The organisers of this year’s Porthleven Food Festival have vowed to introduce more road closures and improved parking as the event prepares to mark its tenth anniversary with three full days for the first time ever.

Some of the key figures from the committee met with town councillors last week after being invited to address some of the past concerns, which have included parking.

Mayor Andrew Wallis said: “The success of the festival is just off the radar and it’s due to the hardworking of volunteers and people taking it forward to the next steps.

“In the past we have raised a few concerns over this; we wanted to address some of these before they happen. I think it’s in everyone’s interest to solve this one going forward for the tenth.”

Perhaps the main one of these has been over parking in the port, with many residents complaining they either couldn’t park anywhere near their house or else were kept virtual prisoners in their own home due to the influx of vehicles abandoned by both visitors and traders – including blocking driveways.

Councillor Mike Toy described Shute Lane as becoming an “open car park” during that weekend, with Mr Wallis naming Claremont Terrace, The Gue and Treza Road as also among the problem areas.

"The residents of Wellmore were basically under siege for the whole weekend," he added.

Jon Perry of JPS Event Consultancy is the man put in charge of finding a solution for this year's festival, which will be held from April 20 to 22. He told the council that on the Saturday and Sunday road closures would be placed further back, with only residents given access by showing the address on their driving licence or a parking ‘permit’ given out to houses in the run up to the event.

Closures would begin at the football pitch and Gibson’s Way, leaving just four other access points to be manned, with Mr Perry explaining: “From those points the whole town would hopefully be prevented from ‘fly parking’ and inconsiderate parking.”

Organisers intended to make better use of the parking they organised at Methleigh Farm, he said, where last year around 150 to 200 people parked, but it had the capacity for 500 cars, with a shuttle bus to transport people down. There would also be an area dedicated for trader parking.

Other past concerns have related to the finish time on the Sunday, with Mr Wallis saying he believed there needed to be a 10pm cut off rather than 11pm and adding that due to the “bowl like" nature of Porthleven music “reverberates everywhere.”

“It’s school, it’s work [the next day],” he said.

The organisers agreed, adding that while last year’s final band was heavy metal, this year’s would be much more mellow.

This year would be the first time that Friday would become a full day of activities, rather than just music in the event.

Festival chairman David Turnbull said other festivals ran for three or even four days and there had been requests from traders for the same, to make it worth their while coming.

Stages, marquees and the bridge over the harbour were always in place by the Thursday and “it just seems a shame we don’t utilise the assets we have put in place,” he added. “The idea is to have a ‘soft opening’ if you like."

This would mean trade on the Moors from 10am on the Friday and three music acts on the Lime Kiln stage from midday until 6pm, although the literary festival and children’s area would not start until the Saturday.

“We would close the roads from 10am to 5pm to support that,” he said, although not to the same extent as on the Saturday and Sunday, and with manual traffic direction.

Mr Turnbull said the layout of this year’s event would be “virtually the same” to last year, with the only different being that in the past the marquee on the Harbour Head had been filled with trader stalls. After hearing feedback from some that the cost of this area was now too high for them, the local traders and food market would be moved to the field area at the Moors, where there would also be charity stalls; a total of 131 stalls have been booked so far.

This would also leave more space in the harbour marquee for entertainment and indoor busking, and relocating “almost the epicentre” of the festival to a larger area of space should help reduce issues with overcrowding.

Festival director Alec Short acknowledged that pumps may be need to disperse water from that area – which is currently underwater – closer to the event date, while Mr Turnbull admitted: “If it’s a washout, it’s off. We have never been to that position in ten years, but it’s got to be.”

The town council gave permission for the use of its land at the Moors, along with longer opening and maintenance of the public toilets, and gave a £500 grant towards the costs.