Outdoor dining exemptions and live music (statement)

Update 1 February 

At the end of January, Council officers facilitated a meeting between the Lomond Hotel operator and interested residents to assist with progressing a planning permit application. About 10 residents attended and the meeting. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Lomond Hotel operator to hear from surrounding residents about how they’d like to see their amenity protected if live music is to be played in the hotel carpark. Council is yet to receive a planning permit application from the Lomond Hotel.

8 January 2020

Moreland Council has been working to support many local businesses through outdoor dining expansion under Covid-19 recovery for hospitality businesses. The feedback we have received from businesses has been very positive.

In total, we have issued 165 new footpath trading permits, provided 34 businesses with parklets and assisted with 5 road closures to allow outdoor dining across Merri-bek.

The Lomond Hotel converted a private car park to seat patrons for outdoor dining. This conversion is permitted without needing planning permission under the State-wide permit exemptions designed to support businesses recover from shutdowns during the pandemic. The exemptions seek to strike a balance between supporting local businesses while protecting the amenity of residents.

After receiving a number of noise complaints for The Lomond Hotel, we conducted an investigation on 24 December and found a stage that was constructed to host live music gigs. Unfortunately, in the case of the Lomond Hotel, the State-wide permit exemptions are for outdoor dining only and don’t extend to converting a car park into a space to hold live music gigs. The Lomond Hotel can continue to use their car park for outdoor dining.

Moreland Council sees a need for greater clarification from the State Government around permit exemptions and clearer guidance for venues around outdoor live music which we will continue to seek to achieve.

Council will continue to offer assistance to the Lomond Hotel if they wish to pursue a planning application to use the car park for live music gigs.

Council recommends that any venue operator looking to expand their business outdoors should talk to an officer in Council’s Planning Team before making any decisions.