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Have your say over new hot food takeaway planning guidance

People are being encouraged to have their say over plans to limit the proliferation of hot food takeaways in Wolverhampton.

Members of the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet approved draft planning guidance last month which would restrict new hot food takeaways from opening in shopping centres or parades where there are already a high percentage of such retailers, and also close to secondary schools.

The proposals are subject to a 6 week period of public consultation, which is now underway. People can find out more by visiting Draft Hot Food Takeaway SPD Consultation and have their say by emailing planning@wolverhampton.gov.uk or writing to: Planning, City of Wolverhampton Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1RP. 

If adopted, the planning guidance will supplement existing guidance which is already applied to key areas of the City centre, Bilston and the Three Tuns Shopping Centre on Stafford Road.

The guidance states that, where centres have 40 units or more, no more than 10% should be hot food takeaways, and that where there are less than 40 units, hot food takeaways must make up no more than 15% of them. Where these limits are reached, new takeaways will not be granted planning permission.

In addition, the guidance will restrict new hot food takeaways from opening within 400m - around a five-minute walk - of secondary schools, with the exception of schools which are close to or within the City or district centres.

It will also put an end to the "clustering" of takeaways by ensuring that no more than two takeaways are permitted to open next door to one another.

The guidance will only affect new "Class A5" hot food takeaways, such as drive throughs, Chinese and Indian takeaways and pizza, fried chicken, burger and fish and chip shops. It will not affect existing hot food takeaways; nor will it apply to non Class A5 food and drink retailers such as sandwich shops and bakeries, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and dessert shops.

The proportion of hot food takeaways in and around Wolverhampton is significantly higher than the national average, with research showing there is more than one hot food takeaway per 1,000 people. The national average is 0.86 per 1,000.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "Fast food outlets are an important component of the local economy, but where they make up a disproportionately high percentage of the retail offer they can have a negative impact.

"It's important to stress that this proposed guidance will not affect existing hot food takeaways, and nor does it limit the type of takeaways. This is simply about ensuring that we do not end up with too many of them.

"I would encourage residents, businesses and other stakeholders to take part in this consultation and have their say about these proposals."

Wolverhampton has some of the highest levels of obesity in the country - around two thirds of adults and nearly half of school children in Year 6 are either overweight or obese, significantly higher than the national average, with obesity costing the NHS up to £8 billion per year.

Councillor Paul Sweet, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "This is not about the council telling people what they can and cannot eat. This is about achieving an economically viable balance between hot food takeaways and other retailers, addressing the over concentration of takeaways, protecting vulnerable groups such as secondary school children, and ultimately reducing obesity and poor diet which is affecting the health and wellbeing of so many of our citizens."

To find out more, and have your say, please visit Draft Hot Food Takeaway SPD Consultation. The deadline for responses is 5pm on Monday 11 December, 2017. 

  • released: Thursday 2 November, 2017