Plans to create a new food and drink establishment in Shotton have been approved despite concerns it could add to obesity problems among children.

An application was put forward in January this year to change the use of a former cake shop on Chester Road West to either a restaurant or cafe.

Objections were raised by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board's public health team due to the number of overweight youngsters living in the area.

Officials highlighted figures which show that a quarter of children aged between four and five are either overweight or obese within the county of Flintshire.

They said there were six primary schools located within a mile of the property and 18 takeaways within half a mile of the site.

The health board argued that the concentration of takeaways within the area was inappropriate and could have a negative impact on children's health.

However, the proposals have now been approved by an officer from Flintshire Council, who said the development would be acceptable.

In its response to the plans, representatives from Betsi Cadwaladr said: “The proposed site is less than a mile and less than a 20-minute walk from (several) schools.

“Although we recognise that pupils in primary education are not allowed to leave school premises during the day, research indicates that the most popular time for purchasing food from shops is after school.

“The proximity of the proposed development to the primary schools is concerning from an end-of-school-day perspective and in terms of the provision and availability of unhealthy foods to children and young people.

“Increased access to unhealthy food retail outlets can be associated with increased weight status in the general population, and increased obesity and unhealthy eating behaviours among children residing in low-income areas.”

They added: “In summary, the BCUHB public health team have concerns specifically in relation to the health challenges within the local area related to obesity and overweight for children, young people and adults.

“The location of this application is not suitable due to its position within a primary shopping area and the concentration of existing food establishments within the area, which goes against the Local Development Plan.”

The application was approved by the local authority after no other objections were raised against the proposals.

In a report outlining her decision, planning officer Rhian Chitty said the development would not go against any local or national government policies.

She said: “Planning Policy Wales does set out the important role the planning system has in promoting the ‘Healthier Wales’ goal.

“However, this seeks to promote measures to reduce health inequalities by enabling opportunities for outdoor recreation and promoting active travel etc. rather than restricting numbers of food outlets.


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“The A3 use of the development would not necessarily worsen the health and wellbeing of local residents or visitors and the principle of the development is acceptable.

She added: “The proposal represents an acceptable use in line with policy that would be a benefit to the local economy.

“The proposal accords with the relevant plan policies in relation to impacts upon amenity, highway safety and design. It is acceptable with due regard to other material planning considerations.”