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Fears ‘takeaway culture’ harming town’s health as new restaurant bid goes in

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 March 2020

The site, which is already undergoing a transformation, could become a takeaway if planning permission is approved. PHOTO: Sarah Burgess

The site, which is already undergoing a transformation, could become a takeaway if planning permission is approved. PHOTO: Sarah Burgess

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Fears that “takeaway culture” is harming people’s health have been raised as a town which already heaves with outlets prepares to welcome another.

Google Maps still shows the barbershop in its former usage, as of March 2019. PHOTO: GoogleGoogle Maps still shows the barbershop in its former usage, as of March 2019. PHOTO: Google

A planning application, submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, has gone in for a new takeaway to replace a barber shop on 45 King Street - which has been vacant since January 2019.

Formerly 'Class Cut' barbershop, it is expected that two full-time jobs would be created by the venture, and opening hours would be 9am until 9pm every day except Sunday.

Work has not yet begun on the building, owned by PSK Buildings C&R Ltd, and is subject to the results of a consultation period ending April 3, 2020, which anyone can make representations for or against.

Already, tenants above the shop have challenged the proposals.

Tony Wright, councillor for the Nelson Ward, said that 'takeaway culture' is a problem when it comes to pushing for healthier lifetsyles.  Picture: James BassTony Wright, councillor for the Nelson Ward, said that 'takeaway culture' is a problem when it comes to pushing for healthier lifetsyles. Picture: James Bass

A man living above the barber shop said he has: '...recently experienced cooking smells in my accommodation, as the takeaway has been cooking chicken and fish and chips.'

He said: 'I spend a lot of time in the accommodation and the recent development has affected my mental health. I don't want constant noise from the shop and stinky food smells all day long coming into my accommodation.'

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Landlord Jaqueline Esposito also raised objections on behalf of her tenants, suggesting her approval would be conditional on there being 'no cooking of hot food' because the 'noisy extractor would disturb quality of life'.

Tony Wright, councillor for Nelson Ward, said: 'While I can't comment on the individual application, I can say if it does come before planning committee we'd certainly have to consider things like the effect on nearby residents and the impact of late-night establishments.

'Generally speaking though, there's real concerns caused by the 'takeaway culture' sweeping up society at the minute, and the issues it causes when it comes to keeping people active, fit and healthy.

'It's not just here but in a lot of places - and is something we have to contend with.'

According to NHS figures, a third of children in Norfolk are obese, with public health groups urging the government to prevent youngsters from binging on junk food and sugary drinks.

Takeaways per head of population have long been linked to deprivation levels, with Great Yarmouth having one of the highest proportions of fast food outlets in the county - a figure rising year on year.

But Mr Wright says health considerations aren't taken into account when deciding the outcome of planning applications.

Another Nelson Ward councillor, Michael Jeal, said that 'there seems to be a trend in Great Yarmouth' of takeaways cropping up on the high street but then closing down again very soon after.

He said: 'That being said, we do have to recognise that these kind of ventures provide employment and help the local economy.'


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