Whitehorse City Council

Footpath Trading

Footpaths provide a wide variety of uses for different groups including shoppers, tourists, public transport users, delivery people, older people, those with mobility needs, pet owners, young families and children.  

Footpaths are also used by local businesses for the provision of outdoor eating areas, display of goods and signage. There are many positive benefits enjoyed by the local community through the promotion of footpath trading activities including increased activity and diversity of street life. Footpath trading requires Council approval which will only be permitted in circumstances where pedestrian access, community safety and amenity is not compromised. A permit is required to use any Council managed footpath for any trading activity. 

Applicants for a permit should note:

  • Permits are required for A-frame display boards, planter boxes, goods on display, tables, chairs, umbrellas and barriers or any other material
  • Council will not allow the installation of permanent structures, including electrical lighting and sound systems
  • Approved items such as café screens, retractable awnings and gas heaters attached to existing buildings or verandas must be capable of removal or relocation within 24 hours
  • Permits do not allow for exclusive use of an outdoor space and in some instances access may be required for a public event or permitted activity at Council’s discretion
  • Permits are for a maximum period of 12 months
  • Permits are subject to annual renewal and payment of a renewal fee set by Council
  • Permit holders must have current Public Liability Insurance during the permit period at a minimum of $10 million cover, or as determined by Council
  • The Public Liability Insurance Certificate must specify the insured items that will be placed on a footpath
  • Separate permits and fees will be required for each item
  • Permit applications that do not meet the requirements of the guidelines will be rejected
  • Permit holders should ensure disabled/accessible parking has a 2-metre clearance to avoid obstruction
  • Permit holder must display permit sticker provided. 

In order to provide ease of access for pedestrians, the following zones have been created:

  • Pedestrian zone
  • Trading activity zone
  • Kerbside zone
  • Exclusion zone. 

These zones are outlined in the diagrams below. 

Footpath trading furniture and fixtures must be of a high standard in terms of design, appearance and style as well as being deemed appropriate and sympathetic to the streetscape.  

All items must be sturdy, reliable and suitable for their intended use. All footpath trading furniture and fixtures must be approved by Council.

Business owners should complete the DOC icon Footpath Trading and Advertising Application Form.DOC (68.00kB) and return it to Council with the appropriate permit fee and a copy of a certificate of currency for public liability insurance with a minimum value of $10m with a current expiry date.

Business owners operating in the Box Hill Mall should complete the docx icon  Footpath Trading Box Hill Mall permit (53.37kB) and return it to Council with the appropriate permit fee and a copy of a certificate of currency for public liability insurance with a minimum value of $10m with a current expiry date.

For more information, download the pdf icon  Footpath Trading Guidelines (222.83kB) or phone Council's Community Laws Department on 9262 6333.

For information on installing in-ground furniture sockets in the footpath, download  pdf icon  In-ground Footpath Furniture Sockets (521.29kB) and pdf icon  Application to Undertake Works in the Road Reserve.pdf (62.19kB). For additional information contact the Engineering and Environmental Services Department on 9262 6177.

Traders in Carrington Road between Station Street and Thurston Street, Box Hill, are to comply with the specific requirements for footpath trading in this area which are detailed in pdf icon  Footpath Trading Guidelines – Annexure for Carrington Road Box Hill (1.60MB).

Footpath Zones in Retail Precincts 1

Footpath Zones in Retail Precincts 2 

Footpath Zones Corner Zone