Plans for an expanded food truck park in Melton this summer are in disarray, following a decision by council officers to knock back a planning permit for the event.
The Melton Food Truck Park ran on a monthly basis at Navan Park between November 2018 and April 2019, and had planned to move to a bigger site behind the Bridge Road Community Centre due to its popularity.
However the council determined that, under its event policy, it did not issue permits to recurring events.
A subsequent planning application by the organisers was knocked back because of a lack of infrastructure on the proposed site.
“To accommodate a regular food truck event in open spaces or carparks, council would assess things such as waste management, asset management, grounds and amenities access and additional cleaning after hours,” the council’s acting manager of engagement and advocacy, Heidi Taylor said.
“On this occasion, the planning permit application was unsuccessful because the locations specified don’t have the infrastructure needed to support the type of crowds an activation such as this may draw.”
Food Truck Park organiser Dotty Hazell said she first applied for permits for the event in April, but only got a definitive answer in recent weeks, leaving her little time to find private land to hold the event on.
“The event was more popular than I thought it would be, so we needed a bigger site for car parking and the like,” Ms Hazell said.
“I still wanted somewhere central that people could walk to, but don’t want to impact on other food places in Melton, so there’s limited options.
“I’d run it well last year so thought it would be OK to run it again, but it took forever to get a straight answer and eventually they said I couldn’t do it.”
The summer events featured between eight and 14 food trucks each month, with several hundred people attending each event.
Ms Hazell said she was still hoping to hold the event from November, potentially at TabCorp Park or a local school.
“I want to find a spot that’s permanent, I want it to find a home,” she said.
“It would be great to do it on council land if they changed their policy, and I really want to get it up for this year if I can.”