One of today’s responses to the HSBC / Pizza takeaway planning application had me running for the search engines to find the source, and here it is. Dating from as recently as November 2017, the HBC ‘Healthy Borough Assessment’ is well worth a read.
The whole of Section 3 – Planning and Health – is germane to the debate about fast food in the town centre while the paragraph (3.19) quoted by this clearly well-informed resident sums up the Council’s thinking on fast food in the town centre.
“Havant scores significantly worse than the England average against the excess weight in adults indicator (2012-2014). Figure 1 below also shows parts of Havant to have a high number of fast food outlets compared to other areas. Together, these statistics point to a justification for a policy restricting fast food outlets in Havant Town Centre.”
To provide a balanced view, I’ve completed the quote here with the remainder of the paragraph:
“However it is also true that hot food takeaways (A5) are not the only source of unhealthy food in town centres. A number of shops (A1) can also provide unhealthy take-away food choices as well. Furthermore, such a restriction would do nothing to address the health of the existing take-away choices on offer. Such an approach would benefit from an update to the Use Classes Order in order to specifically identify uses which could provide unhealthy choices.“
It’s encouraging to see that the Council is clearly considering the health and welfare of its residents as they plan for our future. It’s no wonder then, that the Local Plan 2036 clearly proposes moving fast food out of the town centre in favour of “other uses which promote activity and have not traditionally been part of a town centre offer such as gyms or healthcare…”
With this in mind, the current application for 39 West Street should surely be turned down flat? The detail of opening hours becomes simply an irrelevant diversion.
(In fairness, this is a personal view and not necessarily the view of the Havant Civic Society)