‘We don’t want a KFC near our children’: Parents fume over plans for a drive-thru fast-food restaurant down the road from a secondary school
Plans for a drive-thru KFC restaurant near a high school have come under fire with claims it will have an impact on children’s health.
Proposals have been put together to build the restaurant in the car park of a shopping centre in North Shields on a site where there is an existing supermarket and other shops.
But the plan has attracted objections from residents worried about the potential impact on the health of children at the nearby John Spence Community High School, which has more than 800 pupils aged between 11 and 16.
The proposed KFC drive-thru will be built in the car park of a supermarket
One local woman, Deborah Pritchard, has begun a petition against the proposed development.
The change.org petition says: ‘The application is for a KFC drive through to be built with such close proximity to a number of schools and goes against the Council’s and Government’s mandate to encourage healthier eating by the pupils in the area.
‘Although a takeaway is not permitted to be built within 400 metres of a school a drive through KFC is not considered a takeaway! This application is for a KFC within 400 metres of John Spence Community High School.
‘Obesity in children is at an all time high in the UK and particularly in the North East. This food is high in fat and salt, there have also been reports the chicken used is not ethical.
‘Other problems associated with this build would be the drive through traffic, littering in the local footpaths and the effect on the atmosphere of the area.
A drawing of the proposed outlet has been posted on the North Tyneside Council’s website
‘Lets get the community together against this to protect our young and the beautiful area we live in.’
Voicing her objections on North Tyneside Council’s planning application page she added that KFS has ‘very high in saturated fat and salt leading to higher levels of many health problems costing our health service huge amounts of money’
Another objector wrote: ‘I do not think that this business should be sited here as this is on a route taken by many school children at regular intervals during the day. Given that there is a determined push to persuade schoolchildren to eat more healthily, this will not encourage this practice.
‘There are already two fast food outlets ( Domino’s Pizza and Subway sandwiches) within 50 yards of the proposed development.
Another claimed the plans has been ‘been sneaked in over Christmas with no real consultation or plans.
‘It sits directly between 3 schools who will be able to access unhealthy fast food at lunch time. As a resident and a parent I strongly disagree.’
Locals claim the plans will lure pupils from the local school, which is just 400 metres away
Local Councillor Martin Rankin said he is objecting to the proposal and will be asking for it to be examined at a planning committee.
‘In my opinion, this is completely wrong for the area. It’s very close to the school and people have major concerns about issues of healthy eating,’ he said.
‘The council has a policy about the fact there should not be any hot food takeaways within 400m of a school. The applicants are saying this is a restaurant and are not classing it as a hot food takeaway.
‘However, I believe this application should be treated as a mixed use site, as people will be able to go in and take away food.’
Concerns have also been raised about the effect on traffic, noise and litter.
The application, by Erindale Ltd And Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, has been submitted to North Tyneside Council.
In the planning documents, the applicants acknowledge the drive-thru would be a takeaway facility, but said the primary use would be a restaurant.
They also point out that children would not be able to use the drive-thru unless accompanied by an adult with a driving licence and a vehicle.
The application states the applicants would be willing to impose a policy where employees are not allowed to serve children wearing uniforms and would engage with the school to ensure this is implemented effectively.
In addition, regular litter patrols would be carried out by staff around the restaurant and surrounding area, and there would be several bins located around the store.