We’re asking for public feedback on new planning restrictions for hot food takeaways

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Kirklees residents and businesses are being invited to give feedback on new planning guidance around hot food takeaways.

We’re consulting on a new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which lays out proposed updates to planning guidance.

The SPD is a document designed to provide support for applicants hoping to open new business premises of this type in Kirklees, by guiding them through all relevant issues that might affect their application.

Between now (9 November) and 21 December, residents and businesses are invited to have their say and comment on the new SPD.

The changes in guidance would affect the locations where planning permission can be granted for selling takeaway hot food.

Who would the new rules apply to?

The new rules would generally apply to proposals for brand new hot food takeaways as opposed to existing ones. However, there are instances where they would impact takeaways already trading in hot food – if business owners wanted to vary any planning condition on their existing permissions, for example by extending their opening times in affected areas.

One of the main aims of these changes is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of Kirklees residents. 

The rising rate of obesity is a nationally recognised issue. Obesity reduces life expectancy, and increases the risk of serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

While the causes of obesity are complex, weight and overall health can be strongly linked to both diet and environment.  As the availability of ‘fast food’ is a major component in this, Kirklees Council aims to better manage the locations of hot food takeaways and reduce access to unhealthy food choices.

The SPD includes new guidance around selling takeaway hot food near schools.  This is particularly important as in Kirklees, around one in four reception-age children are clinically overweight; this number rises to one in three by the age of 11.  While improvements have been made to the food offered within school grounds, this new guidance would help extend this to the surrounding environments.

As well as health impacts, the new guidance recognises the large role of hot food takeaways in town centres and other key areas across Kirklees, and the need for these areas to offer variety for residents, visitors and businesses.

By limiting the number of businesses of this type in one area, we can further promote vibrant, varied town centres with a wide range of businesses and offerings.  This ensures there’s something for everyone in these key areas, thereby encouraging more footfall and supporting local high streets as a whole.

We also aim to limit the impact of hot food takeaways on people living and working in the area by providing guidance on issues relating to highway safety, noise and odours, waste disposal and community safety.

If adopted, this SPD would become a material planning consideration, applying to all hot food takeaways where planning permission is required.  You can read the full SPD and share your views online at http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/consultplanningpolicy before Tuesday 21 December at 5 pm.

Councillor Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care, says:

“So much work has been done over the last two decades to make sure children eat healthily while they’re in school.  By comparison, the environment around schools and our children’s walk home is often overlooked.

“The health and wellbeing of our residents is, as always, the council’s top priority.  By encouraging businesses to offer more healthy menus and normalising healthier eating, we can increase life expectancy and reduce the risk of serious illness.  Where we can do more to encourage healthy living, we have that responsibility.”

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, says:

“We want to support local businesses to trade successfully and ethically in Kirklees, and develop policies which revitalise our high streets as a whole.

“We believe we can help our local takeaway industry thrive without some of the negative impacts we’re currently seeing on our communities.  This means providing the best possible guidance for any potential business applicants – being clear about our policies as a council but also clearly laying out the pathways to success.

“The distribution of businesses in Kirklees has huge power to affect an area’s overall offering, and the wellbeing of those who live and work there.  This is why we want the public – residents and businesses alike – to have their say on this proposed new planning guidance.”