What you need to know

COVID-19 planning exemptions

COVID-19 planning exemptions

The Victorian Government has introduced exemptions to the Victorian Planning Scheme Clause 52.18 (State of emergency and recovery exemptions) to support the hospitality sector utilise outdoor dining as part of the response to COVID-19.

What does this change mean for hospitality businesses?

This change means that existing hospitality businesses may be able to expand outdoor dining into previously unused private land or in areas restricted by planning permit conditions, including land used for car parking.

How do I know if my business is exempt under Clause 52.18?

You must:

  • be an existing hospitality business in Moonee Valley; and
  • comply with the Use and development requirements of Clause 52.18-7 of the Planning Scheme (listed below).

The exemptions don’t mean that you won’t need a permit at all, for example you may need a building permit to build a temporary structure for your outdoor dining. We recommend you speak to our Economic Development team to find out what permits you need.

What are the requirements of Clause 52.18-7?

  • The outdoor consumption of food or drink must not unreasonably affect the amenity of the neighbourhood through for example, deliveries, noise or light.
  • If your land is within 30 metres of a residential zone, outdoor dining will not be allowed between 10pm and 7am unless your existing permit allows or consent is obtained.
  • The outdoor dining area cannot impede access for emergency services or waste collection services.

How do I apply?

Please submit a request via our online Small Business Approvals Application Form, selecting ‘Planning’ as the application type.

What happens next?

We will check your application and supporting documents, and then work with you to consider your application, which if permitted will be valid for up to a year from the end of the State of Emergency.

What happens if I don’t have an outdoor area of my own to use for outdoor dining? Can’t I just use the footpath or on-street car parks in front of my venue?

If you are operating a business within Moonee Valley and wish to place items on the footpath, you may be required to obtain a Footpath trading permit.

Footpath trading permits are required for:

  • street activation (umbrellas, pot and planter boxes)
  • display of goods (fruit and vegetables, flowers)
  • advertising
  • outdoor dining.

We have designed our Footpath Trading Policy to balance the needs of both pedestrians and businesses. The policy aims to improve access and safety for shoppers, people with disability, while at the same time assisting businesses and enhancing the vibrancy of our popular shopping strips.

Use of public car parking sites for dining is not permitted for new requests at present. Council is currently undertaking research to inform future policy that may allow the use of public car parks for outdoor dining in 2022.

What happens when the exemption ends?

Any changes made because of these exemptions will need to be reverted back to comply with any permit issued. This includes the removal of any temporary buildings constructed.

I’m opening a new hospitality business, does this apply to me?

New businesses should speak to Council’s Economic Development team to determine what permits they require.

I have more questions, who can help me?

Contact Council’s Economic Development team on 9243 8866 or business@mvcc.vic.gov.au to find out more.