Clause 52.18 - State of Emergency and Recovery Exemptions (Outdoor Dining)

Amendment VC193 amends Clause 52.18 - State of emergency and recovery exemptions of the Victorian Planning Provisions to support Victoria’s social and economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The temporary planning scheme and permit condition exemptions are designed to encourage outdoor dining; and, to facilitate the reopening and safe operation of restaurants and other food and drink businesses across the State.

The exemptions will operate when a state of emergency declaration under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 in relation to coronavirus is in force and for 12 months after.

The exemptions will enable hospitality businesses to modify their operations to, and public land managers to make land available for, outdoor dining without the need to obtain a planning permit or comply with other planning scheme requirements. This will reduce the time and cost for businesses to reopen.

This amends and builds on Clause 52.18 which was introduced in April in response to the pandemic to exempt delivery requirements from planning permission and conditions of permits.

With several exceptions (such as buildings in a Heritage Overlay), the amendment introduces exemptions from permit requirement and conditions of permits for temporary use and development subject to complying with requirements listed within a new Clause 52.18-7, including:

  • Compliance with standard amenity conditions commonly found in the planning scheme and permit conditions
  • Height requirements for buildings of 3.6 metres or 1.8 metres within 1 metre of adjoining land in a residential zone;
  • Operating hours excluding 10pm to 7am for land in or within 30 metres of a residential zone
  • Siting to be to the satisfaction of responsible authority in the Bushfire Management or Erosion Management Overlays, or floodplain management authority in the Floodway, Land Subject to Inundation and Special Inundation Overlays
  • Temporary buildings to be removed and uses not to continue beyond the end of the exemption period

Town Planning & Co welcomes the changes which provide greater certainty and reduced reopening delays for operators of licensed premises with associated social and economic benefits of fast-tracked business reopening, noting the increase potential for conflict to result between affected parties, operators and councils particularly where compliance with existing permit conditions is exempted.

A copy of the Premiers Announcement can be found via: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/planning-exemptions-smooth-way-outdoor-dining