New policy could restrict the opening of new fast food takeaways (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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New policy could restrict the opening of new fast food takeaways
7:00am Wednesday 18th June 2014 in News
FAST food takeaways could be banned from opening within 400 metres of schools and parks as part of a bid to tackle childhood obesity.
Bradford Council has revealed details of its draft takeaway planning document, which aims to rein in the number of takeaways springing up across the district.
Under the new policy, councillors and planning officers will be advised to refuse applications for pizza, kebab, chicken and other takeaway shops when they fall within 400 metres of a school, children's centre, play area or park.
The Council hopes that young people, especially those in secondary schools, will eat healthier if there are fewer unhealthy options available to them on lunch breaks and after school.
And there would also be a ban on takeaways opening after 11.30pm in residential areas.
Another aim of the policy would be to prevent "clusters" of takeaways popping up in one area, driving other businesses away.
However, the policies would only apply to new businesses, and not existing takeaways.
The issue will be discussed by the Council's Executive at a meeting on Tuesday. A report being presented to the committee says: "A strategic aim is to improve people’s capacity to make informed decisions about healthy lifestyle choices and minimise behaviour that puts their health at risk."
The plans will go out to a public consultation after the meeting.
Cllr Ralph Berry, who represents children's services on the Executive, said: "We now need to get schools' views, but it is my view that increasingly high schools should be encouraging pupils to take their lunch break on campus and that students have access to healthy food. Bradford has a serious issue with childhood obesity so we have to address this."
Cllr Debbie Davies, Conservative spokesman for education, said: "I think each takeaway should be considered on its own merits. Just because you ban takeaways near schools doesn't mean everyone is automatically going to start eating salads. Just because a takeaway is there doesn't mean you have to go to them. It is just a case of the nanny state."
Cllr Jeanette Sunderland, from the LIberal Democrats, believes the move is many years too late for some communities. She said: "The damage has already been done in some areas. I have been calling for the Council to do this for many years, and for some reason they haven't brought it forward. Many of our communities have already been blighted by too many takeaways.
"This policy is not going to shut any takeaways or revoke any licenses. It won't move any that are already near schools away from them. The whole policy in recent years has been lamentable."
She pointed out that last year the council granted permission for a takeaway to open on Albion Road in Idle, just yards from the entrance to Thorpe Primary School. The row of buildings already included three takeaways, but despite local opposition the application was approved.
The executive meets in Bradford City Hall on Tuesday at 10.30am. After the meeting a six week consultation into the new policy will begin.