New takeaways could be banned near Cov schools
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.