrellas
    • Heaters
    • Windbreaks/barriers
  • Advertising signs (A-frame signs)
  • Displaying of goods

To ensure the appearance of any structures associated with footpath activity are appropriate and in keeping with Council’s Urban Design and Heritage controls for an area, the following standards apply:-

  • Any structures to be placed on the footpath within a Heritage Overlay may be referred to Council’s Planning Team and Heritage Advisor. Furniture that impedes views to significant heritage frontages will not be supported.
  • Any furniture to be placed on the footpath may be reviewed at council’s discretion to determine whether the furniture is appropriate to the streetscape.
  • The colour and style of any structures permitted to be placed on the footpath shall be appropriate to the streetscape

Permit conditions for all classes of Footpath Trading Permit

The permit is issued for the area located on the footpath solely outside the applicant’s premises.

Clearances to be maintained are 700 mm from kerbside and 2 metre clear accessible path of travel along the property line unless otherwise approved by Council’s Traffic Engineer.

The permit holder must not damage any infrastructure on the footpath shall report any damage observed to Council.

Signs, Goods for Display, and all items associated with an Outdoor Dining Facility must be constructed of such material and design as not to cause injury to pedestrians or to be moved by wind or to create a hazard to any pedestrian using the footpath.

No item may be fixed to the footpath and all items must be removed at the close of trading.

The permitted business shall maintain an in-force insurance policy with Public Liability Cover and provide Council with a Certificate of Currency at the time of policy renewal each year.

Traffic safety and Footpath Trading Permits

All commercial operations in the road reserve can represent a risk to motorists and patrons such as reducing visibility or increased risk of harm from road-related activities. The Permit holder must take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of its patrons while conducting Footpath Trading activities. Where there is an identified risk or complaint reported to Latrobe City Council, the Permit holder may be directed to consult with a Traffic Engineer for further assessment. The Permit holder must comply with any additional conditions imposed by a Traffic Engineer. Failure to comply with Traffic Engineer requirements will result in immediate cancellation of the Footpath Trading Permit.

Advertising signs permit conditions

  1. A person without a Permit must not erect or place an advertising sign on any part of a road or cause or authorise another person to do so. The sign erected or located on the footpath solely outside the applicant's premises providing a 2 metre clear accessible path of travel along the property line and the sign be adequately lit during all times of placement.
    • 1.1 The dimensions of the sign must not exceed 700 mm in width or 1 metre in height without specific approval of an authorised officer
    • 1.2 Must be constructed of such material and design as not to cause injury to pedestrians or to be moved by wind or to create a hazard to any pedestrian using the footpath
    • 1.3 No item may be fixed to the footpath and all items must be removed at the close of trading; and
    • 1.4 To be limited to not more than one footpath advertising sign for each applicant’s premises.
  2. Sub-clause (1.1) does not apply to an advertising sign for a garage sale, an open inspection or auction providing:
    • The sign is no larger than 700 mm in width or 1 metre in height without specific approval of an authorised officer;
    • The sign is not placed on a round-a-bout or does not obstruct any constructed footpath or walkway;
    • The sign is not located on any area of the road to which motor vehicles have access;
    • The sign (pointer board) is only displayed at or near the property for which the person/agent is acting provided that the sign(s) are only placed within two hours preceding the activity being advertised and removed within 2 hours of the conclusion of the activity being advertised.

    2.1 An advertising sign for which a Planning Permit has been issued

Permits for advertising signs

In determining whether to grant a Permit, the Council must have regard to any standards set out in Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2016 Part 6 Division 9 and any guidelines determined by Council from time to time.

Impounding signs

  1. Where any advertising sign is erected or placed in any place contrary to this Division or in contravention of any permit conditions, it may be removed by an Authorised Officer and impounded.
  2. Where an advertising sign has been impounded, there must be compliance with the provisions of Part 2.

Notice to comply

Where in the opinion of the Council there is any failure to comply with the provisions of this Division or the conditions of any Permit, the Council may serve a Notice to Comply on the person who owns the advertising sign or the Permit holder.

Goods for sale permit conditions

A person without a Permit must not place or display any goods for sale or cause or permit another person under his or her control to do so on:-

  1. any footpath;
  2. any part of a carriageway designed for the use of passing vehicles;
  3. within 700 mm of an area where vehicles may stand; or
  4. Any other part of a road.

The display must be erected or located on the footpath solely outside the applicant’s premises providing a 2 metre clear accessible path of travel along the property line and the display be adequately lit during all times of placement.

