Footpath Activity

Footpath activities in the right locations contribute to active vibrant streets and public places. Under the right circumstances they can provide added convenience and economic benefit for the community. 

Examples of footpath activity include:

  • Street vending, such as:
    • The display of goods for sale from a newspaper stand
    • Sale of fruits and vegetables from a stall or barrows on a footpath
    • Display and sale of articles from stalls operated by charitable organizations and community groups
  • Election activities
  • Busking.

There are a number of safety, accessibility and amenity considerations with respect to proposals for activities on the footpath that aim to ensure the comfort and safety of all users of the public footpaths and plaza areas. 

Council has various responsibilities to meet in relation to footpath activity use under legislation including the following:

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

Proposals for footpath activity require approval from Council.

Casual Footpath Activities and Busking Permits

If you would like to busk within the City of Ryde, you will need to complete a Busking Permit Application(PDF, 155KB). Please refer to the Terms and Conditionson the application form to understand what activities are approved under a Busking Permit, and the conditions of approval.

If you would like to set up an activation in a public space to promote your business or community group, you will need to complete a Casual Footpath Activity Application(PDF, 32KB). This ranges from a 2 hour permit to a 1-day permit, and is designed for one-off or semi-regular activations. Distribution of promotional flyers do require a permit and restrictions apply.

If you would like to place outdoor seating in front of your restaurant or café, or to operate a street vending activity in front of your existing business, you will need to complete a Footpath Activity and Outdoor Dining Application Form(PDF, 307KB).Further details are provided below.

Applications for Footpath Activity

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.

For information on the lodgement of applications, contact the Ryde Planning and Business Centre on 9952 8222. 

Application fees apply. Charges also apply for the use of a footpath or Council owned land for footpath activity. Refer to the Footpath Activity Controls Policy for further information.

Footpath Activity Controls Policy

Council has had a specific policy on footpath activity since May 1995. In 2010 a comprehensive review of the policy and associated processes was carried out and a major revision of the policy was adopted by Council in February 2011 to assist in simplifying and streamlining the controls and procedures and introducing new footpath activity opportunities. The current Footpath Activity Controls Policy(PDF, 339KB) came into effect 2 March 2011. 

This policy aims to promote understanding of the requirements related to various footpath activities. The basic tenet of this policy is to encourage the use of footpath areas for activities which do not prejudice public health, access and safety. 

This policy applies to footpath activity on any public footpath or public plaza area in the City of Ryde that is owned or under the care, control and management of Council, which is zoned business or industrial under the Ryde Local Environmental Plan 2010. 

In particular, it applies to footpath areas adjacent to public roads situated within the town centres, local and neighbourhood centres, and the industrial areas in the City. 

This policy may also be used as a guide for footpath activities 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.