Fast food shops could be banned by Brent Council

Fast food restaurants like these on Willesden High Road could soon be barred from opening

Fast food restaurants like these on Willesden High Road could soon be barred from opening - Credit: Archant

Council considering new measures to tackle obesity

New fast food shops could be banned from opening in parts of the borough as town hall bosses look to tackle obesity.

Brent Council is considering implementing a new planning policy in which takeaway shops would be limited and stopped from opening in areas where there are already deemed to be too many.

It is thought Wembley will act as a pilot for the scheme which could launch it as early as next year before it is extendedt across the borough.

The move comes as the council look to reduce obesity in the borough with Brent weighing in slightly above average on the obesity scale.

According to a report compiled by the council around 24 per cent of adults are estimated to be obese and more than a third of 11 year olds are obese or overweight.

The borough’s high streets have attracted criticism for their high concentration of takeaway and fast food shops and it hoped the move will go someway to tackling the problem.

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A council spokesman confirmed to the Times the plans were in consideration.

He said: “The council is considering the introduction of new planning policy which, if agreed, would help prevent an over concentration of takeaway and fast-food outlets in town centres and limit them in the vicinity of schools thereby helping children eat well and improving health of local people generally.”

Michael Goss, a Harlesden based food journalist, who writes for the Minding Bellies blog, backed the move but expressed concern that it should have been made sooner.

He said: “The High Streets are already full of fast food, betting shops and payday loan stores.

“Brent is one of the poorest boroughs in London. The relative poverty, and the additional high costs of gas and electricity, means fast food is an easy and cheap option.

“Not only is a diet solely consisting of junk food bad for your health, it also creates the associated problems of rats and rubbish.

“It’s important that High Street regeneration occurs on all of the boroughs high streets so that there is more choice and better quality.”

The council spokesman added: “We have already consulted on these proposals as part of the Wembley Area Action Plan and, subject to examination by an independent planning inspector, they could be implemented in Wembley next year.

“We are also in the early stages of developing similar borough-wide proposals which will be consulted on later this year.”

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