Health and well-being: fast food outlet: obesity

McDonald’s Restaurant Ltd v Bristol CC

[2017] P.A.D. 32 (Inspector’s decision)

55 NoMacInF has assessed “Greater Fishponds” as having 37 fast food/takeaway outlets based on the definition given in a report from Public Health England on the density of fast food outlets in England, 7 which it has calculated as being 94 per 100,000 of population. This is below the average rate in Bristol but above the national average of 88, as presented in the report. The council’s Committee Report indicates that the 2014 Bristol Town Centre Retail Analysis survey of the uses for each unit within the Fishponds town centre carried out in May 2014 found that the town centre has below the average in Bristol as a whole of food and drink uses.

56 Evidence has been referred to that connects obesity in children with the consumption of fast food, and shows that this is higher in areas of deprivation. However, there is nothing conclusive to show that the appeal proposal would result in any significant increase in obesity in the area of Fishponds, even though it has been recognised as an area of multiple deprivation.

57 The evidence presented at the inquiry on this matter by the expert witnesses, including those called by NoMacInF, indicate to me that the use of fast food outlets is very much influenced by advertising, to which McDonald’s have indicated that it acts responsibly. Whilst there is scope for developing the law, policies and guidance to try to reduce obesity levels, there are limited planning powers to prevent additional fast food outlets from being provided at appropriate locations on these grounds.

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