No new takeaways for Newcastle as council plans to curb obesity

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No new takeaways will be allowed to open across most of Newcastle in a bid to crack down on rising obesity levels in the city. 

Under new proposals approved by Newcastle City Council, planners will no longer be able to grant permission to takeaways that are within a 400m radius or 10-min walk of schools, parks, and community centres, or in wards where more than 10% of Year 6 pupils are obese (currently every ward except two – Gosforth and South Jesmond.

The ruling will also extend to wards where the number of approved hot food takeaways would be equal to, or exceed, the UK national average per 1,000 population.

As well as new-builds it will also apply to applications for change of use covering hot food takeaways and mixed-use premises where takeaway food sales are not the main use and will take effect immediately. 

The city centre’s retail core will be exempt from the rule.

The move comes as obesity levels reach new highs in the city with 29.1% of children in Newcastle overweight or obese, compared to an England overage of 22.7%.

Director of Public Health for Newcastle, Alice Wiseman said: “The council wants to support and encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing through healthy eating and active lifestyles.

“In order to do this, multiple interventions are required including targeting the relationship between the food environment and the weight of the population.

“Planning has an important role in shaping healthy communities, and this is just one example of how it can help in the fight against obesity.”

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