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Outdoor Dining


Outdoor dining fees will be waived until March 2021 as another support measure for our cafés and restaurants in the City of Ryde during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outdoor dining areas make a significant contribution to the quality of public places and urban life. They contribute to active vibrant streets with opportunities for social interaction and leisure. Council actively encourages outdoor dining activity in suitable locations. 

The most common location for outdoor dining is on part of the public footpath outside restaurants, cafes, and other food premises. Proposals for outdoor dining activity can range from placement of a few chairs and tables on the footpath to larger scale outdoor dining areas that include fixed awnings and barriers and multiple tables and chairs. 

There are a number of safety, accessibility and amenity considerations with respect to outdoor dining proposals that aim to ensure the comfort of outdoor diners as well as the comfort of the general public accessing areas in and around outdoor dining areas. Council has various responsibilities to meet under legislation including the following:

  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 
  • Food Act 2003 
  • Local Government Act 1993 
  • Roads Act 1993

Outdoor dining proposals require approval from Council.  

Applications for Outdoor Dining

An application is required to be submitted to Council. Depending on the location and the nature of the activity and works proposed, the type of application may vary. An application under the Roads Act/Local Government Act may apply, and in some cases a development application may also be required.

Application fees apply.

Charges also apply for use of footpath or Council owned land as outdoor dining areas. Refer to Council’s Outdoor Dining Policy for further information.

About the Outdoor Dining Policy

Council has adopted a policy on outdoor dining. The policy aims to promote understanding of the requirements related to outdoor dining activity. 

Council has had a specific policy on outdoor dining since November 2006. In 2009, a comprehensive review of the policy and associated processes was carried out and a major revision of the policy was adopted by Council in November 2009 to assist in simplifying and streamlining the controls and procedures. A further revision was adopted by Council in June 2020 which includes additional information for the installation and use of semi-fixed umbrellas as well as a security bond for the costs of restoring Council’s footpath infrastructure from any penetration works within the outdoor dining area.

The Outdoor Dining Policy(PDF, 830KB) applies to outdoor dining on any public land in the City of Ryde that is owned or under the care, control and management of Council. In particular it applies to footpath areas adjacent to public roads situated within the town and neighbourhood centres in the City. 

The purpose of this policy is to provide simple procedures and design guidelines for outdoor dining activities in plazas, closed roads, footpaths, parks and public places. 

This policy may also be used as a guide for the design of outdoor dining areas on private land.

More Information

For any enquiries regarding footpath activity please contact:

  • Council’s Property Officers via email at, or 
  • Council’s Customer Service Centre on 9952 8222.
Last updated on 16 December 2020