Plans for new Hartlepool takeaway rejected over obesity concerns

Plans for a new takeaway in Hartlepool have been rejected after health bosses raised concerns over obesity in the area.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 12:51 pm
The vacant unit at Sydenham Road, Hartlepool

Proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council earlier this year to convert the vacant property at 16 Sydenham Road into a takeaway.

Planning documents from ASP Associates, on behalf of applicant Mr Malik, stated the plans would have benefited the area.

However council planning officers have rejected the plans citing concerns over obesity and the number of takeaways already in the area.

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The vacant unit at Sydenham Road, Hartlepool

A report from council planning officer Stephanie Bell noted how the plans go against borough wide initiatives to promote healthy eating.

It said: “Hot food takeaway uses have the potential to create greater disturbance to the residential amenity of neighbouring properties in terms of unsociable opening hours and nuisance smells.

“It is a consideration that this application, if approved, would result in three hot food takeaways consecutively on Sydenham Road.

“Furthermore, the proposed development would undermine efforts to promote healthy eating and contribute to an established link between higher than average obesity levels in the area and the sale of hot food.”

Council public health bosses had also submitted objections to the plans, citing obesity statistics in the town.

Hartlepool has a notably higher number of hot food takeaways per 100,000 population than the national average (160.5 compared with a national average of 96.1).

Latest statistics also show 24.1% of reception age children in Hartlepool are classified as having excess weight, with the number rising to 43.8% for Year 6 pupils.

This compares to an England average of 22.6% of children having excess weight at reception age and 34.3% at year 6.

The percentage of adults (aged 18+) classified as overweight or obese is also higher in Hartlepool (70.4%) than the England average (62.0%).

A design and access statement from ASP Associates, on behalf of applicant Mr Malik, had argued the plans would not be detrimental to the area.

It said: “It is our opinion that the refurbishment will provide quality food service accommodation, possible future job creation, it will be an enhancement to the area in general and could not be termed as detrimental in any respect.

“In summary, this is a fairly simple development that would not be out of place or overwhelming to the surrounding area and neighbouring sites/ activities.”

Council chiefs were recently backed over refusing plans for a new takeaway at the former Saxon site due to obesity concerns, after an appeal over the outcome was dismissed by the government Planning Inspectorate.