New takeaways could be banned near Cov schools

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By TOM DAVIS

NEW mea­sures pre­vent­ing takeaways from open­ing in cer­tain ar­eas in Coventry have drew a mixed re­ac­tion.

Coventry City Coun­cil has been draft­ing new guid­ance to help im­prove the health and wellbeing of the city’s res­i­dents and tackle obe­sity.

The new guide­lines will be taken into ac­count by the coun­cil’s plan­ning team when de­cid­ing whether to ap­prove plans for new hot food out­lets.

Mea­sures in­clude re­ject­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for new takeaways within a five-minute walk from a school, or if there are al­ready a high num­ber of takeaways in the area.

A con­sul­ta­tion on the plans opened in Au­gust and Septem­ber, with re­sponses due to be out­lined in a re­port to the Cab­i­net Mem­ber for Hous­ing and Com­mu­ni­ties on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 10.

The re­port stated re­sponses “in gen­eral were sup­port­ive”, although other re­spon­dents said the mea­sures were not pos­i­tive, jus­ti­fied, ef­fec­tive or con­sis­tent.

A num­ber of re­spon­dents also ques­tioned if there was ev­i­dence to demon­strate the link be­tween fast food, school prox­im­ity and obe­sity.

The coun­cil says there are na­tional guide­lines which sup­port the ap­proach.

It also cited re­search which shows peo­ple ex­posed to the high­est num­ber of takeaways are 80 per cent more likely to be obese and 20 per cent more likely to have a higher Body Mass In­dex.

Other re­sponses praised the use of a ‘real­time’ five-minute walk zone to schools rather than a dis­tance mea­sure­ment, while another said the ra­dius still didn’t go far enough.

A re­port said: “Hot food takeaways can play an im­por­tant ser­vice to lo­cal peo­ple and add vi­tal­ity and in­ter­est to de­fined cen­tres, but plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions for hot food takeaways, par­tic­u­larly those in close prox­im­ity to res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, fre­quently gen­er­ate a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ob­jec­tions.

“If suc­cess­ful, these premises can also have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the health and wellbeing of those in Coventry.

“It is there­fore im­por­tant that there is ap­pro­pri­ate guid­ance in place to al­low new hot food takeaways to pro­vide a ser­vice to lo­cal peo­ple, but with­out hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on the health and wellbeing of those in the area.”

The re­sponses will be dis­cussed by coun­cil­lors ahead of a sec­ond con­sul­ta­tion in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.

Changes to the guide­lines could then be made and be pre­sented for adop­tion at cab­i­net early in 2019.

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