Outdoor dining for business

As regional Victoria including Greater Shepparton prepares to re-open and further activate our businesses due to moving to Step 3 of the Victorian Government’s coronavirus roadmap to recovery, Greater Shepparton City Council is here to make it as easy as possible for hospitality businesses to either start or expand their outdoor dining footprint to maximise the number of customers that are able to dine-in.

As you would be aware, under Step 3 of the roadmap, hospitality businesses are able to serve customers:

Outdoor Dining Planning Guide 
Step 3 COVID Roadmap to Recovery

All the information you need to either extend or get your outdoor dining started is detailed in this guide.

If you have any questions or even just want to chat about your options please contact the Council’s Building, Planning and Compliance Team by calling (03) 5832 9730 or emailing council@shepparton.vic.gov.au and our staff will arrange a time to meet with you and discuss how we can make it happen.

All the information you need to either extend or get your outdoor dining started is detailed in this guide.

PDF, 2.7 MB

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions as a starting point to assist you prepare for re-opening or getting started.

Does Council have an Outdoor Dining Policy we need to be aware of?

Yes, to view the policy, please visit our Outdoor Dining Areas page. 

I currently don’t operate outdoor dining. Can I get assistance to make this happen?

Yes, all hospitality business in Greater Shepparton can get assistance to see how outdoor dining can be set up and delivered safely.

You will I need a Licensed Outdoor Dining Area a Planning Permit.

Lodge an Online Planning Application

Planning Applications must be accompanied with the following

  • redline plan;
  • hours or operation;
  • consent from owner occupiers of building abutting the additional space they will occupy; and
  • a full copy of title.

If you require any assistance for a planning permit, please contact Braydon Aitken, Team Leader Statutory Planning, on (03) 5832 9730.

An application form is required if you’re wanting to operate outdoor dining on Council land. This form is available below.

I already have outdoor dining, am I eligible to extend my footprint?

To extend your outdoor dining footprint you will need to get consent from any of your neighbouring businesses e.g. if you want to extend onto the footpath out the front of their business. It is hoped neighbouring businesses will support each other in good faith during this time and our staff will be able to help negotiate this if needed.

You will need to complete an Extension to an Existing Licensed Outdoor Dining Area an Amended Permit.

Use this form to make an application to amend a planning application already submitted to Council.

PDF, 1.9 MB

If you require assistance for an amendment to a planning permit, please contact Braydon Aitken, Team Leader Statutory Planning, on (03) 5832 9730.

Amended Planning Applications must be accompanied with the following

  • redline plan;
  • hours or operation;
  • consent from owner occupiers of building abutting the additional space they will occupy; and
  • a full copy of title
  • Submit a site plan that shows the dimensions of the proposed outdoor dining area (designated area) which indicates:
  • Setbacks from shop frontage, kerb and site boundaries
  • Setbacks from any existing elements such as street trees, light poles veranda posts, rubbish bins, parking meters, street furniture, etc.
  • Location of parking and loading bays
  • Proposed positioning of umbrellas, patio heaters etc.
  • Details of all furniture to be included [i.e. description and number of tables/chairs], photos and dimensions
  • Details of the dimensions, materials and fixing methods of the screens/barriers
  • Details of any sign writing to be included on the screens (No advertising of alcoholic products, including branding is permitted on screens).
  • Current Certificate of Currency $20M
  • Approved Red Line Plan (from VCGLR)
  • Written consent from neighbouring owners and occupiers if the area being used is extended in front of adjoining properties

Submit completed amend a planning permit form and above attachments to council@shepparton.vic.gov.au.

How much will it cost?

There will be no cost to commence or expand your outdoor dining footprint as Greater Shepparton has waived all outdoor dining fees as part of Council’s Economic Response to COVID-19 Package. This opportunity is temporary and approvals will be in place until June 30, 2021. Council staff will continue to monitor if these approvals need to be extended or other arrangements put in place.

What financial assistance am I eligible for?

Up to $5,000 will be available from the State Government to assist hospitality businesses to deliver outdoor dining. This funding will support resources such as umbrellas, seating and staff training just as an example. Applications for this funding will be made available by the State Government shortly.

Any cost of additional furniture, barriers or decorations are the responsibility of the business owner. As it is unlikely businesses will be able to cater for many customers indoors, some of this furniture may be able to be taken outside. Businesses may also choose to hire furniture or other items like marquees or heaters.

There are dos and don’ts in terms of barriers and furniture and umbrellas, download the guide below that can help you out.

All the information you need to either extend or get your outdoor dining started is detailed in this guide.

PDF, 2.7 MB

Is Council able to provide financial assistance?

State Government grants will also be provided to local government, including Greater Shepparton, to support outdoor dining, with funds potentially available to assist with traffic management, bollards, planter boxes and signage, minor civil works, additional waste management, local marketing, etc.  Such resources can be used to support common or collective outdoor areas that complement the style of dining offered by hospitality businesses.  Guidelines for local government to apply for this funding will be made available in the coming days.

How do I start the process?

Contact the Council’s Building, Planning & Compliance Team via (03) 5832 9730 or council@shepparton.vic.gov.au and our staff will arrange a time to meet with you, review your site and discuss the options available to you. We will work as quickly as possible to get you ready to welcome customers under the new regulations.

Will I need to extend my liquor licence if I start/extend serving alcohol in the outdoor dining area?

If you already have a liquor licence for your outdoor area and you are not proposing an extension, then you won’t need to amend your liquor licence and can operate as normal. If you extend your outdoor dining area and would like to serve alcohol in this area, you will need to amend your Planning Permit and Liquor Licence.

The State Government is working with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to fast track liquor licencing required for outdoor serves of alcohol.

Will I need additional insurance?

You will require public liability insurance to the value of $20 million.  Businesses that already offer outdoor dining should already have this in place.  Please check with your insurer in the first instance.

What else will I need?

You must have a COVIDSafe Plan. Don’t be overwhelmed by the COVIDSafe Plan this as there are already templates, FAQs and guidance provided by the State Government on their website.

You must also record all patron, staff and contractor names and contact numbers if they are within your business for 15 minutes or more.

All additional Victorian Government advice regarding outdoor trading requirements for the hospitality sector must also be strictly followed.

Who do I contact if I need help?

For outdoor dining Council’s Building, Planning and Compliance Team are happy to help via (03) 5832 9730 or council@shepparton.vic.gov.au.

To understand the State Government funding opportunities please contact Council’s Economic Development Team on (03) 5832 9700 or council@shepparton.vic.gov.au.