Business Footpath Activities

Bellingen Cafe Outdoor Eating Area

Council recently adopted a new Footpath Activities Policy which provides a set of simple requirements for businesses trading on the footpath. The policy aims to encourage footpath activities which add to the liveliness and character of our town centres whilst providing a safe, equitable and comfortable walking environment along our Shire’s footpaths.

The policy focuses on improving accessibility for all pedestrians, but especially for people with a disability, by requiring a 1.8 metre wide path of travel be kept clear of all objects and structures.

In order to roll-out the policy, Council also supported a change to local planning controls to make the display of goods (including A-frame signs) exempt development. This means once the planning amendment is finalised (expected by the end of the year), a development approval will no longer be required for these activities. Outdoor dining is already exempt development (does not require a DA) under state planning controls.

Whilst governments are working towards simplifying the approval process for footpath activities, all commercial activities on public footpaths still require approval under NSW state legislation, specifically the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993. Council is committed to making this process simpler for businesses. Once changes to local planning controls come into effect, Council will roll-out the new Footpath Activity Approval process in consultation with local businesses.

Importantly, Council adopted a waiver of all application fees associated with a Footpath Activity Approval for six (6) months after the date the planning control amendment is notified and comes into force. This incentive highlights Council’s support for footpath activities and acknowledges the role small business plays in providing for the local community and attracting visitors.

Information relating to the new process can be read on Council’s website and further communication with stakeholders will occur to ensure an efficient implementation of the new Footpath Activities Policy.

For further information contact Land Use Services on 6655 7300 between 8.30am-4.30pm weekdays.