Alfresco Dining and Street Activation 

In response to feedback from business owners and Margaret River main street traders, the Shire is trialling a hands off approach to alfresco dining and retailers wanting to showcase merchandise in front of their shops.

This trial forms part of a wider effort by the Shire to support local businesses and enrich the experience for locals and visitors alike.

The trial period started on 1 November 2023 and has been extended to 31 March 2025.

What this means for businesses 

Business owners throughout the Shire can now apply for a simple permit to use the space immediately in front of their premises for different kinds of temporary activities that include items put out and brought in daily, like tables and chairs for alfresco dining, displays of goods for sale, etc. The space can be arranged in a way to suit the business.

While our previous guidelines recommended activities to occur on the kerbside, we're easing these constraints for the trial period. Businesses are asked to be mindful of the following:  

Pedestrian flow: Please ensure your setup doesn’t block the flow of pedestrian traffic and maintains a clear path at least 2 metres wide.

Accessibility: Please consider the needs of less-abled people, particularly those with visual and mobility impairment. 

Design: The use of signage, contrasting colours, and physical barriers could be used to alert everyone of changes in the pedestrian environment. Permanent structures will require planning approval, but temporary items that are not fixed down are encouraged. 

Feel free to contact the Shire’s Events and Permit Officer Catherine Gardiner for additional guidance at [email protected] or on 9780 5255

Permit requirements

During this trial period, our existing guidelines and planning policies will be eased, the fee will be waivered and a simplified permit required. Application forms are provided below. 

Please note that the consumption and sale of alcohol will still require further approval from the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

Insurance requirements

Permit holders will be required to indemnify the Shire and obtain public liability insurance of at least $20,000,000.

Planning approval for other activities

While this trial focuses on alfresco dining and street activation, other activities may still require planning approval under the Shire's Town Planning Scheme.

How the trial will be evaluated

During the trial period, we will carry out informal audits to assess the accessibility and inclusiveness of the activated spaces. This will help us determine the optimal balance between street activation and accessibility, informing future policy reviews.

We also welcome the community’s ongoing feedback about the trial, which can be addressed to [email protected].

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