Local authorities have called for more planning powers to help them prevent takeaways from ‘clustering’ as part of the fight against health inequalities and obesity.
Sustain, an organisation that campaigns for better food and farming, has published a new guide to help councils develop planning policies that allows them to restrict new hot food takeaways.
The report, entitled Hot Food Takeaways: Planning a route to healthier communities, also calls for a series of actions to be explored on planning, design and licensing to tackle child obesity.
bThese actions included a call for Government to support local areas in increasing the adoption of planning restrictions on takeaways.
The report also says that more work must be done to explore the impact of restrictions on the sale of unhealthy food to under 16s before 6pm on school days.
Responding to the report, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘Councils appreciate that a flourishing hospitality sector in our towns and cities is good for local economies and where they have introduced restrictions on takeaways, are working with businesses to help create healthier menus for their customers.
‘Numerous councils have set curbs on new fast food outlets but need planning powers to tackle the clustering of existing takeaways already open.’
He added: ‘The next Government also needs to provide long-term funding for councils’ vital public health and prevention services, to help reduce health inequalities and as part of a joined-up approach to targeting obesity.’