Footpath dining allows businesses such as restaurants and cafes to place tables and chairs out on the footpath. You can expand your dining area while also offering your customers an alternative spot outside for them to enjoy a drink or meal.

Footpath Dining Licence

'Commercial activity on a local government-controlled area or road' means the use of a local government-controlled area or road for commercial or business purposes, including footpath dining. If you wish to place tables and chairs on the footpath, you will require a Footpath Dining Licence.

You can apply for a Footpath Dining Licence by completing the Footpath Dining Application Form.

The application can be completed online, or you can download and print the form.

Application Process

Prior to commencing this process, you must ensure that you have all the necessary supporting documentation and any other applicable licence approvals required e.g., current Food Business Licence.

The application process consists of three stages:

Stage 1 - Lodgement

Firstly, you will need to complete a Footpath Dining Application Form.

Once completed, the application form and supporting documentation will need to be submitted to Council for lodgement.  An application/assessment fee is required to be paid at this time.

The application form and supporting documentation can be lodged to Council via:

Stage 2 – Assessment

Council will undertake an assessment of the application against the mandatory requirements.  Your application can take up to 20 business days to be assessed. Should further information be needed before your application can be decided, the assessing officer will be in contact with you to discuss any outstanding requirements. If the application meets all requirements, you will receive a notification via email advising that your application has been approved.

Stage 3 - Issue of Licence

Once approved, the licence certificate will be issued with conditions. Please note that your licence certificate must always be displayed in an area that can be viewed by the public when trading (i.e., at the front counter, next to your food business licence).

Term of Licence

Approvals are issued per financial year for a period of up to 12 months (expiry on all licences is 30 June).   Licence renewals are issued 30 days prior to licence expiry.  Licences are renewable as of 1 July each financial year and there are no pro-rata fees for licences applied for after 31 December (i.e., the full fee must still be paid).

Supporting Documentation

You will need to provide the following documents with your application:

  • Public Liability Insurance (PLI) – Minimum $20 million
  • Site Layout with measurements outlining the proposed area. Details to include:
    • The Boundary of the area used;
    • Kerb setback;
    • Adjacent or nearby buildings;
    • Any trees, gardens, fire hydrants, transformers, telephone booths, mailboxes, tables and chairs, shelters, screens and windbreaks, traffic signal boxes, fixed rubbish bins, public transport infrastructure, car parks or loading zones, pillars and posts, menu boards and A-frame signs and manhole covers etc.

The written consent of a neighbouring business if your proposed footpath dining space extends past the area in front of your business (if applicable).


For fees and charges please refer to Fees and Charges


A footpath dining licence is not required on Council land if you only have:

  • An area of less than 10 square metres;
  • 2 tables with associated chairs;
  • Chairs or benches without a table; or,
  • Outside of convenience, take‐away and general stores

Additionally, you don’t need a licence if you are putting your tables and chairs on private land.  For example, if your food business is in a shopping centre complex and you put tables and chairs on the footpath, you don’t need a licence from Council, but you may need permission from your landlord.

Sale of an existing Footpath Dining Licence

An existing footpath dining licence that is current, can be transferred if you are selling or taking over a food business.  You can transfer a current Footpath Dining Licence by completing the Footpath Dining Application Form. The application can be completed online, or you can download and print the form. Please note a transfer fee will be applied if the renewal amount on the existing licence has been paid.

The new licensee will need to ensure they provide all required supporting documentation with their application. For further information, please refer to the Supporting Documentation section.

The application form and supporting documentation can be lodged to Council via:

Approval Conditions

Footpath Dining standard conditions are in accordance with Subordinate Local Law No. 3.1 (Commercial Licensing) 2013. These conditions are also provided on the back of the licence certificate issued for easy reference.


Council’s Local Law No. 3 Commercial Licensing (2013) and Local Law No. 7 (Local Government Controlled Areas and Roads) 2013 governs the use of roads and footpaths for dining and roadside vending.

More Information

If you require assistance with making an application, you can contact Ipswich City Council on the following: