Council refuses planning to restaurant considered too unhealthy

22 February 2011
Council refuses planning to restaurant considered too unhealthy

A local council has defeated a takeaway proposal near a primary school on the grounds that it contradicted its battle against obesity.

The case went to appeal after Barking and Dagenham council refused permission for a branch of Dominos Pizza to be opened near Parsloes Primary School.

The planning guidelines, called "Saturation Point", were adopted in July 2010 in partnership with the NHS. They also received the backing of the National Heart Forum, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and a number of universities.

"Saturation Point" will impose a 400m Hot Food Takeaway Exclusion Zone next to schools. It also aims to reduce the number of existing businesses in the exclusion zone.

The guidelines allow the council to seek a £1,000 levy on all new takeaway outlets to help tackle childhood obesity. These funds will help operators consider healthier options, recipes and ingredients.

Council Leader Liam Smith said: "The ruling is important and vindicates our approach to tackling the borough's obesity problem. It is an example of how the Council and primary care trust can work with local schools to help improve the health of residents and especially children."

The council is also piloting working with existing hot food takeaways to improve the way they prepare their food.

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By Gemma Rowbotham

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