Applying for a permitHow long will the process take?How much will it cost?Frequently Asked Questions

Outdoor Dining Permits

Canberra is rapidly becoming known for its vibrant, diverse and high quality restaurants and outdoor dining establishments. The ACT Government actively supports outdoor dining opportunities across the city and has made it easier and more efficient for business owners to apply for permit when they desire to use public land. Once the application has been received it will be assessed to ensure that the public land is suitable to be used for outdoor dining. This assessment includes safety checks for both you as a business owner and pedestrian movement and that utilities and the public can continue to access both above and underground services that the public can continue accessing utilities such as bubblers, bike storage areas and open space assets.

What is an outdoor dining permit?

An Outdoor Dining Permit ensures that all cafes and restaurants with outdoor dining areas on public land are appropriate and suitable for patrons, businesses, the public and the community at large.

Do I need an outdoor dining permit?

If you are a Business intending to place non-fixed or semi-fixed objects in an outdoor dining area, you need to apply for a permit through Access Canberra. There is no requirement for a Development Application (DA) unless there is a proposal to construct permanent fixtures on the site.

A permit is required where public land is to be used for commercial purposes such as an outdoor dining area under the Public Unleased Land Act 2013.

Obtaining a permit

The permit process has two parts:

  • The application process – gathers general information about the business, the location, hours of operation and the business owners.
  • The assessment process - ensures all safety checks are undertaken for both you as a business owner and for pedestrians. These checks also ensure that utilities (above and below ground) can continue to be accessed and that the public has access to open space facilities such as bubblers, bike storage areas and bins.

Please note: If you plan to sell alcohol in the outdoor area and do not have a current liquor license, please contact Access Canberra before submitting an outdoor dining permit application.

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