Fish and chip shop plan rejected because too near school –

Fish and chip shop plan rejected because too near school Published:  12 November, 2010

NUTRITIONISTS may be urging people to eat two portions of fish week for their health’s sake – but not, it seems if there are chips with it – and especially not if it is sold near a school.

Planning councillors in East Northamptonshire have this week thrown out a planning application to open  a fish and chip shop in the vicinity of two schools in the town of Rushden after a number of residents objected, claiming it would harm the health of their children. One councillor said that she was worried children would rather use the chip shop than eat healthy meals in school.

The proposed fish shop, which is currently a disused commercial premises, is well over 300 yards from the nearest school. This decision could become a benchmark when other similar applications are made in Britain, although it will not effect existing premises. However, it throws open some intriguing issues, such as what happens if someone wants to open a fried fish shop in a busy town centre where there are lots of other takeaways, but where a school may be just around the corner?

Many people including nutrition experts maintain that, if eaten in moderation, fish and chips makes for a reasonably healthy meal. A lot depends in the type of oil used in cooking, the ingredients in the batter and the thickness of the chips.

Bill Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, said he objected to fish and chips being labelled an unhealthy food. “We believe it to be healthier than most other types of takeaway. Just because children walk past a shop it doesn’t mean they are going to go in,” he added.

This is not the first case of its kind this year. In Tower Hamlets East London The High Court ruled that the local council there had not acted unlawfully by banning a fried fish takeaway which was also close to a school. The court said that planners must give health a high priority when considering such applications.