Commercial Activities on Footpaths

The primary goal of the Commercial Activities on Footpath Policy(PDF, 4MB) is to provide a practical balance between the competing needs and interests of pedestrians and businesses whilst ensuring that there is continuous, safe and dignified access to all.

When we refer to Commercial Activities on Footpaths, we are referring to businesses wanting to utilise public space for commercial purposes in our townships including:

  • displaying goods
  • bulky goods
  • a-frame signs
  • tables and chairs (with and without alcohol)
  • screens
  • planter boxes.

It’s important to keep in mind that footpaths are community space, while we do want to support business operations, we also need to protect the safety of pedestrians, visual amenity and traffic flow. To ensure that you can take advantage of the space in an optimal way, consider the guidelines and apply for a permit to gain permission.

Guidelines for Commercial Activities on Footpaths application (with and without alcohol)

We're here to support you obtain the permits you need to conduct your business. To help you understand the conditions of a Commercial Activity on Footpaths Permit, the following core provisions must be complied with to be considered:

  • commercial activities can only be approved directly in front of the business' premise
  • the minimum footpath width required to undertake a commercial activity is 2.5 metres wide (allowing 0.7m width for the kerbside zone and 1.8m for the pedestrian zone)
  • the minimum width of the pedestrian zone shall be 1.8m and the minimum width of the kerbside zone shall be 0.7m
  • commercial activities shall be placed on the road side of the Commercial Activities Zone.  Any unutilised space within the Commercial Activities Zone must be left clear for pedestrian access
  • all furniture, furnishings and equipment must be placed along the road side of the footpath at all times that they are on the footpath – even in inclement weather
  • where an officer of the Shire or the relevant road authority deems that there is a safety risk due to the undertaking of a commercial activity on a street corner no commercial activities will be permitted
  • no commercial activity may be placed directly adjacent to a designated access car parking space, bus stop, formalised pedestrian crossing, loading zone or fire hydrant
  • advertising area on screens shall be restricted to the business name or logo, or the key product (eg. The brand of coffee or mineral water that is available at that business that is subsidising the cost of the screens). This must not exceed 20% of the total area of each screen
  • temporary screens may not be greater than 1.2m in height and fixed screens may not be greater than 1.5m in height
  • planter boxes may not display advertising material
  • permits for commercial activities must be displayed prominently at the front of the business
  • if you are applying for a liquor license or a permanent structure on the footpath, you need to include a copy of your license or lease, along with the associated planning permit. 

If you are unsure on what you can do with your business in terms of commercial activities on footpaths, contact Community Safety on 5950 1434 or email

Understanding the footpath zones

To assist, the policy divides the footpath into three zones:

1. Pedestrian Zone
The area of public land that is immediately adjacent to the property boundary (a minimum of 1.8 metres) and that is for the exclusive use of pedestrians.  Where the property boundary is inset (ie. due to a road widening reservation) and this results in irregular front property boundaries – the pedestrian zone will be taken as being a consistent line with other surrounding properties so as to provide a continuous accessible path of travel.

2. Commercial Activity Zone
The area of public land that is located between the Pedestrian Zone and the Kerbside Zone that may be used for Commercial Activities.

 3. Kerbside Zone
The area of public land that is located between the Commercial Activity Zone and the front of the kerb.  This section of the pavement provides a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles, while also giving vehicles on the road sufficient room to manoeuvre, park, and open their doors.  The Kerbside Zone provides a 0.7 buffer and must not be used for commercial activities.

Within these zones, there are minimum requirements to ensure optimal pedestrian flow and safety.  For more information and to gain greater understanding of the Commercial Activities on Footpath specifications, download the documents below.

When to apply for a Commercial Activity on Footpath permit

Any business, individual or organisation that wants to use public footpaths for commercial activities in Mornington Peninsula must apply for a permit. 

How to apply for a Commercial Activity on Footpath (without liquor)

To apply for a permit, you need to provide the following:

  • Copy of Certificate of Currency for public liability insurance covering at least $20 million that identifies the business name, address and expiry date. The Mornington Peninsula Shire MUST be listed as an interested party.
  • Sketched plan / diagram showing the measurements of the footpath / items, location of the items on the footpath, number of items to be placed on the footpath and any existing infrastructure such as bins, seats etc.
  • Image of the item/s you wish to place on the footpath.

Once you have electronic copies of the above documents and a credit card ready, you can click 'apply online' below to submit your application.

Apply online

For a hard copy of the application form, please download: Commercial Activities on Footpaths Application form.

Once the form has been completed, please contact our Customer Support Team on 1300 850 600 to make payment. Please note your receipt number on your application form and ensure you have included a copy of the above documents when returning to us. You can submit your application via any Shire Office, by emailing a copy of your application form and documents to or via post at Mornington Peninsula Shire, Private Bag 1000, Rosebud 3939. If submitting a hard, please allow additional time for processing.

How to apply for permission to use the footpath for outdoor dining with liquor

If you wish to serve alcohol on the footpath in conjunction with your outdoor dining then you’ll need a planning permit and endorsed plan for that use, you will then require a licence for that occupancy.  The licence is initially for three years and is not transferrable.  The property municipal site value is used as a base to calculate the licence fee based on the notional commercial value of the footpath space.

To gain information or amend a planning permit for this use, phone 5950 1010.

To gain information regarding the occupancy licence and associated fees, phone 03 5950 1164 or email your details to

For full information on obtaining a liquor licence go to: Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

Although we are here to help, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that administers Victoria’s gambling and liquor laws.

The VCGLR undertakes compliance activities to prevent and detect breaches, while also informing and educating industry and the general public about regulatory practices and requirements. Try to keep yourself up to date so that you can maintain compliance.  It’s better for everyone.