Project update

Hobsons Bay City Council has endorsed plans that will see outdoor trading continue across the city.

After extensive consultation with businesses, traders’ associations and the community, the updated framework for how outdoor trading will operate was approved by Council at its meeting on 14 November 2023.

The highlights of the framework include:

  • endorsing the parklet program, which allows businesses to use car parks for outdoor trading
  • endorsing the fixed infrastructure guidelines, which allow businesses to install low-risk fixed infrastructure in the footpath (such as screens).

As part of the endorsed framework parklets and barriers will remain in place until 31 August 2024, whilst the permanent parklet permit guidelines and process is finalised.

A proposal for the Pier Street feature site and precinct will be further developed by Council, including consideration of extending footpath trading areas.

  • The most supported option from the community and trader survey was extended footpaths,
  • The next supported options were permanent closure and seasonal closure.
  • Council is exploring options to permanently extend the footpath and ways to conduct seasonal and permanent road closures.
  • Until plans and community consultation have occurred on the permanent works, the road will remain closed.
  • This will allow time for Council to develop a long-term design and a capital works plan.
  • Businesses who wish to trade in the Pier Street Feature site will be required to pay per table and chair, via the Footpath Trading permit, and will not incur a parklet fee.

What's happening now?

  • Stage 1 - Pre-Christmas 2023
    • The temporary street closure will be reconfigured, with modifications to outdoor trading areas in line with the proposed extended footpath and increased community spaces and activities.
    • Refreshing or the barriers and branding
    • Trialling an installation of community activation and street furniture

What's happening in the future?

  • Stage 2 - Early 2024
    • Further adjustments in February/March may happen after the busy trading period, to identify activation options. Determining what works and what does not.
  • Stage 3 - Mid-2024
    • A proposal for the Pier Street feature site and precinct (including a master plan and capital works program) will be further developed by Council, including consideration of extending footpath trading areas.
  • Council supports the ongoing ability for businesses to access car parking spaces and have a parklet to extend their trading areas.
  • Currently installed parklets will remain in place until August 2024
  • To ensure high quality and safe parklet designs, Council will create a Parklet Vendor Guide and include example parklet designs and costs to aid businesses with parklet installations. This will have pre-approved options that can be tailored to site-specific conditions.
  • Council will work with traders on a case-by-case basis to help identify the most appropriate parklet design for each site.

What's happening to parklets now (until 31 August 2024)

  • Businesses with an existing parklet:
    • Will be contacted individually
    • If they do not wish to continue with the parklet program, will have a time arranged for Council to remove their current parklet
    • Businesses who wish to retain their current parklet in its current condition, ‘as is’ can do so until 31 August 2024, by applying for a temporary parklet permit and paying the required Parklet Permit Fee
  • Businesses who wish to install a new parklet, and who do not currently have one, will be able to:
    • Apply for a parklet permit, pay the required fees; and
    • Install their own parklet infrastructure (if the parklet permit is approved).
  • Payment plans for annual fees are available
  • Applications for the parklet permit can be made prior to 1 September 2024 and is open to all businesses, including those who previously did not have one.

  • What's happening to parklets in the future (from 1 September 2024)
    • Business that wish to continue with the parklet program post September 2024 will need to have made an application to undertake capital upgrades to the parklet to met the new guidelines
    • Business that not wish to upgrade will be contacted by council to arrange for removal.

Businesses will have the option to retain Council-installed barriers until 31 August 2024

  • What's happening to parklets now (until 31 August 2024)
    • Businesses with existing barriers will be contacted individually
    • To retain barriers, businesses will need to pay $283 (based on existing Footpath Trading Permit fees), and provide evidence of public liability insurance, and ability to maintain the infrastructure.
    • Barriers will be removed if businesses opt-out or do not pay the required fees.
    • Businesses who would like to install low risk, fixed infrastructure such as glass screens, umbrella sockets, and lighting will be able to do so, subject to fees, and public liability insurance.
    • This will allow traders to apply for a permit to construct fixed barrier/screens on the footpath.
    • Businesses with fixed infrastructure authorised previously via Council processes will not incur these charges.
  • What's happening in the future (from 1 September 2024)
    • All Council-installed extended barriers will be removed.
    • Businesses will be able to trade under the existing Footpath Trading Policy or apply for fixed infrastructure, under the endorsed Fixed Infrastructure Guidelines.
    • Business that wish to have a fixed screen or barrier at this time will need to have applied for a permit to construct a new fixed screen, or have constructed one.

What we heard

Read what people said about the draft outdoor trading framework.

Project Summary

Council is seeking feedback from community and businesses on a new framework for outdoor trading until 31 August 2023.

Why is Council consulting on a new outdoor trading framework?

Council’s outdoor trading program was delivered as a quick response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The outdoor trading program (previously referred to as Hobsons Bay Business has Heart - HBBhH) included the installation of council owned and managed parklets, a feature site at Pier Street, and other furniture to select hospitality businesses.

This program provided additional trading areas to help businesses meet social distancing requirements.

When the original outdoors program was developed the longer-term need and opportunities were not a focus.

Council officers have considered feedback on the program since 2020 and prepared a revised framework that would allow Hobsons Bay to transition to a more permanent outdoor trading program.

On 11 July 2023 Council resolved to undertake consultation on the new draft framework for outdoor trading.

Please click the following link to review the 11 July Council Report (

What is proposed as part of the new outdoor trading framework?

The proposed model responds to feedback from businesses and stakeholders highlights include:

  • A significant reduction in the parklet fees endorsed by Council last year.
  • Transitioning from temporary infrastructure that is nearing the end of its life, to a more permanent model, and giving businesses the opportunity to have the infrastructure they choose.
  • Businesses maintaining their own infrastructure, rather than the community subsidising commercial spaces – something that has been foreshadowed for some time.
  • Seeking further input on the Pier St feature site, which has drawn a range of different views from people impacted by the road closure, as the community moves beyond COVID restrictions.
  • Continuing extended footpath trading and introducing the opportunity for fixed infrastructure (eg umbrella sockets).

The new model (framework) includes:

  • Parklets - option for a more permanent parklet model to be introduced via an expression of interest process, where businesses design, construct and maintain parklets at their own expense and in accordance with certain guidelines
  • Pier Street – long term options for Pier Street
  • Fixed (footpath) infrastructure - allowing businesses to access low risk fixed infrastructure
  • Extended footpath trading - transitioning relevant businesses to the existing extended footpath trading permit process