Footpath trading permits

As of 1 July 2015, our current Footpath Trading Policy has come into effect, designed to balance the needs of both pedestrians and businesses. 

The policy will improve access and safety for shoppers, people with disabilities, and people with prams, while at the same time reducing costs and red tape for businesses and enhancing the vibrancy of our popular shopping strips.

For further details of the changes, view the new Footpath Trading Policy (pdf, 245KB) or contact our Economic Development team on 9243 8866 or email

Footpath trading permits include:

  • Street activation
  • Display of goods
  • Advertising
  • Outdoor dining

Summary of changes

Street activation permits

We have introduced a new category of street activation permits. These free permits support place making activities on our streets. Businesses can apply for one of these permits to put plants, public art and creative installations out the front of their businesses. Street activation permits are free although a permit is required.

Display of goods permits

Display of goods permits will no longer be issued with the exception of fruit and vegetable stands, and flower and plant stands. All other current permits will be cancelled as of 30 June 2015. Our Economic Development team are keen to work with effected traders to explore alternative options to grow your business.


We have removed the tight restrictions on the type of advertising businesses can place out the front of business to signal they are open from just A-frames to incorporate any kind of attractive signage. Just tell us your idea and we’ll consider it.

Outdoor dining

There are a number of changes to the rules governing footpath dining permits designed to reduce red tape and simplify the application process.

The new policy removes the restrictive design elements and the limitation on the number of seats allowed in a footpath dining area which was set to ‘a maximum of 20 per cent of overall ‘on premises’ seating capacity’. We recognised this presented an unnecessary restriction for businesses and their ability to trade to their full potential.

The new policy is also more transparent, introducing a flat fee for outdoor dining permits, streamlining the application process and ensuring businesses can easily calculate the cost of the permit up front.

Other major changes

Footpath zones - The old footpath trading policy used a complicated matrix of footpath widths and volume of pedestrian traffic to calculate the minimum pedestrian zone which proved unnecessarily complex for traders and council officers alike to interpret. The new policy simplifies this by providing two minimum pedestrian zones.

On major arterial roads, namely Puckle Street and Mt Alexander Road in Moonee Ponds, Union Road Ascot Vale, Racecourse Road Flemington and Keilor Road Niddrie which have high pedestrian traffic, the larger 1.8m width is in place to ensure that the streets are accessible and comfortable for pedestrians.

On other streets there is a smaller minimum pedestrian zone of 1.2m which meets disability compliance requirements whilst allowing for traders to utilise the footpath to create a vibrant street precinct.

Any current permit holders who do not meet the new minimum width requirements will have their permits cancelled from 30 June 2015. We encourage you to work with the Economic Development unit to explore other options to grow your business.

For further details of the changes, view the new Footpath Trading Policy (pdf, 245KB) or contact our Economic Development team on 9243 8866 or email

Apply for a permit

Simply complete a Footpath trading permit application (pdf, 144KB).

Permit fees for 2016/2017:  

Item  Cost 

Public Art  


Pots and planter boxes 


Children’s rides 


Fruit and Veg or Plant and Flower 


Advertising signs and other small structures and displays  


Nightclubs queues 


Tables and chairs 

$520 per outdoor dining area 



Café screens 


Outdoor heaters 


Last updated: Friday, 16 June 2017, 4:03 AM