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NSW Department of Planning and Environment
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The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces made the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Takeaway Food and Beverages) Order 2020 (the Order) on 31 March 2020.

The Order commenced on 2 April.

Flexibility for restaurants and ‘dark kitchens’

This means businesses can use existing premises with kitchen facilities to provide takeaway food and drinks.

The Order also allows ‘dark kitchens’ to be established in any existing commercial kitchen, such as those in community facilities, business premises, cooking schools and function centres, to allow for the preparation of food and meals to be delivered to those at home, in self isolation, or working on the frontline.

All other conditions including not obstructing vehicle or pedestrian access and taking steps to reduce noise still apply, and operators must ensure employees and customers practice social distancing.

The existing premises must have development approval for the use and will need to comply with existing conditions, other than those relating to:

  • operating hours
  • the use of the premises for food or beverage preparation or delivery purposes'
  • the use of premises for the sale of prepared or packaged food or beverages for consumption off the premises
  • location of retail sales and food preparation within the premises.

Flexibility for food trucks

The Order allows mobile food and drink outlets (food trucks) to operate on any land at any time, if certain requirements are met.

The full list of requirements is set out in the Order and includes:

  • Food trucks must have consent of the owner of the land on which they are located. If a council or other public authority has control and management of the land, such as a public road, public reserve or other public place, consent in writing of the council or relevant public authority must be obtained;
  • If the food truck is located on private land:
    • It is limited to one food truck per lot; and
    • It must not contravene any conditions of development consent for any other use of the land.
    • A food truck may be located on private land where the current use, and development approval, is not for a food and drink premises.
  • There must be enough space to allow customers to comply with social distancing requirements—customers must be able to stand least 1.5 metres from each other. Seating for customers cannot be provided.
  • All other requirements including not obstructing vehicle or pedestrian access and taking steps to reduce noise still apply.


Food trucks on private land

Peter owns the food truck “Pete’s Grill”. Peter has sought the permission of the landowner of the local bicycle warehouse to park and operate “Pete’s Grill” out the front of the warehouse on weekends. The site does not have any conditions of consent which would preclude the operation of a food truck on the site. As long as “Pete’s Grill” is the only food truck on the site at the time, then Peter can operate “Pete’s Grill” on the site without council approval.

Food trucks on public land

Sarah owns the food truck “Vege Delights”. Sarah wishes to park her food truck at the local public reserve and has obtained written consent from council who has control and management of the land. Sarah usually sets out a few tables and chairs outside her food truck, however she is unable to under the Order. There are no conditions of consent which would preclude a food truck at the reserve. As long as Sarah complies with the other requirements set out in the Order, Sarah can operate the food truck without any further approvals.

These measures will be kept in place during the prescribed pandemic period, and reviewed as new issues arise.

Page last updated: 28/07/2022