Outdoor dining

Council gives food business operators the opportunity to expand their dining floor space by using Council footpath to create an outdoor dining experience that is vibrant and active for the whole community. 

These activities are regulated to ensure they are carried out safely for diners and pedestrians. It also allows Council to balance the needs of local businesses with those of residents and visitors. A permit is not required if your outdoor dining area is on private land.

To set up outdoor dining or seating areas including tables, chairs, outdoor heaters, umbrellas or planter boxes on a Council controlled area that is adjacent to your business, you are required to submit an application for approval a minimum of eight weeks prior to commencement. This allows adequate time to review your submission, request any further information, conduct a final assessment and make a decision. Outdoor dining is often associated with businesses such as:

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • takeaway food outlets.

Additional approvals may be required from local government or state government agencies if an application involves building works or operational works such as a road opening, alteration to a footpath or the fixing of structures to a footpath.

The proposed outdoor dining area must provide unobstructed pedestrian movement along the relevant footpath and a minimum clear pedestrian way width of two metres.

You need to submit your application at least eight weeks before you want your business to start operating. Once all supporting documents have been provided, your application will be reviewed and assessed for approval under Local Law No 1 (Administration) 2011. Schedule 8(b). 

Initial assessment of your application may take up to five business days. We may consult with key stakeholders. It may take up to 30 business days from initial assessment to decision once all supporting documents have been provided.

Legislation requires outdoor eating places to be smoke-free under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 and liquor consumption on footpaths is regulated under the Liquor Act 1992. Approval is required by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.

How to apply

Step 1.Prepare a site plan

The site plan of the proposed outdoor dining area to scale 1:100 should accurately show the area of the proposed outdoor dining area as well as the location and orientation of all proposed screens, overhangs, bollards, signage, tables, chairs, umbrellas and other street furniture. All elements shown on the plan are to be reflective of actual dimensional size.

Use the Outdoor dining site plan template(DOCX, 64KB).

Step 2.Prepare a risk management plan

Complete the Risk management plan template(DOCX, 927KB)

Step 3.Take out public liability insurance

Evidence of a current public liability insurance policy to the value of $20,000,000 should be provided with your application. 

Step 4.Prepare a site analysis plan 

The site analysis plan will need to be prepared by a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland professional (RPEQ) demonstrating an appreciation of the site, its context, and opportunities and constraints for the layout design of the site. This plan should be drawn to scale and indicate:

  • site dimensions including footpath width from the outside face of kerb to the building line. Location of building lines, width of the building frontage to which the outdoor dining area is associated with and entry points to the building
  • site features such as existing trees and street furniture including bench seating, street lighting, bins, drinking fountains, bicycle racks, or planter boxes. Existing awnings, overhangs and signage. Topography and footpath services levels and cross falls, easements and existing services, including poles, service pits, storm water catchment pits in the kerb, fire hydrants, post boxes, public telephones, connection points and existing vehicle access points
  • adjoining features and constraints – including types of businesses on abutting properties and their building lines. Type (such as parallel, diagonal, or rear in) and dimensions of any car parking provided on the road shoulder adjoining the footpath on which any outdoor dining area is to be located and existing pedestrian movement corridors through the site
  • any uses which may be sensitive to outdoor dining located in close proximity, such as automatic teller machines
  • any logo signage to be used should be clearly detailed to scale
  • the type of safety bollards and their locations.  

Step 5.Prepare photographs

  • provide photographs of the location showing the site of the proposed outdoor dining area, its footpath features and its proximity relative to adjoining buildings and streetscape elements.
  • provide photographs and details of furniture and/or detailed architectural drawings of chairs, tables, screens, bollards, umbrellas and other furniture proposed for the outdoor dining area, including cooking devices, heating and lighting. 

Step 6.Review conditions

Make sure you review and understand the conditions for an Outdoor Dining permit. Specific conditions may be added after your application has been assessed.

Step 7.Review fees and charges

In accordance with Council’s fees and charges, the costs are:

  • a non-refundable application fee of T1086 if the proposed site is greater than 10 square metres OR
  • a non-refundable application fee of T962 if the proposed site is 10 square metres or less

This fee is payable at the time of application. Council will contact you for payment.

Other fees are payable when your permit is renewed:

  • a T1087 annual renewal fee if the site is greater than 10 square metres.
  • there is no annual renewal fee if the site is 10 square metres or less.

The renewal period for a permit is from 1 October to 30 September.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations are exempt from paying fees if evidence is provided. 

Step 8.Complete an Outdoor dining application form

Download and complete the Outdoor dining application(PDF, 296KB) form.

Submit your completed application form along with supporting documentation using any of the below options:

  • by post: mail to Moreton Bay Regional Council, PO Box 159 Caboolture QLD 4510
  • by email: mbrc@moretonbay.qld.gov.au
  • in person at a customer service centre.

The applicant for an approval must be a legal entity, such as a person, private company, public company or incorporated association. A partnership, cooperative, unincorporated association, body corporate, strata corporation, trust or political party is not a legal entity and cannot be considered the applicant.