Published: 16:00, 15 July 2014
Planners in Medway can now restrict the opening hours of new takeaway businesses that set up near schools.
Medway Council’s Cabinet today approved new guidance to be used when determining planning applications for fast-food outlets in Medway.
The guidance, which does not apply to existing business, recommends new hot food takeaways should not open between noon and 2pm within 400m of a secondary school, or between 3pm and 5pm within 400m of a primary or secondary school.
New takeaways would also be subject to a £100 per 10m² developer contribution which would be used for public health initiatives to tackle obesity.
"We are already seeing the effect obesity has on our National Health Service and anything we can try and do to help prevent this at an early age is welcome" - David Brake
In Medway nearly a third of adults and one in five children (at ten years old) are obese, and at the end of last year there were 238 registered hot food takeaways in the area - one per every 168 children (5 – 16 year olds).
There are 179 takeaways within 400 metres of a school.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Service Cllr David Brake said: “To do nothing is not an option.
"We are already seeing the effect obesity has on our National Health Service and anything we can try and do to help prevent this at an early age is welcome.”
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth Cllr Jane Chitty said: “I know the council’s public health and children’s services departments are extremely concerned about obesity and allowing the planning committee to now be able to take this guidance into account when determining applications is a positive step.”
More by this authorChris Hunter