An application for a Food Truck Park on a block of land adjacent to the Yarrawonga Foreshore has left a bad taste in the mouth of local traders.
In contrast to last summer’s Food Truck Festival, which ran for four days, the permit seeks the set-up of a semi-permanent Food Truck Park which would operate for more than a month - from December 20 to January 28 - on a private parcel of land located between Witt and Hunt streets.
The permit would also allow the park to operate on public holidays and busy weekends throughout the year.
Local business owners and neighbours to the proposed Food Truck Park, Joe and Kay Crothers, were upset with the plan after being notified of the application via mail from Moira Shire Council.
“The letter in the mail was the first we heard of it,” Joe said.
“We didn’t agree with them bringing the food trucks here last year but this is different. This is for a long period of time and it’s completely unfair.”
The permit, sought by the Hey Mister Group, proposes the Food Truck Park would accommodate four trucks, a maximum of 690 patrons and be able to operate from 11am to 11pm Monday to Sunday and midday to 11pm on Anzac Day and Good Friday. The park would be closed Christmas Day.
The permit application Venue Management Plan says “a rotation of high end food trucks will be present on site each day”.
“Food trucks will be selected to give patrons a variety of options, however cuisines will be avoided that clash with local food options, eg. no trucks serving pizza, pasta, fish and chips, etc.” There will also be a licensed bar on site.
The plan suggests “a framework under which the conduct of the premises is managed to avoid unreasonable amenity impacts on the surrounding area“.
However, as immediate neighbours Mr and Mrs Crothers aren’t convinced.
“The plan shows the food trucks would be lined up directly along the fence adjoining our property where the old house is,” Kay said.
“They’ll have gas bottles and be cooking and that does worry us – anything could happen.”
Noise, smell and parking are also a concern, according to Joe.
“There’s not enough parking along here at the best of times – this will be so much worse,” Joe said.
“When they had the food truck festival here for four days they parked on that block because there was nowhere else – now that’s where they want to have it.
“The plan shows they are going to try to provide parking but I don’t think it will be enough and we will have cars lined up and down the streets.”
The Crothers run a business which supplies quite a few local food outlets and Joe said he was concerned about the impact on their trade.
“I talk to a lot of those people and I heard about how it hit them hard last time,” he said.
“That was for four days and this is a month and then they can come back and set up whenever they want on other busy weekends.
“They don’t have to lease a building, pay rates or employ staff year round. They get to come in and take the cream off the top and then bugger off.”
Joe said all local businesses relied on good trade during peak periods to get them through the quieter winter months.
“The people here run businesses year round, with the ups and downs, they employ local people and they do it tough when it gets quiet,” he said.
“Something like this is ripping the guts out of those local businesses by letting people come in and set up whenever they want.”
Joe said he and Kay would definitely be putting in an objection to the planning permit application before the October 16 deadline.