Decision to reject takeaway plans in Hartlepool upheld following appeal by developer
Council chiefs have been backed in their decision to refuse plans for a new takeaway at a former pub site, after an appeal over the outcome was dismissed.
Proposals were submitted by Mr M Jagpal, from Ingleby Barwick Land and Property Developments, earlier this year to convert a vacant unit at the former Saxon site in Hartlepool into a hot food takeaway.
The former pub has since been turned into a shopping parade featuring various different units.
However council planning officers rejected the plans, citing concerns over the health impact it could have on the area and rising obesity worries.
An appeal was then lodged to the national Planning Inspectorate by the applicant over the council’s decision to refuse the development planning permission in a bid to get the ruling overturned.
However a decision has now been made by the inspectorate, who dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of the council.
The report from inspector Kate Mansell supported it would have a harmful effect on the area and the health of residents.
It said: “I have found that the proposal would have an unacceptably harmful effect on the vitality and viability of the local centre’s retail character and function, and it would result in harm to the health and well-being of local residents.”
Council officers said it was a boost for their policy towards limiting takeaways and reducing obesity levels in the area.
Daniel James, planning team leader on the council, said it was an ‘important and interesting appeal decision’.
He said: “We got the support from Public Health England and the inspector applied a lot of weight to that.
“Public Health England provided the evidence and statistics about obesity levels in the town and the inspector afforded great weight to that, it was an important decision.”
Council public health bosses had previously raised concerns over the plans after data from Public Health England highlighted Hartlepool had 160.5 hot food take-away outlets per 100,000 population, higher than the national average of 96.1
Data also shows in Hartlepool 29.2% of reception age children are classified as having excess weight and 40.5% of Year 6 pupils are classified as having excess weight.
This compares to an England average of 22.4% of children having excess weight at reception age and 34.3% at Year 6.
Jim Ferguson, council planning and development manager, said: “It was the first real test of our takeaway policy after it’d been adopted [as part of the 2018 Local Plan].
“It shows the policy and the supporting evidence is robust.”