Takeaways could be banned from operating near Wolverhampton schools
Takeaways could be banned from opening within 400 metres of schools in Wolverhampton to tackle the city’s obesity crisis.
Councillors will be asked to approve strict new guidelines at a meeting on Wednesday.
Latest research shows that half of Year 6 pupils in Wolverhampton are either overweight or obese.
The new rules will mean no more than two takeaways can be next door to each other. And they will be banned from opening in shopping centres or parades where there is already a high percentage.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet member for city economy, said: “We recognise that fast food outlets are an important component of the local economy, and where balanced with other types of retail they provide a service to the public, creating jobs and generating rental income.
“However, where they make up a disproportionately high percentage of the retail offer they can have a negative impact by reducing the vitality and viability of shopping centres, discouraging shoppers and future retail opportunities.
“This new planning guidance will not have any impact on existing hot food takeaways, and nor does it limit the type of takeaways in Wolverhampton. This is simply about ensuring that we do not end up with too many takeaways.”
There is currently more than one hot food takeaway per 1,000 people in Wolverhampton. The national average is 0.86.
The city centre has the highest proportion followed by the Wednesfield South ward and Bilston East, which both have 21. Oxley has just three.
Councillor Paul Sweet, Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “This is about achieving an economically viable balance between hot food takeaways and other retail across the city, addressing the over concentration of takeaways, protecting vulnerable groups such as secondary school children, and reducing obesity and poor diet, which is affecting the health and wellbeing of so many of our citizens.”
If approved next week there will be a consultation on the proposed rules during which businesses will have a chance to have their say.