Wrecsam Council are the first local authority in Wales to approve a Planning Guidance Note for Hot Food Takeaway which seeks to impose a 400 metre exclusion zone around schools and colleges for new hot food takeaway applications.
Whilst there has been some healthy skepticism by elected members for the proposal based mainly on 'nanny state' arguments, difficulty in enforcement and effectiveness; members supported the proposal 9 to 1 following strong representations by Dr Andrew Jones, Director of Public Health for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board as well as wholehearted and overwhelming support by Wrecsam's Senedd yr Ifanc.
A recent Judicial Review has found that social objectives like restricting planning consent for takeways and the like near to schools are a 'material consideration' in determining planning applications.
Let's hope that other Welsh local authorities will follow Wrecsam's lead and introduce similar guidance. There is after all little point in promoting Appetite for Life and healthy eating in schools if takeaways are allowed to open unrestricted nearby.