Plans to hold a food and drinks festival during this year’s Isle of Man TT have been rejected by planners.

The Manx Food Market Traders’ Association had hoped to host the event featuring stalls and food trucks offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as live music and entertainment.

A marquee area with seating, a stage area and a pop-up fine dining venue inside St Ninian’s church itself also formed part of the plans. The association had wanted to run the event from May 27 to June 8 as part of a ‘celebration of Manx produce and hospitality’.

However, the scheme was unanimously rejected by members of the Isle of Man Government’s planning committee despite the festival being recommended for approval by the planning officer.

Among their concerns was the impact the event would have on residents living near the church as well as traffic and the fact there were to be similar facilities at the official Isle of Man TT Grandstand. Chairman of the Manx Food Market Traders’ Association said the group was now working with the Department of Enterprise and looking at ways to ‘reformat and restructure’ the event.

The application had attracted a number of complaints from those living in the nearby St Ninian’s Court apartments, many of whom who cited concerns about parking as well as the noise and ‘smells’ from the food event.

One said that they were unhappy that the event was ‘literally being dumped on their doorstep’ without consulting residents.

The letter added: ‘The land is unfit for purpose and the noise pollution [that] the residents here, mostly around 80 years of age, will have to tolerate.

‘As for parking difficulties it’s bad enough with TT traffic and where are these people going to park?’

Another said that event planners ‘just seem bent on making the lives of the residents of St Ninian’s Court and surrounding area a distressing misery.’

But in correspondence, a spokesperson for the Manx Food Market Traders’ Association told planners it had met with residents last Christmas to discuss their plans and had made changes to the event as a result of their concerns.

The association said that representatives of the residents had refused to meet with its members and church leaders to discuss the proposals further. Douglas Council also registered an objection to the event, fearing the event could potentially ‘take footfall away from the [city] centre’ during the TT and could ‘negatively impact’ businesses there.

In its objection, the Department for Enterprise (DfE) said it had plans in place to direct traffic away from the area during TT fortnight following previous complaints from residents.

The department said, however, it had ‘some concerns that additional traffic trying to get to this location may add to the pressures in this area.’

‘If this event was in the city centre we would have no hesitation in recommending support as we have done in the past,’ a spokesperson for the DfE added.

‘However, the department is happy to work with the organisers to find an alternative site.’