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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Hot food takeaway refused

Houghton hot food takeaway plan refused over obesity fear

Plans for a new hot food takeaway in a Sunderland shopping street have been refused by council development bosses over obesity fears.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has blocked an application for 55 Newbottle Street in the Houghton ward.

The business unit was once a butchers but has sat vacant for some time, with recently submitted plans aiming to change its use to a hot food takeaway.

Submitted floor plans showed how the building would be subdivided and the types of equipment planned at the site.

This included a customer waiting area and servery, preparation areas for kebabs and pizzas, a pizza oven, a kebab machine and a countertop fryer.

The planning application form said the hot food takeaway would create three full-time and two part-time employees, as well as opening hours of midday to 11pm.

After considering the planning application and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department refused it on 28 February, 2024.

It was argued that the plans clashed with several policies in the council’s Core Strategy and Development Plan, or ‘local plan’.

This included one policy which aims to restrict new hot food takeaways opening in areas with childhood obesity issues.

The policy limits include 10 per cent for reception year children and 21 per cent for year six children, with obesity figures for the Houghton ward exceeding both of these thresholds.

As a result, it was noted that a new hot food takeaway in Houghton would “not support or improve the health and wellbeing of local communities”.

Another reason for refusal included the plans resulting in an “exceedance of the proportion of non-retail uses” allowed in the area.

The council noted there are currently “more than 40 per cent of existing units in non-retail use along this thoroughfare”, with the hot food takeaway proposal “exacerbating this situation”.

A council decision report said the hot food takeaway would have a “detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of Houghton town centre by virtue of resulting in an unacceptably high number of non-retail/hot food takeaway uses within the thoroughfare”.

The council report added: “Although (subject to appropriate conditions) the proposal has been found to be acceptable with regard to visual amenity, noise and odour, waste storage and highway safety, it would result in conditions that are prejudicial to the vibrancy of the centre and have a negative effect in terms of local health objectives”.

The applicant has the right to challenge the council’s refusal decision by lodging an appeal with the secretary of state.

For more information on the planning application or to track its progress, visit the council’s planning portal website and search reference: 23/02632/FUL

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