The City of Casey has introduced an Expanded Outdoor Dining Program for local hospitality businesses. We want to ensure a smooth transition to a safe, accessible and viable outdoor dining model.
Under the new program, businesses can apply for a permit to increase outdoor dining space. Fees will be waived and applications prioritised to allow businesses to reopen sooner.
The program will run until 30 April 2021. Council will review these dates in line with COVID-19 restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne.
Support for your business
There are many support options for businesses moving to expanded outdoor dining:
- The Victorian Government Business Resilience Package:
- Help to create a CovidSafe plan for your business
- Hospitality Industry Restart guidelines
- Temporary limited liquor licence: to serve alcohol in your expanded dining space, you will need a temporary permit from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). Before you apply to the VCGLR, you need written permission from Casey to use the expanded outdoor area. Please complete our application form.
Before you apply
Before you apply please make sure:
- Your business has a valid Class 2 or Class 3 Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984. The business must also operate from an existing commercial location.
- You review the permit conditions.
- You review all the information below about available locations for outdoor dining and permit requirements.
- You prepare a detailed site map of your proposed area for expansion.
- You complete a Neighbour Consent form if your proposal includes expanding on the footpath in front of your neighbours' property.
- You get permission from your landlord and landowner if your business is located on private property.
- Your Public Liability Insurance is valid for the expanded dining area and has a minimum $10 million coverage.
Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit conditions
Approved business owners under the Expanded Outdoor Dining program must comply with the following conditions as a minimum:
- Adhere to conditions on any existing permits from Council
- Adhere to directives issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Victorian and Australian Governments
- Ensure a mandatory CovidSafe plan is in place. The plan must be regularly reviewed and updated as public health advice changes
- If consent is withdrawn from adjoining neighbour or private landowner, all goods placed on the expanded outdoor dining space must be removed immediately
- Goods placed on the expanded outdoor dining area must be removed outside of trading hours
- Business must ensure a safe and accessible surface is provided for diners on outdoor dining space
Permits issued under the Expanded Outdoor Dining Program may also include additional site-specific conditions.
Spaces for outdoor dining
This is the easiest way for your business to increase outdoor dining space. Council can streamline simple requests for extra tables and chairs and issue permits within 2 to 3 business days.
Applications for larger areas and many furniture items like screens, heaters and coverings may take longer to process. We must also consider implications for neighbouring retail businesses.
Businesses will have two options:
- If you have a current Footpath Trading Permit, you can apply for an Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit to temporarily extend to the next property boundary. You must complete an application form and submit a Neighbour Consent form.
- If you don't have a current permit, you can apply for a new Footpath Trading Permit. Footpath trading applications under the Expanded Outdoor Dining program will be fast-tracked.
Council may offer public land as outdoor dining spaces for businesses who cannot expand onto a footpath. Public spaces include:
Council will review these requests case by case. It is a slower process as Council assesses each space against specific criteria like pedestrian and disability access. We must also consider impacts on other community members who use the space.
You must receive permission from the landowner to use private land to expand your outdoor dining space. You may also need a new or amended planning permit from Council.
The process to lodge and approve a planning permit can be complex and may take more time. The timeframe for these approvals will vary depending on the complexity of the proposal.
Council is looking at using public car parks and open space for pop-up parks in key retail areas. We invite all Casey businesses and residents to share feedback and ideas on how we can support our hospitality sector.
Outdoor dining permits
Depending on your proposal, you may need one or more of the following permits for outdoor dining. Please review the checklists below and complete our Expanded Outdoor Dining Application form. To ensure a quick assessment, please upload all requested information including drawings, photos, insurance and neighbours' approval if required.
Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit
You may apply for a fast-tracked Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit if:
- You have an existing Footpath Trading Permit from the City of Casey.
- You want to expand your trading zone to the next property boundary.
- You have a signed letter of consent from your neighbouring business.
Footpath Trading Permit
You may apply for a fast-tracked Footpath Trading Permit if:
- You want to offer dining on a Council-maintained footpath that is 2.9m wide or greater
- You hold Public Liability Insurance with a minimum of $10 million
Please note: businesses who do not have a Class 2 or 3 Certificate of Registration can still apply to trade on the footpath. These applications will not be fast-tracked under the Expanded Outdoor Dining Program.
You may need a planning permit if your expanded outdoor dining proposal:
- Occurs on private land
- The use and/or development has not been authorised by Council’s Safer Communities Department
- Needs new signage (other than an A-frame sign or temporary window signage)
- Requires serving alcohol for the first time. You may also need a planning permit if there are any changes to your existing liquor licence (other than by increasing outdoor dining space)
Council can fast-track this approval process if:
- You have an existing planning permit in place to serve alcohol
- Expansion of dining and alcohol space occurs on public land
If your business is located on private or crown land, please visit the VCGLR website for more information.