Draft Activities on Public Land and Roads Framework – Council’s Street and Outdoor Activities Policy

Written by Rachel Croker

Background: This policy seeks to activate specified public areas in Albury through the authorisation of temporary or one-off activities such as pop-up mobile food vans. Applications under this Policy are for an ‘approval’ to undertake an activity on a footpath or in a road reserve.

The activation of such activities has been recognised to have a potential negative impact on adjacent businesses. As such, the Framework aims to address and minimise these potential negative impacts.

Impacts:

  • The most significant impact on surrounding businesses raised in the draft framework is the possibility of applicants requesting something which could cause a disruption to traffic/transport such as a road closure. The Framework states that in this case the applicant would need to seek further permission from relevant authorities such as NSW Police and would need a Traffic Control Plan (depending on the level of disruption the activity would cause).
  • The question of space is also addressed in the Framework to ensure that no activities will encroach onto adjacent businesses without their express permission. A diagram is included in the Framework to set out the space allocated to applicants with a clear buffer zone between the activity and the business storefront.
  • The operating hours of all activities are to be determined on a case-by-case basis, however, during the application process council can place restrictions on the operating hours to minimise the potential impact on surrounding businesses. Where outdoor activities will run past midnight an additional set of conditions and restrictions will be placed on the activity, such as the condition that security be present during peak hours. This is to ensure public safety and the safety of adjacent businesses.
  • The Framework also places conditions on advertising for the applicant. Just because the applicant may be granted authorisation to run their activity doesn’t necessarily mean that they can utilise any method of advertisement. If the applicant wants to use an A-frame or flags and banners, it must be outlined in their application and approved by council.

Furthermore, all applicants must provide written correspondence with surrounding businesses to prove that they have notified them of their application. They also need permission from local businesses for activity-specific requirements. The application must also include a site plan and an activity area layout plan to ensure that they have identified all surrounding businesses and their proximity to them.