Outdoor Trading

Council encourages the establishment of outdoor trading areas throughout the Newcastle region.

There are guidelines you need to follow to get approval to establish an outdoor trading area. An outdoor trading area will only be permitted in association with an approved food business.

Outdoor trading regulations are contained within the   Outdoor Trading Policy (pdf). The Outdoor trading policy contains all the requirements necessary in relation to outdoor furniture, toilet facilities, the consumption of alcohol, shade structures, cleanliness and maintenance.

Making an application

Before making an application it is recommended you contact Council's Customer Enquiry Centre to ensure you have the correct plans, details and insurance certificate.

You must complete an outdoor trading application form:

 Outdoor Trading Application Form (pdf).

Applications may be lodged at the Customer Enquiry Centre.

Pets at outdoor trading areas

Dogs are now permitted in kerbside outdoor trading areas. Your dog can join you if they:

  • Are on a lead
  • Stay on the ground
  • Are not fed
  • Have the restaurant owner’s permission.

 Download the flyer on dogs at outdoor trading (pdf)

Permanent structures

You need separate Council approval if you are going to erect permanent structures and/or awnings in a public space.

RMS requirements

If your outdoor trading area is adjacent to traffic control signals or on a 'classification' state road you may require separate approval from the RMS.

Site requirements

An outdoor trading area is only appropriate where:

  • The public space is wide enough to accommodate the outdoor trading area while still maintaining a clear pathway of travel for all pedestrians including those who use mobility aids
  • The ground surface of the outdoor trading area is suitably constructed and sufficiently level to accommodate outdoor dining furniture and enable the area to be used safely and without inconvenience to pedestrians or vehicles
  • There is no unreasonable hazard to pedestrians, diners or vehicular traffic.

Smoking in outdoor trading areas

Smoking in or adjacent to an outdoor trading area is prohibited.  As of 6 July 2015, commercial outdoor dining areas are smoke-free.  Council does not have any control over these laws and cannot police and or enforce fines.  All breaches should be directed to Health NSW who have an  online reporting form and for enquiries contact 1800 357 412.

The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 also bans smoking in the following outdoor public places:

  • Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places
  • Public swimming pools
  • Spectator areas at sports grounds or other recreational areas used for organised sporting events
  • Public transport stops and platforms , including ferry wharves and taxi ranks
  • Within four metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building.

 Find out more from  NSW Health and view the  No smoking near public buildings fact sheet.