Fast-food businesses in Essex could be hit with a “fat tax” of £1,000 in a bid to reduce the growing obesity problem in the area.
The controversial plans are being considered by Barking and Essex Council and would hit everything from takeaway kebab and fish n’chip shops to McDonald’s.
The scheme is being considered alongside other proposals in the council’s public consultation, “Saturation Point”, addressing the health impacts of hot food takeaways, reports the Telegraph today.
Other plans include refusing planning permission for a hot food takeaway within 400 metres of a school and preventing further concentration of hot food takeaways in town centres and shopping parades.
Councillor Liam Smith, the leader of the council, said: “We must take a hard look at what the Council and its NHS partner can do to reverse what is a serious health issue.
“We are facing a health crisis which is affecting our young people, and at the core of this is obesity and one of the main causes is fast-food. We are determined to tackle the issue and we are in a position to do this through planning directives.”
The move follows the announcement by Waltham Forest Council, in east London, last year that it intended to ban new takeaways opening within 400 meters of schools, youth centres and parks. Knowsley Council in Liverpool has also asked planning officers to consider restricting fast food outlets.
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By Emily Manson
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