The display must be constructed of such material and design as not to cause injury to pedestrians or to be moved by wind or to create a hazard to any pedestrian using the footpath.

No item may be fixed to the footpath and all items must be removed at the close of trading unless a Planning Permit has been issued to place or display the goods for sale.

Permits for displaying goods

In determining whether to grant a Permit, the Council must have regard to any standards set out in Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2016, Part 6 Division 10, and any guidelines determined by Council from time to time.

Goods left on roads

  1. Any goods left or displayed on any part of a road contrary to this Division or displayed in contravention of any conditions of a Permit may be removed by an Authorised Officer and impounded.
  2. Where any goods have been impounded there must be compliance with the provisions of Part 2.

Notice to comply

Where in the opinion of the Council there is any failure to comply with the provisions of this Division or the conditions of any Permit, the Council may serve a Notice to Comply on the owner of the goods or the Permit holder.

Outdoor eating facility permit conditions

A person without a Footpath Trading Permit must not establish an outdoor eating facility on any footpath or other part of a road unless a Planning Permit has been specifically issued for the establishment of that outdoor eating facility. The outdoor eating facility solely outside the applicant’s premises must provide a 2 metre clear accessible path of travel from the property line unless otherwise permitted by the Traffic Engineer.

Any tables, chairs, umbrellas, or other equipment in an outdoor eating facility must be constructed of such material and design as not to cause injury to pedestrians or be moved by wind or to create a hazard to any pedestrian using the footpath. No item may be fixed to the footpath and all items must be removed at the close of trading.

The Permit holder must comply with any additional conditions imposed by a Traffic Engineer.

The Permit holder must comply with controls listed in Division 1 Section 5 of the Tobacco Act 1987 with respect to outdoor dining areas within the meaning of Section 3 of the Tobacco Act 1987.

The Permit holder must keep the footpath area between premises and outdoor dining facility clean and free of spills.

Granting of permits

In determining whether to grant a Permit, the Council must have regard to any standards set out in Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2016, Part 6 Division 12, and any guidelines determined by Council from time to time.

Facility which is not permitted

  1. Any tables, chairs, umbrellas or other equipment in an outdoor eating facility used in contravention of this Division or of any conditions of a Permit may be removed by an Authorised Officer and impounded.
  2. Where any tables, chairs or other equipment have been impounded, there must be compliance with the provisions of Part 2.

Use of outdoor eating facility

  1. A person must not occupy a chair or otherwise use the equipment in an outdoor eating facility unless he or she intends to use them for the purpose of eating food or drinking drinks to be provided by the permit holder.
  2. A person must not cause a nuisance to or behave offensively towards another person at or passing an outdoor eating facility.
  3. A person must leave an outdoor eating facility when requested to do so by the permit holder.

Public liability insurance and indemnity

  1. A Permit will not be issued by Council unless the applicant indemnifies Council against any suit, action, proceeding, judgment, claim, demand, cost, expense, loss, or damage for which Council becomes or may become liable in relation to the death or injury to any person or the damage to any property caused by anything authorised by a Permit. By submitting an application for Footpath Trading Permit, the Permit applicant and named business agrees to this indemnity in full and unconditionally.
  2. The Permit Holder must maintain a Public Liability Policy of Insurance for an amount of not less than $10 million. The policy must be able to meet any possible claim which may be sustained against the Permit holder or Council in relation to the death or injury to any person or the damage to any property arising out of anything authorised by the permit Agreement.

Applications for a footpath trading permit

Applicants must:

  • Complete and sign an application for a Footpath Trading Permit (as it is known under Council’s Local Law) these forms are available on the Council website. The application may also be submitted using Council’s Business Approvals form.
  • Provide payment of the appropriate fee to Latrobe City Council;
  • Provide a plan, drawn to scale, showing:
    • the location and dimensions of the principal shop frontage, the adjoining shop frontages and the width of the Kerbside Zone and Walkway Zone (Footpath Guidelines Display Image at the bottom of this page); 
    • All existing fixed street and footpath features within or near the footpath trading such as trees, light poles, rubbish bins, bike racks and/or public transport shelters and any parking restrictions or controls in place;
    • The location and dimensions and all proposed items to be placed on the footpath, and
    • Details of any proposed advertising on café barriers or A-Frame signs.
  • Acknowledge that it is the responsibility of the Permit holder to comply with all legislation and legal requirements relevant to the activity permitted pursuant to a Permit and to ensure that employees and agents similarly comply.
  • The applicant must provide a valid certificate of currency for Public Liability Insurance, insuring against liability for the death of, or injury to any person, or damage to any property, arising out of the activity that will be authorised by the footpath trading permit. The applicant will agree to provide an updated certificate of currency for Public Liability Insurance during a Permit period, prior to the expiry of the existing Certificate of Currency. The Insurance Certificate of Currency will clearly describe:
    • A minimum of $10 million in Public Liability;
    • The insured (including risk address);
    • The Company insuring it;
    • Expiry date; and
    • Policy number.

