DINING out on the footpath and car park spaces turned into “parklets” will again be part of summer trading on the Mornington Peninsula.
Mornington’s Main Street, from the Esplanade to Barkly Street, will be closed to traffic from 17 December to 1 February, with restaurants and cafes being able to extend outdoors.
“Restaurants and cafes were [earlier this year] thrilled to be able to serve more people while still complying with regulations after months of being closed,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said.
“We surveyed all businesses in Main Street and 67 per cent voted to close Main Street again,” Cr O’Connor said. “We are looking forward to seeing the street filled with people dining, shopping and listening to music.
“The repurposing of some car parking spaces at shopping areas is a small sacrifice to make in order to protect and promote the economic recovery of our local food businesses that have had to close their doors for months this year.”
Cr O’Connor said research had shown that foot traffic generated a higher spend than vehicular traffic. “The more people who come to our shopping precinct for food, the more likely they are to spend in retail businesses,” she said. “We will make sure there are still the required number of carparks for people with disabilities and that access is maintained on the footpaths.”
The council has allocated $10 million towards its COVID-19 economic recovery in the 2021/22 financial year and. This includes $650,000 to re-establish the outdoor dining and township activation program from October to April next year.
The shire is also waiving $1 million in fees and charges this financial year, including permit fees for applications for extended outdoor dining and trading (“Council’s $1m towards COVID recovery’ The News 23/8/21).
As part of the footpath dining plan musicians and artists will entertain and inspire creative displays. Details are available at artsandculture.mornpen.vic.gov.au
To apply for a parklet or extended footpath dining permit, go to mornpen.vic.gov.au/outdoordining. Applications close Friday 1 October.