Page last updated at 07:29 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 08:29 UK

Takeaways near schools face ban

Chip shop
The council said it wanted to give residents a wide choice of food outlets

Plans to ban new fast-food shops opening close to schools, parks and youth centres in east London are to be unveiled in a public consultation.

Waltham Forest Council wants to tighten planning regulations and ban takeaway shops within 400m (0.4km) of areas often used by children.

There will also be restrictions on the number of fast-food shops allowed in town centres and residential areas.

The council said the move was designed to tackle child obesity and littering.

There are more than enough fast food outlets in this borough and we want to stop any more from opening
Council leader Clyde Loakes

This comes after a council survey revealed many residents disliked the noise, litter, anti-social behaviour and parking problems associated with fast-food outlets.

Government figures show Waltham Forest has one of the highest levels of child obesity in the UK, the council said.

About 11.5% of children in the area are overweight while 17.2% are obese, which is double the national average.

More boys than girls are obese in the area and the issue is more prevalent in children aged between 10 and 11.

'Not enough choice'

The council said its study found restricting fast-food outlets would help tackle obesity as well as significantly reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Council leader councillor Clyde Loakes said: "There are more than enough fast food outlets in this borough and we want to stop any more from opening.

"The bottom line is that residents simply don't have enough choice because of the number of fast food takeaways - we don't want to tell them how to live their lives but we do want to give them the widest possible choice in what they can eat.

"We can start to make our town centres more attractive places to visit by making them cleaner, safer and providing a better mix of shops, cafes and restaurants."

The public consultation ends on 1 December.

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