The completed Application Form, Certificate of Currency and Permit fee can be delivered in-person to any Latrobe City Council Service Centre or Library or posted to Latrobe City Council, P.O. Box 264, Morwell Vic 3840.

Footpath trading permit renewal

Permits are issued with automatic expiry on 30th June of each year. A permit may be only be renewed upon:

  • Payment of the specified fee together with application form quoting last year permit number;
  • Proof of current Public Liability Insurance to the specifications in this guideline; and
  • Acknowledgement that it is the responsibility of the Permit holder to comply with all legislation and legal requirements relevant to the activity permitted pursuant to a permit and to ensure that employees and agents similarly comply.
  • If a Footpath Trading Permit is issued on a trial basis for a specified period, a pro rata fee payment system will apply. Council reserves the right to refuse to renew a permit in its absolute discretion.

When a permit holder’s public liability insurance policy expires before 30 June:

Unless otherwise specified in writing by Latrobe City Council, a Permit will expire on the 30th June each year, except in those instances when it is withdrawn or cancelled by an Authorised Officer prior to the expiry date.

  • The Footpath Trading Permit is deemed to be cancelled immediately upon expiry of the applicants Public Liability Insurance, unless an updated certificate of currency (meeting the requirements for Public Liability Insurance outlined in this guideline) is provided prior to expiry. During any period where the Permit holder does not have current Public Liability Insurance (with a copy supplied to Latrobe City Council) Footpath trading is prohibited.
  • If the Permit holder does not supply an updated certificate of currency, the remainder of the Permit is cancelled and without refund;
  • The  cancelled Permit holder will immediately cease footpath trading;
  • The cancelled Permit holder will remove any items previously permitted under Footpath Trading Permit;
  • Only recommence Footpath Trading once an updated and valid Certificate of Currency has been supplied to Latrobe City Council; and
  • Ensure that items placed on footpaths adhere to the original conditions approved by Latrobe City Council;
  • Continue to comply with all legislation and legal requirements relevant to the activity permitted pursuant to a Permit and to ensure that employees and agents similarly comply.

Removing the facility

The holder of the Council Permit must move or remove an outdoor eating facility to which the Permit pertains when requested to do so for purposes of public safety by an Authorised Officer or a member of the Police Force or of emergency service.

Notice To comply

Where in the opinion of the Council there is any failure to comply with the provisions of this Division or the conditions of any Permit, the Council may serve a Notice to Comply on the owner or occupier of the property abutting the footpath or road or the Permit holder.

Footpath trading objectives

To ensure that footpath trading is fair and consistent and to ensure public safety, Council has developed Footpath Trading Guidelines in addition to Part 6 Divisions 9, 10 & 12 of Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2016.

The principal objectives of this local laws and guidelines are to:

  • Provide for the peace, order and good governance within the Municipality and the administration of the Council’s functions and powers;
  • Promote a vibrant street life which balances the interests and needs of businesses, residents and visitors to the Municipality;
  • Regulate and control the placement of objects on Footpaths to ensure: they:
    • Provide a safe and unobstructed passage for pedestrians, in particular those who may be physically or vision impaired;
    • Provide a safe and unobstructed vision for drivers of vehicles and cyclists;

View Council’s Community Amenity Local Law No 2 2016

Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 makes disability discrimination unlawful and aims to promote equal opportunity and access for people with disabilities in Australia.
A footpath is covered by section 23 of the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and specifies a pedestrian zone with a minimum clear width of 1.8 metres at the narrowest point and a minimum clear height of 2 metres with nothing encroaching.
The Australian Human Rights Commission is of the view that the continuous accessible path of travel should extend from the property line with no obstructions or projections in order to provide the best possible guidance line for all users including people with vision impairment.

Planning approval is required for bunting signs and signs other than A-frame signs

For further information please telephone the Planning Team on 1300 367 700 or email: planningadvice@latrobe.vic.gov.au Alternatively, the following forms can be downloaded from Latrobe City Website:

  • Application for Planning Permit form
  • How to complete the application for Planning Permit form from our website
  • Signage Application Planning Checklist
  • Fees for Planning Permit Applications
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