Takeaways and fast food outlets will be banned from opening close to schools across a borough in the Black Country as part of sweeping measures to tackle obesity.
A new plan is being proposed by Dudley Council tonight aimed at helping cut waistlines after it emerged 15,000 young people were deemed overweight.
Officials and councillors have drawn up a five-year strategy as the authority takes over public health planning from primary care trusts which were abolished earlier this year.
It comes as figures suggest one in five, or 21 per cent, of people are obese in Dudley, forcing new guidelines to be drawn up.
Fast food outlets will no longer be allowed to open within 400 metres of school gates, according to planning laws which have been drafted.
They will also be stopped from being built near young people’s facilities such as youth clubs and community centres.
Dudley Council’s urban environment director, John Millar, said in the report that the aim was to ‘reduce the clustering and over proliferation of food takeaways across the borough’.
Councillors and other members of the Dudley Health and Wellbeing Board had voiced concerns that there were no rules in place to stop takeaways such as fish and chip shops opening near schools.
Dudley Council’s cabinet members will vote to adopt the ‘Planning for Health Supplementary Planning Document’ which outlines new regulations to curb new developments believed to harm the health of residents.
The document gives detailed guidance on ensuring that the health implications of any new development are considered at the earliest possible stage.
The matter was raised at Dudley Council’s planning committee this week where members said they hoped the issue would be looked at in more detail.
It came after plans for a takeaway near The Coseley School were approved by councillors after no grounds to dismiss the application could be found.
Committee member Councillor Mary Roberts said she was concerned the premises could open despite it being close to a sandwich shop, a McDonalds and an Indian takeaway.
The authority’s head of planning, Helen Martin, said they ‘may’ have been able to take another view on awarding planning permission.